In the same way that we love music, Our bodies crave rhythm in our lives. According to Natalie Dautovich, the National Sleep Foundation’s Environmental scholar, regular daily activities allow our bodies to anticipate and prepare for certain events. That’s why our digestive system kick into gear before meal times, we become alert in the morning, and we feel sleepy as we approach our bedtime.
Creating a regular sleep routine can help you overcome many minor sleep problems.
A healthy sleep routine
Sleep doctors from Harvard University recommend creating a routine around bedtime that encourages you to relax, as well as creating a comfortable environment that encourages sleep. These suggest you do this by:
- Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. This encourages your body to get into a regular routine.
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other substances containing chemicals that interfere with sleep.
- Creating a comfortable environment in your bedroom – it should be dark, cool, and quiet.
- Limiting exposure to light in the evening, by dimming lights and avoiding screens for an hour before bed.
- Avoiding naps in the late afternoon / evening, as these will interfere with your natural sleep rhythms.
- Creating a soothing bedtime ritual – maybe you take a hot bath or shower, read a book or enjoy a story with your kids, drink a non-caffeine herbal tea, or listen to a podcast.
- Using Sleepezi mists and tonics. These contain powerful natural ingredients that help to encourage relaxation, supports the immune system, and restores body and mind.
- Making sure you eat enough – not too much you get indigestion or too little that you’re feeling hungry – at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Getting regular exercise during the day. Getting your heartrate up will help your body feel tired and relax into sleep at night. However, avoid exercising within three hours of your bedtime, as this can have the opposite effect.
Creating your own sleep routine.
While the above are recommendations that have been proven through research to help, doctors acknowledge that it can be difficult for people to follow all of them. For example, parents of young children will find it hard to go to bed with a regular bedtime.
Focus on creating a sleep routine that works for you. This means identifying the aspects of your life that are most disruptive to your sleep, and creating ways to minimise or eliminate them. For example, even if you do nothing else, cutting out caffeine drinks in the evening could have a dramatic positive impact on your sleep.
Sleep is a highly personal thing. As long as you focus on creating a routine that works with your lifestyle and it’s helping you nod off at night, then you are doing great.