Benefits Of A Bedtime Routine
Do you have a bedtime routine? Many of us have not had a set bedtime, let alone a routine since we’ve made it out of middle school. We’ve even passed on this habit to our kids, being less structured and more flexible with when they go to sleep. It may be time to revisit the idea of going to bed at a regular time and developing a ritual or routine around it. This is particularly true if you find that you have a hard time getting a full night’s sleep (7 to 9 hours), or if you feel that you don’t get enough quality sleep.
Sleeping through the night in a way that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated is what I would consider quality sleep. If you have a hard time getting up in the morning, or often wish for an afternoon nap, you could benefit from a bedtime routine and the improvement in your sleep quality that it brings.
A bedtime routine will insure that you have plenty of time to sleep. When you make an effort to go to bed by 10pm at night for example, you won’t be tempted to stay up late to finish your book or watch another movie. Getting into this habit isn’t always easy, but once you’ve established it, it becomes easier to resist the temptation to stay up late.
Our bodies thrive on routines. We get hungry around lunch time and we crave coffee at 2pm. Why should it be any different when it comes to sleep. If we stick to the same bedtime night after night, and wake up at the same time each morning, falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting up in the morning become easier.
Most of us already have a wakeup routine in the morning during the work week. That’s a great start. Adding in a regular bedtime shouldn’t be too hard and it will help getting out of bed in the morning easier.
How To Establish ABedtime Routine
- Set a time and make yourself stick to it.
- Now comes the hard part. You have to do your best to stick to the same routine on the weekend. Resist the temptation to stay up late and sleep in on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll mess up the natural waking and sleeping rhythm you’re getting yourself into.
- Next, let’s talk about creating an entire bedtime routine around the regular bedtime.
– Stay off the computer, tablet, TV and even smart phone for the hour before bedtime.
– Instead find something calming and relaxing to do like taking a warm shower, or sipping a hot cup of tea while reading a book.
– Do something that relaxes you and helps you wind down.
– Change into PJs and keep your bedroom a distraction free zone that’s meant for sleeping.
– Brush your teeth, turn down the lights, and read a few pages or listen to some soothing music or an audio book before turning everything off and going to sleep.
By sticking to a simple and fairly short routine like this, you’re signaling your body that it’s time to go to sleep. After a few weeks of sticking to this new bedtime habit, you’ll find it easier and quicker to fall asleep.
Your overall quality of sleep will improve as well as your body gets used to this rhythm. Give it a try and see if you can’t improve your quality and quantity of sleep and more importantly your quality of life with a good bedtime routine.