If you’re struggling to get enough sleep on a regular basis, it’s a sign that you need to build a better bedtime routine – if you have one.
But let’s start from the basics. A bedtime routine is a set of activities you perform every night in the 30-60 mins before going to sleep. As with any ritual, it should be tailored to meet your specific needs and fit your busy schedule. And by repeating each step consistently night after night, you can prime your mind and body for a restful night’s sleep.
In case you’re not sure what’s best for you, we’ve listed some of the best practices you can incorporate in your bedtime routine.
Few things are as controversial as whether evening showers are better than morning ones. Personal preferences aside, showering at night is proven to have positive effects on both body and mind, promoting a sense of relaxation and cleanliness, optimal for bedtime. Research backs up this theory, showing that your body temperature decreases when you get out of a hot shower or bath, signalling that it’s time for sleep. That’s why it’s recommended to shower 60-90 mins before going to bed, so your body has plenty of time to cool down.
Just remember don’t rush the process and take a moment for yourself to wash off the day and unwind. And if you’re looking to recreate a spa-like atmosphere, fragrances such as eucalyptus and rosemary are great ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your shower routine.
Tune in to tune out
Studies show that listening to music around bedtime slows down our heart rate and breathing, lulling us into sleep. Slow tempo music such as classical or low-fi are popular choices, but don’t feel obligated to listen to specific genres. Explore different playlists until you find what works for you – YouTube, Spotify, and wellbeing apps are great places to find the soundtrack of your good night’s sleep.
And not just music. Many people drift off easier after listening to white noise and ASMR, a term used to describe stimulating sensory content that produce a tingling sensation in the brain, such as whispering, tapping, or reading a story.
We at Sleepeezee have put together some of our favourite tranquil tunes, if you’re looking for inspiration: https://open.spotify.com/user/cpywef27bv650gyqey1m49uf2
Meditation & Yoga
Release the tension of the day with sleep meditation techniques – plenty of wellbeing apps offer guided sessions, if you’re unsure where to begin. Meditation for sleep specifically trains you to let go of the day, so you can put your mind at rest and sleep soundly at night.
Another proven method to reduce tension is foam rolling, a trigger point therapy generally used to recover after a strenuous workout. By massaging key areas and relaxing tight muscles, it boosts the production of happy hormones, improving the quality of your sleep.
If meditation is not for you, writing might help you relieve stress and anxiety. Make a hot drink and write down your thoughts and ideas, addressing any events or emotions you put on hold all day.
This healthy habit will help you organise and process information, so you can clear your mind and get ready to sleep. Your journal doesn’t have to be neat or well-organised: it’s your personal space, a judgement-free zone where you can express yourself.
And if you’re one of those who toss and turn worrying about tomorrow’s tasks, start creating a to-do list to organise your future responsibilities and reassure yourself before bedtime.