Getting enough quality sleep can seem like an elusive task these days. Implementing a bedtime routine will help you prepare mentally, physically, and emotionally for sleep. It consists of relaxing activities that ready your mind and relax your body so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Practicing a bedtime routine enhances your sleep-wake cycle to create a habit of knowing when to sleep and when to wake. As you personalize your sleep routine to fit your needs and preferences, consider these tips to make it as successful as possible.

Set a Bedtime

Start by choosing a bedtime that can be around the same time each day and will give you adequate hours of sleep. Then, aim to begin your bedtime routine about thirty minutes or more prior. Even a shorter routine of 10 minutes can be beneficial to power down from the day and relax your mind and body before sleep. As you’re working on making this a habit, you may want to set an alarm or reminder on your phone to signal the start of your bedtime preparations. The more you practice, the more your mind and body will recognize when it is time to sleep.

Tidy Up

Take a few moments of your bedtime routine to tidy up a room or space. It doesn’t need to be a major cleaning session. It could be a simple task like going through the mail, cleaning dishes in the sink, or putting away a small pile of clothes. Clearing physical clutter can help clear your mind from a busy day so you can prepare to sleep and be ready for tomorrow.

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Prepare your sleeping space for a comfortable and peaceful rest. Keeping a cooler temperature in your bedroom can prevent nighttime sweating. Choose bedding that is clean, comfortable, and supportive. Limit light and distracting noises. Aim to keep your bedroom specifically for sleeping by avoiding activities like television or working in this space. Paying attention to these details can create a calming environment for quality rest.

Try a Guided Meditation or Mindful Activity

Rather than scrolling on social media or binge-watching TV shows that will keep your mind engaged and disrupted from sleep, consider a mindful activity or meditation that will provide relaxation. These relaxing activities can include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, grounding techniques, calming music, prayer, or quiet reflection. Guided meditations and mindful activities help clear the chatter in our brains and manage stress or worries more effectively.

Keep a Bedside Journal

Our thoughts about the day and our to-do list for tomorrow often keep us awake at night. Turning off these thoughts can be difficult. Try keeping a bedside journal or notepad to reflect on feelings, acknowledge thoughts, and address any tasks for tomorrow. Putting thoughts on paper quiets the chatter in your mind and prepares you for sleep.

Incorporating the steps above can help enhance your bedtime routine, making sleep more restful and effective. However, if you’re still experiencing difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or often feeling tired the next day, you should always talk with your doctor about your symptoms.

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