Your ability to function well each day hinges on your ability to rest well the night before. That’s why it’s so important to have a good routine built for sleeping. The better you build this routine, the more comfortably you sleep, and the better your days will be.
Of course, a nighttime routine isn’t just about hitting the bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning. Building true relaxation requires far more detail than that.
Think about these seven components of your nighttime routine that will make your nights more restful and your days more productive.
Make Sure That It Is a Routine
The first step is to make sure you’re doing everything the same way every night, if possible. Not only will you be sure to do the same restful things each night, but you will also build anticipation.
Once you start your nightly routine, your mind will start to enter a more relaxed mode. As you complete each step, you’ll be closer and closer to being ready to get a good night’s sleep.
Take a Warm Shower…Then Stay Warm
A long day of work and family activities will probably leave you a little bit dirty and possibly a little bit sore. A good shower or bath can take care of both, but it’s important for your nightly cleanup to be more than just a functional thing.
Take the time to make it relaxing. Use soothing products for your hair and skin and leave the shower for the comfort of a warm towel from a towel warmer rack.
Put Devices to Bed First
The ability to have productivity and social contact in your palms at any time makes it very hard to stay away from cell phones and tablets. However, as bedtime approaches, that’s exactly what you need to do.
Ongoing stimulation from the device’s light and the mental stimulation of working or interacting with friends online will keep your mind stirring when it needs to be settled down for the night. Whatever your bedtime is, make your phone’s bedtime at least 30 minutes earlier.
Maintain Consistent Sleep Hours
Thirty minutes of variation in your bedtime either way may not seem like much, but it can have a surprising impact on your routine.
In addition to a consistent workday sleep schedule, you should try to stick as close as possible to it on your days off. It may sound great to sleep in on Saturday, but you’ll be happier on Monday if you do the same thing you did on Friday.
Watch Food and Drink Habits
It stands to reason that a big glass of water at bedtime will interrupt your sleep, but going to bed very hungry or very full is also bad for your rest. Don’t eat anything substantial within a couple of hours of your bedtime. The digestion process (and the potential for heartburn) will prove to be a powerful opponent to your ability to get to sleep on time.
Create a Restful Space
Darkness, silence, and a comfortable temperature are essential for good sleep. The presence of light, distracting noises, and a battle between you and the covers are not conducive to good sleep.
Get blackout blinds if there are bright lights outside your home. Consider a “white noise” device to help blur out any unpreventable sounds. Finally, determine the right temperature for your comfort and make whatever changes are necessary to create it.
Consider Some Relaxing Music
Music has an amazing power to soothe and calm. Use the final hour or so before bed to fill your home with some favorite songs. Choose music that is soft and positive, nothing up-tempo or dramatic.
Create a playlist on your phone or other device and start playing it as you get into your nighttime routine. The music’s persistent presence will lower your blood pressure and ease your stress.
Humans are creatures of habit, and that’s not just true of how you work and play during the day. A routine for both night and day will ensure that you’ll get the most out of every part of your life, keeping you happy and healthy.