If you want to enjoy better sleep at night and wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested, then developing a good nighttime routine can be one of the best things to do for yourself. Some of the popular late-night habits that we all have, like scrolling through social media on your smartphone or watching your favorite crime documentary from your bed can actually stimulate you and make it harder to fall into a sound and restful sleep. If you want to get better sleep at night, here are some of the best habits to develop.
Drink Something Calming
If you’ve ever had a cup of coffee later into the day, you might know what kind of effect it can have on your sleep – and it’s not good. Unless you have a ridiculously high caffeine tolerance, it’s best to ditch popular drinks like coffee and tea after lunch time, and drink something that is going to have more of a calming effect on you before getting in bed instead. You can try naturally caffeine-free herbal teas like chamomile tea or try a well formulated drink for sleep that will help you drift off.
Put Your Devices Away
Most of us are guilty of being on our phone, tablet or even having our laptop in bed with us before going to sleep. However, the fact is that these devices that we rely on all the time these days have the potential to seriously mess with our sleeping pattern. Devices like smartphones emit a blue light that interferes with your body’s natural melatonin production, ultimately leaving you feeling wide awake when you are meant to be winding down. The best thing to do is put your devices away for at least an hour before bed. But, if you need to use them, you can get blue light blocking glasses to help reduce the stimulating effect.
Take a Warm Bath
If you are struggling to get to sleep at night, taking a warm bath might help. This is because when you soak in a warm bath your body temperature rises. Once you get out of the bath and into bed, your body starts to cool down, which triggers a sleep response. If you’ve ever felt really drowsy after soaking in a bubble bath for a while, this is why. Making a warm bath or shower a part of your bedtime routine is a simple yet effective habit to get into. You could even try adding some calming essential oils such as lavender oil to make it even more relaxing and get you in the mood for sleep.
Exercise Earlier in the Day
You might be forgiven for thinking that exercising in the evenings before going to bed will tire you out and help you get to sleep. But while this might be the case for some people there is also the risk that exercising later into the day might actually keep you up at night. This is because working out causes a spike in cortisol, a stress hormone in the body that trigger’s your body’s fight or flight response. While it’s great for pushing you through a workout or ensuring that you can deal with dangerous situations, it will also keep you awake since your body is on a higher alert than normal. Working out earlier in the day means that your cortisol levels will have returned to normal by bedtime, which will ultimately make it easier for you to sleep.
Getting enough sleep at night is one of the most important things we can do for our health and wellbeing. Getting into these simple daily habits will help you enjoy more restful and fulfilling sleep.