Sleep hygiene plays a pivotal role in our overall health and wellness, affecting everything from immunity to hormone levels to brain function. As with any significant change, creating a structured routine can help optimize sleep hygiene and get you the rest you need and deserve.
Here are six amazing ways to build a better sleep routine.
Identify Your Barriers and Goals
First, identify what challenges you currently face when trying to get to sleep at night. Consider everything from laying awake and stressing about the next day to waking up at random points throughout the night. Identifying those barriers will help you put a plan in place to overcome specific issues, improving your chances of success.
Next, outline some strategic goals and define your version of success. What are some tangible outcomes of your efforts? For example, maybe you stop waking up in the middle of the night or get a full eight hours. Consider the emotional results as well. How do you feel after you’ve reached your goal? Perhaps you feel more energy in the mornings or more motivation to work on other aspects of your health and wellness.
Create a De-Stressing Plan
One of the common issues people face when trying to fall asleep is stress-related thoughts or fixations. If you worry about things you can’t fix at bedtime, this applies to you.
One of the most effective tips to sleep better is to incorporate stress management activities into your bedtime routine. You can go for a calming walk, take a bath, or practice meditation or journalling. Additionally, it’s beneficial to work on coping mechanisms like thought reframing to help you break negative thought cycles. When you notice stressful thoughts creeping up, remind yourself that you can’t fix them now and direct your mind elsewhere.
Limit Your Food and Liquid Intake
If you experience indigestion or wake up to go to the bathroom throughout the night, consider rethinking your food and liquid intake. Avoid eating or drinking within two hours of bedtime to allow the digestion process to get well underway. You may need to scale back further depending on your daily liquid intake.
Unplug from Technology
In addition to being a distraction, screen time also impacts our natural circadian rhythms. Set a goal to put your phone on airplane mode and use a screen time limitation to interrupt your habit of scrolling on social media. If you struggle to stick to your guns at bedtime, put your phone out of reach.
Unwinding with a Netflix show is an excellent way to relax and ease into the evening. However, it’s essential to try to unplug an hour before bedtime if your goal is to improve your sleep routine.
Scale Back Your Bedtime
Adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health. However, trying to go to bed an hour earlier each night is a significant jump, which your body and mind will reject. Instead, try to scale back slowly to build a sustainable habit.
Start by moving your bedtime back in intervals of 15 minutes. Maintain the new bedtime consistently for two weeks before adjusting again.
Track Your Progress and Adapt
Finally, track your progress and adapt as needed. Identify what’s working for you, what feels challenging, and your progress. This data can help you make informed decisions to improve your sleep routine.
With these simple tips, you can adjust your sleep routine and get some high-quality rest.
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