Get Better Sleep: How to Develop a Bedtime Routine that Works for You.

Sleep experts recommend establishing a consistent bedtime routine, as rituals can help you get better sleep. A routine signals your mind and body that it is time to wind down from the day and prepare for rest.  There’s a problem, however. Few sleep experts offer practical advice on exactly how to do that. Here are a few tips that can help you build the perfect routine for you.

1. Create a calming environment suited to your personality.

Drifting off to dreamland is easier in a relaxing environment. In order to do that, you need to know what environment helps you settle down. If, for example, you find it easier to relax when things are organized, you might spend a few minutes each evening tiding up your bedroom. If your find the mountains or the ocean relaxing, you might try putting on a nature sounds CD or using some flameless scented candles in order to help recreate that environment.

2. Keep tabs on the bedroom’s temperature and humidity.

Next, if you need to consider what temperature you’d like your bedroom to be.  As a general rule, a bedroom slightly on the cool side will help you sleep.  If, however, your room is so cold it you can feel it on your face or other expose skin, you were going to have trouble sleeping.  A humidifier may help you get better sleep, especially if you live in a dry climate or suffer from sinus issues or snoring.  Make starting a space heater, air conditioner, or humidifier part of your bedtime routine.  Get them going at least 30 minutes before it’s time for lights out.

3. Do a calming version of something you enjoy.

Getting your mind off your worries can help you get better sleep.  Since most people are not able to just stop thinking about something, consider including a low-key, calming version of something you enjoy in your bedtime routine. For example, you could read a chapter of a favorite book or play a round of solitaire. If you have a hobby such as golf, gardening, crafts, or gaming, you might read a few pages of a magazine devoted to that topic. Just make sure whatever you choose doesn’t excite you too much.

4. Include sound if you need it.

Some people need total silence in order to fall asleep. Others need sound. Knowing which one you are can help you get better sleep. Make creating your ideal sound environment part of your bedtime routine. If you need silence, shut your door and keep comfortable ear plugs within reach of your bed. If you need sound, put on a CD, turn on the radio, or turn on the TV or computer. If you’re using TV or a computer, turn off the monitor if at all possible, as the light from these devices can keep you awake.

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