Sleep Better with an Evening Routine
Sleep is essential! We need sleep to let our minds and bodies recharge and heal overnight.
Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your brain and limit your ability to focus, think clearly, and even process memories. Sleep is also necessary for fighting off diseases, which is more important than ever these days!
When life gets busy, sleep is often the first thing to get neglected. We stay up later to wrap up work projects or get up early to get a head start at the office. But unfortunately, when we sacrifice sleep, our productivity, focus, and overall health are sacrificed too.
What’s really going on while you sleep?
Sleep isn’t just downtime. While you sleep, your body is hard at work rebuilding muscle, removing toxins from your body and brain, and even processing memories.
Sleep deprivation can also wear down your ability to respond to negative emotions, making it essential for mental health. It can also impact your body’s ability to regulate things like appetite, metabolism, body weight, and your immune system.
Because sleep is so essential for so many important markers of health and well-being, it should be a top priority.
How much sleep do you really need?
According to the Sleep Foundation, most adults require between seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Sleep needs to vary from person to person, but seven to nine hours is a good starting point. If you have energy throughout the day, that’s a good sign that you’re getting enough sleep. But if you feel tired and rely heavily on caffeine to stay energized, you may need to get more sleep!
Not getting enough sleep, or enough quality sleep has been linked to many disorders and chronic diseases such as Alzheimers, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Feeling fatigued or sluggish is just one minor symptom of not getting enough quality sleep. If you’re feeling this way regularly, it’s time to start prioritizing your health by prioritizing sleep!
*Those with insomnia or sleep apnea should check with their healthcare provider to find solutions to improve their sleep.
Start with Small Habits
Here are some tips for getting better sleep consistently:
- Reduce your screen time. Bright lights from screens like phones, computers, televisions, and even bright bedroom lighting can disrupt your circadian rhythm and can negatively affect your sleep.
- Minimize your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Studies have linked the use of these substances to poor sleep quality. You can still drink your morning coffee, but try to avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- Move more. Getting exercise during the day has been proven to improve your sleep quality. Those with a sedentary lifestyle often get less quality sleep.
- Meditate. Meditation has so many health benefits – including improved sleep quality and brain function. Add a relaxing meditation to your bedtime ritual to help you wind down from the day and get ready for bed.
- Create a relaxing environment. A comfortable sleep environment is key to getting quality sleep. Minimize light, sound, and sleep at a comfortable temperature. Blackout curtains are a great place to start. If you live somewhere with a lot of outside noise, try sleeping with white noise to block it out like a fan or air purifier.
- Get into a routine. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time every morning helps your body develop a schedule and helps regulate your internal clock.
- Create a bedtime ritual to help you wind down. Morning rituals are popular and may show up on your social media feed all the time, but the best morning rituals start with good sleep! Having a relaxing bedtime routine helps to signal to your body and brain that it’s time to wind down for sleep.
How to Develop a Bedtime Ritual for Better Sleep
Your bedtime ritual should feel easy and doesn’t have to take you hours. A few small steps before bed can make a world of difference.
Create a bedtime ritual for you using some of these steps as suggestions:
- One hour before bed – get ready for bed. Wash your face, shower, do your nighttime skin care routine, brush your teeth, and do any other bedtime prep.
- Have some quiet time – Quiet time doesn’t have to be completely silent. Some relaxing music can actually be helpful! Take this time to do nightly rituals like:
- Drinking tea (or NeoraFit Calm + Cleanse!)
- Restorative yoga or gentle stretches
- Anything else that will help you unwind. If you have a big day the next day, try setting out your clothes and anything else you’ll need in the morning so you can go to bed knowing you’re prepared for the day.
- Leave your phone outside of your bedroom. Get an alarm clock to wake you up if you’re worried you won’t hear your alarms from the other room. This way you won’t be tempted to scroll social media or check emails at night.