You’ve made good choices all day, your sleep space is optimized, and now this is it, bedtime!
The third and final installment of our sleep blog series is here to help you set up your pre-sleep routine and maximize your Z’s. Your main goal as you prepare for sleep is to reduce external stressors and stimulus, AKA calm down.
A great first step is to stop looking at any screens at least 30 minutes before bed. This means no TV, computers, tablets, or cell phones 30 minutes before you plan to go to sleep. 30 minutes is the minimum recommended beneficial time. More is better. Simultaneously we want to minimize light sources and electronics from your sleep space, so let’s keep them out of the bedroom while we’re at it.
In addition to improving the quality of your sleep, leaving the cell phone in a different room can have another added benefit when it comes to discipline. If the alarm goes off, and you have to get up and get out of bed to turn it off, you’ll be a lot less likely to hit snooze.
Now that we’ve put the screens away, what are we supposed to do until bedtime?
An obvious place to start is in the bathroom. Brush your teeth, wash your face, use the restroom, and use the restroom again to try to avoid any sleep interruptions. A warm shower can also help you relax and fall asleep more easily. Plus, it can save some time the next morning.
The next go-to in my bedtime routine is reading. Whether for education, or enjoyment, reading will help tire out your eyes, and make it easier to fall asleep. Usually this is just the ticket for me. Everyone is different though. Meditation, or journaling are also useful tools that may help you de-stress. If you use an app for guided meditations, change up the order of your routine to stay screen free.
Experiment with your bedtime routine, find what works best for you, and use it every night at the same time. Consistency is key. As much as possible go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same times each day. Plan for 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and stick to your routine. Now hit the sheets!