Thinking of every single outstanding task you need to do right before you go to sleep? Or find it hard to switch off your brain when it comes to bedtime? Try revamping your pre-sleep habits for a better night's sleep with some of these helpful tips below.
Often we rush through the day and into the night to arrive at bedtime and we then find we can't sleep. Giving our bodies time to wind down before bedtime as a slowing down process helps put us in a relaxed state and prepare our brains for sleeping.
Think of how when we are children we go through the same process of winding down. A child's bedtime routine might be ‘bath, book, bed’ and all this is saying to the child is that it’s no longer play time and preparing their little brains for sleep.
Adults aren’t dissimilar they also need a routine that takes them out of play (or in our case, work) mode and shifts into sleep mode triggering the brain to relax. Can you imagine a child running around playing and then trying to put them straight to bed? Firstly good luck! Secondly, that's what most of us do. We run around going out to dinner or watching the latest reality drama getting all fired up to then bed. It’s no wonder it takes so long to fall asleep!
Here are some good bedtime rituals to help slow you down that you can start incorporating into your evenings to help get you off to the land of nod quicker.
Good Sleep Only
Limit your Media Consumption
Switching off the tv/phone and scrolling at least an hour before bedtime. Your phone and TV emit 'blue light' which can block a hormone called melatonin. This is the hormone that helps to make us sleepy so you guessed it, blocking it will keep you awake. Give the screen time a rest so your body can naturally produce melatonin to take you to a deeply restful state.
Avoid Eating a Heavy Meal or a lot of Liquid Right Before Bed
Your body goes through quite an ordeal to digest your food so give your body enough time to digest your dinner well before bed. Come bedtime your body can start to slow down without affecting your digestion. A lot of liquid can wake you up in the middle of the night so limit your intake right beforehand too.
Going for a Light Walk or Light Stretching
Depending on your circumstances try going for a light walk around the block to help digest your dinner. If that's not possible i.e. you have little ones in the house or it's raining, opt for some light stretches instead. Moving your body gently to encourage further digestion.
Pour yourself some Sleepy Tea
Invest in some sleepy tea or any decaffeinated tea and pour yourself a cup. Green tea is mostly caffeinated so ensure your tea isn’t going to make you want to learn a new TikTok dance. Remember not too many cups of tea or you’ll be up in the middle of the night.
Take 10 to be Zen
Try finding a quiet spot, this could even be sitting upright in bed and closing down your eyes for ten minutes and meditating. If you are new to meditation then you can always try a guided meditation to coach you through the process.
Let it go!
Journal out your thoughts and feelings or even have a notepad next to your bed where everything that is racing through your mind can be put to paper. Consciously noting that once the thought is out of your head and onto paper you won’t continue to think about it. It’s on paper you won’t forget it, it will still be there in the morning.
Get your read on
We all love Netflix and chill but have you tried reading a book before bed? Ok, this may not be your jam, so perhaps it's an audiobook or a guided meditation instead. Something that is taking you away from screentime.
Once you are in bed with the lights off you can practise some deep breaths, exhaling slowly and loudly. Repeat this as you feel your heart rate slow down and your body relax.
How do you find time to unwind before bed? Pausing and taking a moment for yourself can do wonders for your sleep.