Bedtime Routines to Help You Fall Asleep Fast
Having a routine before bed isn’t just for kids. Adults can also benefit from following a set routine. Preparing your body and mind for sleep will help you fall asleep faster and feel more rested every day.
What Is a Bedtime Routine?
A bedtime routine is simply a set pattern of behaviors and a schedule to stick with every night at bedtime. For kids, this often means brushing teeth, reading a story, maybe singing a song, and turning the lights out at the same time each night.
For adults, the routine may look a little different, but the overall idea is the same. First, pick a time to go to bed every night that’s realistic to stick to, even on weekends. Then, create a relaxing, sleep-inducing ritual around the act of going to bed.
Why Are Bedtime Routines so Important?
Studies, and countless anecdotes from parents tell us that a bedtime routine is important for children. Adults need good sleep too, and for the same reasons a routine can help anyone, regardless of age.
A study of adults recently found that sleep routines were just as important for wellbeing as sleep duration. The more irregular a study participant’s sleep time and schedule, the greater their risks were for chronic health conditions. A bedtime routine helps you fall asleep faster, sleep better, and maintain a consistent, healthy sleep schedule.
Proven Bedtime Routines
Any routine that works for you at bedtime is perfect. A good routine should set the mood for bed, promote relaxation, and help you feel sleepy. If you want to create a new routine, try these ideas:
1. Sleep Stretches. Avoid vigorous exercise before bed, but do indulge in some light activity and stretching to relax the body. Focus on your breath and your body to banish anxious thoughts and prepare for sleep. Stretching also helps relieve physical tension in muscles and helps you relax.
2. A Relaxing Drink. A warm beverage (free of alcohol or caffeine) is another relaxing ritual that can prepare you for sleep. Any herbal tea you like, or warm milk, will work. Some herbal teas specifically thought to promote good sleep include chamomile, valerian root, lavender, and passionflower.
3. Meditation, Music, or Stories. For most people, thoughts about the day and worries about the future trigger insomnia. Anything you can do during your bedtime routine to distract from these thoughts will help. Try meditations on Relax Melodies, listen to stories or read a book, or listen to soothing music.
What to Avoid at Bedtime
Create the routine that works best for you, and avoid these habits that may seem useful but that are ultimately detrimental to good sleep:
- Food, especially heavy foods, within a few hours of bed
- Coffee after mid-afternoon
- Afternoon naps
- Screen time
- Too many beverages
- Vigorous exercise
Bedtime routines can help you fall asleep faster and get more quality rest every night. It’s essential to find the right routine for you and to make it a habit. Don’t let weekends get you out of sync. You’ll sleep best and be healthiest when sticking with the routine seven nights a week.
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