Bedtime Routines to Optimize Sleep
Sleep is SO important to our health. It’s a natural mechanism that helps us recharge and recover. Lack of sleep wreaks havoc on our body composition and is a serious detriment to weight loss; the lack of sleep makes us hold onto weight, and increases our hunger and cravings. There are so many other dangers in the lack of sleep, such as aging us quicker, increased cause of accidents by not being mentally alert and sharp, it has also been linked to depression, and increases our risk of major disease in our bodies.
Many of the ideas I’m going to focus on with the list below, come from a fabulous book by Shawn Stevenson, called Sleep Smarter.
We all have a morning routine, but what about a night routine? We can either remember vaguely our own bed time routine as a kid, or we have kids and we know that our pediatricians and everything we read pushes us to establish consistent bed time routines.
So, let’s make a list of some things you can do for your bedtime routine to help improve your sleep quantity and quality.
1) Set and stick with a bed time to make sure you are getting at least 7+ hours of sleep a night.
2) An hour before that bed time, put away your devices! This one is hard, this is when most of us set and scroll and read about everyone else’s life. It’s the blue light that will disrupt your sleep cycles. The blue lights emitted from our devices will actually delay melatonin release, and we need natural melatonin to sleep, and sleep well. One solution is to install a blue light blocking app on your phone, Night Shift is a setting on the IPhone under settings and display and brightness. I actually ordered blue light blocking glasses from Amazon that I need to actually get out and use.
3) Magnesium deficient? I use a spray at night called Ease; magnesium is well absorbed into your skin over a supplement from what I’ve read. Magnesium can help you sleep deeper and also help promote muscle recovery.
4) Baths – if you take a bath or shower, make sure you take it about 1:30 or 2 hours before bed so that your body core temperature comes back down
5) Create routines that trigger your brain, it’s time to go to sleep and wind down; such as face washing, teeth brushing, reading, and/or putting on pajamas or sleep wear.
6) Temperature – a bedroom temperature of 60-67 degrees Farenheit is actually optimal
7) Diffuser and oils – I like to rub on Lavender, Peace and Calming II, or Gentle Baby directly to the back of my neck and/or put in the diffuser, or Thieves and RC if we are feeling sick or fighting off sick on my chest and feet. Contact me if you are interested in Wholesale pricing on these oils and diffuser products from Young Living.
8) Massage, using a foam roller, stretching, accupressure points
9) Read, listen to an audiobook, or podcast
10) Make it DARK, try to remove as much artificial light as possible in your bedroom
11) This has made all the difference in the world to me – I now use Insight Timer, it’s a free app for meditations. I put in my earbuds, and turn on a sleep meditation, and I’ve been falling asleep faster, sleeping deeper, and waking up so much less in the night.
Another thing to note regarding sleep is also our sleep quality. Yes, the quantity is important and trying to hit that 7+ hour mark, but the quality is even more important for the true reset our bodies need each day. The goal is that we get into that deep sleep we need to fully be all that we can be each day.