How To Create A Bedtime Routine For Better Sleep

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bedtime routine

Winding down at the end of the day can look different for everyone. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, decompressing may consist of anything from a nightcap to meditation, but creating the right kind of bedtime routine helps your body prepare for better sleep. Consistency is key with any routine, and when it comes to readying yourself for rest, the more repetition the better. To get the most out of your bedtime routine, you'll want to time it out according to when you're planning to crawl under the covers as well as avoid some common pitfalls of poor sleep. 

Keep Calm

A bedtime routine should be made up of things that usher in a sense of calm. Reading a book or magazine, listening to relaxing music, or gentle stretches are all ways to help calm the body and mind. I put a few drops of lavender essential oil on my wrists and then enjoy it's calming scent while taking three deep breaths. 

Meditate For Sleep

Slowing your body and mind is a wonderful way to welcome in a solid slumber. Instead of experimenting with trial and error of what works, download a meditation created specifically for sleep with music composed using brainwave technology designed to lull you into a blissful dreamland. You can also customize the three meditations you receive in the download to be the guiding voice only or voice and music. 

Incorporate Self-Care

Who couldn't use a little TLC after a busy day? Although some prefer a long soak in the tub, I like to give myself a little foot massage to stimulate sleep. Check out this foot reflexology for sleep tutorial from Mind Body Green to get started. Using the right pressure points will prep your body for a glorious slumber. 

Avoid Alcohol

Trust me, I enjoy the cozy idea of crawling into bed with a good book and a nice glass of wine, but the brutal truth is that alcohol is public enemy number one when it comes to deep, rejuvenating sleep. Not only will that nightcap mess with your precious circadian rhythm, drinking too close to bedtime blocks REM sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It's also a repeat offender in those middle of the night bladder busters. 

Make It Simple

A bedtime routine is not the place to overcomplicate. Pick a few things that you think will encourage a peaceful slumber and stick with it each night. Aside from daily maintenance like brushing your teeth and washing your face, limit your routine to less than five things.