Sleep is easily just as important as exercise and a good diet, but many of us struggle with some aspect of sleep. Whether it be falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up, most of us don’t get high-quality sleep that leaves us feeling well-rested. Going to the doctor is always an option, but before that, there are some things you can try first. Many people have found success by creating a bedtime routine or nighttime ritual that allows them to relax enough to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Routines & Rituals
Creating a bedtime routine or ritual can have some trial and error. It’s going to be different for everyone–yours probably won’t look the same as your partners, parents, siblings, etc.
So we’re going to talk about how to create a routine/ritual. You can then tweak things around to better suit your sleep needs.
- Keep a schedule. This means aiming to be in bed, falling asleep, and waking up at a similar time every day. Yes…even weekends. Staying consistent will help regulate your body’s internal clock.
- Don’t watch the clock. Now I know I just said stay on schedule, but staring at the clock wondering why you can’t sleep, isn’t going to help you sleep! Even the best of sleepers have these nights too. You’re best bet is to look away from the clock and do something that relaxes you instead.
- Make sure your space aids sleep. Look at your mattress, pillows, and blankets first. Do they make you feel comfortable? Or are you tossing and turning all night? Try to keep your room dark, cool, and quiet.
- Find an activity that relaxes you. Some of the most popular bedtime ritual activities are reading, stretching, meditating, praying, listening to music, or taking a hot shower/bath.
- Keep at it. Like I said, there’s going to be some trial and error with finding a routine that best suits you, but the more you practice better sleeping habits, the more likely you’ll find success.
- Use light exposure to help you wake up and stay awake
- Reduced blue light exposure
- Avoid caffeine late in the day
- Avoid late-day naps
- Avoid late-night snacking
- Avoid late-night exercising
After all of this, if you still are unable to have a more sound sleep, going to your doctor may be a good idea.