Sleep awareness week just passed and even though I missed it, thought it was important to talk about. Integrating a good sleep routine into what you already do is key. I’ve mentioned the importance of a good routine to be able to create an overall balance that you need. To break it down even further, a good sleep routine is beneficial to be able to enjoy what the next day has to offer.
How do you usually feel the next day, when your sleep wasn’t as restful as you wanted? It all starts with that routine that you set out for yourself. Setting a routine an hour or so before bed, does help in tending to ones’ sleep needs. Here are a few things to add to your routine that you may not have thought of:
- Prep for the Next Day: Prepare for the next day by laying your clothes out. If you have a daily mantra or positive affirmations you usually use, look for it or jot them down in the evening. Getting up a bit early may not hurt as well so you can make sure you have time to eat, meditate, read, etc just to start your morning off in the right way. Prep meals for the day/week to ensure you’re ready to go for the next day.
- Journal Out Your Thoughts: Have a worry time scheduled where you reflect on things troubling you, spend some time working on ways to cope or deal with the things within your control. Try to set this time early on in the day, to not bring this worry with you as you get ready for bed.
- Set a Consistent Sleep and Wake Schedule: This can take time for your body to adjust. Try to set a consistent schedule to wake and sleep for the day. Ask yourself how many hours of sleep you need to fully function the way you should. Everyone’s time clock is different, so make sure you set an appropriate number of hours that work for you. I prefer 7-8 hours but I understand some can function with less, just make sure not too low.
- Incorporate Activities that Relax You prior to Sleep: Take some time to relax before going to bed. In addition to a regular sleep routine of brushing your teeth, putting on pajamas, add something extra. Drink some warm/relaxing tea, read, do a puzzle, have an adult coloring book handy, journal, or write your intentions for the next day. Keep things simple as you wind down and try to limit any stimulating activities that can hinder a restful sleep.
- Use Your Bed Only For Sleep: Limit working, watching tv and talking on the phone in the bed. Train your body to know that the bed is for sleep only. If your body is used to working in the bed, then it can have a difficult time acknowledging when it’s time to sleep.
- Get Up: If you lay awake in bed for 20 minutes or longer, get up and go to another room. Return when you feel sleepy enough. Make yourself some warm milk or tea, read, walk around a bit to see if thats helpful.
- Be Comfortable: Make your bed and room comfortable enough for you to sleep in at the end of the night. A comfortable bed, pillow and sheets can be helpful. I have used a pillow mist that sometimes does the trick. Also, make sure the temperature is just right.
- Keep it Dark: Even the slightest light from turned-off electronics can hinder your sleep in some way. Cover up any light to ensure complete darkness.
Some additional routines to do during bedtime, can be found here. This is just a simple list and I’m sure there’s plenty more but these are the basics.
Thanks for reading