Establishing an effective bedtime routine for a successful and enjoyable day!
This post is sponsored by Traditional Medicnals. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
I think it’s pretty well known that kids do best when they have a set bedtime routine but adults do too! Developing a positive routine helps the body ease from being awake to sleep. Your routine may change with what stage of life you’re in and it can be as short or long as you need. By following a consistent schedule you can help your body follows its natural circadian rhythm.
ESTABLISHING AN EFFECTIVE BEDTIME ROUTINE
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What is a bedtime routine?
A bedtime routine is a set of repeated activities that help your mind and body relax and unwind, transitioning from being awake to sleep. Your routine can range anywhere from 10-60 minutes, depending on how long it takes you to relax. Stick to the routine every single day and give yourself a reminder each night before beginning. This helps you make sure to get all the busy work done and off of your mind.
Things to avoid before bedtime:
Just as with children, you’ll want to avoid stimulating activities right before sleeping. This includes:
- Strenuous Physical Activity (includes exercise and deep cleaning) – If you want to do these in the evening, make sure you give at least 2 hours between ending and hitting the sack. This will allow your body temperature and heart rate to return to normal, and your hormones to stabilize.
- Mind Stimulates Electronics (video games, action-packed TV shows) – suspenseful or thrilling books…anything that sucks you in too much or causes your mind to race.
- Screen Time – The blue light that is emitted by screens on phones, television, and computers decreases the production of melatonin in the body. This is problematic because it is a hormone that plays a major role in controlling your circadian rhythm (sleep cycle).
- Social Activity – Engaging in social media, texting, checking email, heated discussions…These things can easily cut into your bedtime routine due to their addictiveness. (Hello, Instagram!)
- Caffeinated, Sugary, and Alcoholic Drinks – Caffeine is a stimulant. It temporarily blocks sleep-inducing chemicals and increases adrenaline production. It is recommended that caffeine is consumed no closer than 6 hours before bed. While alcohol helps induce sleep, it actually decreases REM sleep (and even breathing) which results in feeling drowsy and having poor concentration during the day.
What should your bedtime routine include?
- Basic Hygiene Practices– Brushing teeth, washing face, getting pajamas on…
- Enjoy a Relaxing Drink like caffeine-free herbal tea about an hour before bed. Traditional Medicinals makes herbal teas with the highest quality of organically farmed and organically wild-collected herbs. Only a small fraction of the world’s herb supply meets their high-quality standards. You can find their teas at a store near you. I pick mine up at the local Walmart. For extra sleep support, Traditional Medicinals has a tea called “Nighty Night” that helps you relax and get a good night’s sleep.* It has a minty and sweet taste with notes of citrus and spice. So yummy! The passionflower in it has been used for generations by those native to South America to soothe the nervous system and help relieve occasional sleeplessness. This tea blends also includes calming herbs such as chamomile and linden flower to help you sleep easy.
- Relaxing Activities– Taking a bath or shower, reading a book, knitting, meditating, listening to soft peaceful music, calmly talking with your partner or other living companions…These are activities that will help you wind down. Be sure to do all of these in a place other than your bed to avoid confusing your mind and body.
- Journal and Plan– Getting all of your thoughts out will help your mind relax. Rather than go to sleep trying to remember your to-do list, let your mind be at ease by writing those things down.
- Prepare for Tomorrow– Going to sleep worrying about your morning rush to get out the door on time is not relaxing. Pick out your clothes, prepare your bag, and make your lunch so that you can be ready and prepared to take on the day.
Your routine doesn’t have to include ALL of these things. Engage in enough of them to relax. Once you determine your bedtime routine, stick to it! We are creatures of habit. Our bodies have natural cycles and it is important to keep to the routine so your body can continue its cycle. Happy sleeping!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.