If you are having trouble drifting off to sleep and remaining asleep throughout the night, a pre-bedtime routine may be just what the doctor ordered. As with many aspects of our lives, routine contributes a sense of calm and helps create an atmosphere of tranquillity – perfect for lulling you off to sleep. Below are few simple ideas you may like to use to create your bedtime ritual.
Set a regular time for sleep and waking each day and stick to it - weekends as well! This routine will improve your sleep, by reinforcing the body’s natural internal body clock that regulates your circadian rhythm or sleep/wake cycle.
Avoid eating and drinking prior to bedtime. Stimulants including alcohol, tea, coffee and nicotine remain in your system for several hours and may have an adverse effect on your sleeping patterns. You will find it difficult to fall asleep and harder to remain asleep. Be aware of when you eat - eat too early and you may wake hungry, too late and your digestive process will suffer.
Ensure your bedroom is a welcoming and comfortable space for sleep. A cool, quiet and dark room will promote sleep, and a comfy bed will encourage you to want to stay in it. Darkness triggers our sleep cycle and choosing natural fibres that allow the skin to breathe and remain cool will result in a deeper more restful sleep.
Prepare for sleep each night by turning off the television, phone and computer screens and dimming the lights. Instead, enjoy winding down with a warm bath, a good book or some quiet music. Repeat the same soothing process each night and your body will soon respond to the signs for bedtime.
Remember - when it comes to sleeping, the harder you try, the less likely you are to fall asleep. If you can’t sleep, hop up and do something quietly until you feel tired again. With a little practice you can create your own perfect bed time routine and sleep soundly until morning.