How to Build a Healthy Bedtime Routine
Getting a good night of rest has never been as important as now.
Making sure that your sleep schedule is sorted is essential to help you meet your goals when it comes to healthy eating. When we are tired, reaching for unhealthy snacks to help get us through the day can be too tempting. Plus, we don't often have the energy to prepare the most nutritious food; we end up relying on what is quick and easy. We want to help you change that.
Not getting enough rest also causes our hormone levels to fluctuate (in particular, the hormones responsible for letting us know that we have eaten enough, causing us to overeat). Read on to find out how you can build a healthy bedtime routine.
The best way to help your body know what is expected of it is to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Your body has an internal clock and if you set it the right way, you should find falling asleep and getting quality sleep much easier.
Watch what you eat and drink
Consuming caffeine later in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Avoid it for at least six hours before bedtime to ensure that you don't have any in your system. Alcohol at night should also be avoided. Whilst it does help you unwind and fall asleep quickly, it negatively affects the quality of your sleep.
You should also be mindful of what liquids you take in during the evening – you want to avoid trips to the bathroom disrupting your sleep. When it comes to food, the trick is to eat just enough to make sure you don't wake up hungry, but not so much that you feel uncomfortable as you fall asleep.
Create a ritual
When working from home, habits and rituals can be hard to keep up with. The idea here is to create a ritual that relaxes and soothes you and lets your body know that it is time for sleep. It should be something that works to help you unwind and forget the stresses of the day. It might be curling up with a good book, doing some yoga, taking a warm bath or meditating.
Or for another example, 21% of Australians who are trying to improve the quality of their sleep adopt a policy of listening to soothing music before bed. Doing the same thing every evening will tell your body that it's time to sleep, reducing the time it takes for you to actually drift off each night.
Avoid looking at your phone
Many of us have an over-reliance on our phones and many of us are taking them to bed with us. The problem is, however, if we are checking emails or social media before we try to go to sleep, we could end up becoming distracted by the things that we see. We can become so distracted and worried that we can end up lying awake with a brain that is in overdrive.
Studies also show that blue light emitted from mobile devices can suppress melatonin. This hormone actually helps the body fall asleep, so if you suppress it, you are damaging your chances of falling asleep quickly even more.
Take a look at your bedroom
In order to fall asleep quickly, you need your bedroom to be comfortable and relaxing. It needs to be an environment in which you can really unwind and switch off, not somewhere that triggers you. Keeping your bedroom clutter-free is one way to achieve this. If you have clutter, your brain can become too easily distracted by all the items you see in front of you.
You should also avoid taking any form of work into your bedroom – ideally, the room should only be used for sleep. If this isn't possible, try to create a dedicated spot for work, and work only so it doesn't spill into all aspects of your life.
You also need to make sure that you are comfortable in your bedroom. Take a look at your pillows and mattress. Are they preventing you from sleeping at all because they are not quite right for you? You should also try to limit outside light in your room. We obviously sleep better in darker environments, so consider investing in some blackout curtains to help maximise your sleep quality.