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6 Tips to Build a Better Bedtime Routine

Don’t wind down with your gadgets

If you do decide to catch up on your favorite show, don’t do it on your computer or tablet. 

Even just a few seconds of exposure from a blue light-emitting device an hour before bed can disrupt the melatonin rhythm, a rhythm that is so critical to helping us fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

6 Tips to Build a Better Bedtime Routine

6 Tips to Build a Better Bedtime Routine

https://time.com/4366736/6-tips-for-bedtime-routine/

time.com

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Key Ideas

Decompress from your day

The brain is preparing for sleep about two hours before our actual bedtime. That waking system has to slowly come down to allow the sleep system to take over.

Set an alarm an hour to two prior to your expected bedtime to remind you to wind down from the day. Do something you truly enjoy and find relaxing.

Eat a light, pre-bedtime snack

In our perpetually dieting world, it’s not uncommon to lie in bed hungry, but not wanting to eat in an effort to save calories. However, hunger is stimulating and fragments sleep.

Eating a light carbohydrate or protein snack prior to bedtime will stave off hunger without causing you to crash and awaken later in the night. 

Take a warm bath 

A nighttime drop in core body temperature increases one’s chances of both falling asleep and enjoying the coveted deep layers of sleep.

One of the best ways to trigger a drop in your body temperature is to raise it two to three hours earlier by taking a warm bath. 

Wait until it’s time to sleep

The more time you spend in bed before you sleep, the more your body gets used to being awake in bed.

Spend any time winding down before bed in a “daytime” space like the living room, then heading to bed about 20 minutes before you want to be asleep.

Go to bed at the same time 

Get enough sleep and keep your sleep cycle regular, even over the weekends. 

Sleeping in to compensate for late Friday or Saturday nights—or sleep-deprived workweeks—is a major cause of insomnia and sleep trouble.

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

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Eat Meals Earlier 

Don't eat any heavy foods within two hours of bed time. 

If you get too hungry as bedtime creeps around, there are a few foods that are okay to eat before bed, and can even h...

Do Something After You Eat

After you eat, get up and do something a bit more active—even if it's just washing dishes or taking out the trash. It'll avoid that post-meal drowsiness, and it's a great time to have a 10-minute cleaning burst to keep your house looking nice.

Avoid Napping

Napping can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night:

If, after you've thoroughly tested your evening routine and gotten better sleep, you still feel drowsy, you can try adding a power nap to your day, preferably during the early afternoon. 

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A bedtime routine will help you sleep
  • It can calm an overactive mind.
  • You can think, plan and prepare for tomorrow, so you don’t lie awake worrying about details when you go to bed.
  • By repeating a regular pattern, ...
Duration of your routine

It’s up to you to decide how long your routine will be, based on the amount of time you feel it takes you to relax.

It may be, for example, that by the time you’ve put the kids to bed and tidied up, 15 minutes is enough time. If you do have more free time and suffer from regular sleep problems, maybe 30 to 60 minutes would be better.

Switch off the electronic devices
  • They stimulate your brain.
  • The light that some devices emit might affect your internal body clock. If you can’t separate yourself from your phone, at least put the blue light filter on and dim the screen brightness.
  • They can be addictive, eating into even more sleep time.
  • Checking emails, the news and even social media at night can create worry and stress.

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