If you thought you outgrew having a bedtime, think again.
If you’ve browsed the internet these past two years, you’re bound to have come across TikTok videos, Instagram reels, and even YouTube videos all centering around the idea of creating and following a ‘That Girl’ morning routine. Waking up at the crack of dawn, reading, exercising, getting ready, and eating breakfast all before eight in the morning — this routine and its variations promised a productive day that would only lead to success. And while some swear by them, many seem to forget that our nighttime is just as important as our mornings.
Benefits of a Nighttime Routine
While some people can just will themselves to sleep (people I’m incredibly jealous of), that’s not the case for many out there. And here’s where a nighttime routine comes in. By creating a routine and performing the same activities in the same order every night, your brain automatically begins to recognize that what follows is sleep. This puts you in the right space to get that restful night we all dream of.
A bedtime routine can also help prevent those three o’clock in the morning tossing and turning while overthinking sessions. This is because in the hour(s) before you go to bed, your mind becomes focused on the tasks at hand, slowly letting go of the day’s stress and worries.
Adopting a nighttime routine as an adult has the same benefits as adopting one as a child. In both cases, we find it easier to fall asleep and are less inclined to wake up frequently during the night. And what’s more valuable than a good night’s rest to make your new day more productive and successful?
It’s important to realize that there is no ‘perfect’ nighttime routine that’ll work for all. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still create the perfect nighttime routine for yourself. Here are some ideas to try out.
Set a Bedtime
Although a very obvious step, we often find it difficult to stick to a bedtime, instead of spending the night scrolling through our phones, pulling all-nighters to finish work, or simply fighting the urge to go to bed because we want more leisure time. However, when you set a bedtime and stick to it, your brain will automatically start getting ready for sleep in the hours before, making it easier to fall asleep. Furthermore, when you know when you’re going to bed, you’ll be able to figure out the ideal time to start winding down.
Create a Bedtime Playlist
It’s no surprise that listening to music can help us relax. And as you get pulled into what you are grooving to, your worries, anxieties, and stress will start to fade away, creating the perfect headspace for your mind to power down and enter a deep slumber. While classical music might seem like a safe choice, don’t limit yourself to one genre. Furthermore, don’t limit yourself to only music. There’s an entire industry built around providing audio sleep aids. Explore that world and see what works for you.
Finish Any Annoying Morning Chores
While it’s already hard enough to get out of bed every morning, the list of chores that need to be done before you head out the door is no motivator to leave your cocoon of warmth. And when you go to bed already stressing about all the tasks that will hold you up the following day, a restful night of sleep can be hard to accomplish. Therefore, try checking off some of these chores in the evening. For instance, pick out your outfit and get it ready, or wash the dishes so you can wake up to a clean kitchen. Not only will doing so help you avoid hectic mornings, but it will also encourage a calmer state of mind as you get into bed.
Put the Electronics Down
While parents always find ways to blame our screens for any problem, they might just be right when it comes to electronics and their effect on our sleep. You see, the blue light emitted from TVs, smartphones, and laptops stimulates the body’s internal clock as the brain begins to associate the light with daytime. Thus, your brain becomes more active when you need it to calm down. Therefore, try to avoid screens for some time before bed and instead pick up another relaxing activity such as reading or listening to your favorite podcast.
Hop into the Shower
What better way to empty your body and mind of a worry than to literally wash away the day’s stress? Moreover, aside from getting clean, taking a warm shower an hour or two before bed can help you sleep better. This is because as your body cools down from the hot water, you’ll start to feel drowsy and relaxed, the perfect combination of emotions.
Now, no matter how many steps you add or how long your routine is, just remember that at the end of the day it should be something you look forward to as it’s your way of looking after yourself. Make it easy, simple, relaxing, and a little fun. And don’t forget the most essential step of all: get into your bed and start counting sheep till you fall asleep.
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