In this post we are going to look at a bedtime routine for better sleep with 12 proven tips to sleep better. Most people don’t even think twice about having a bedtime routine, but getting a great night’s sleep is as crucial as regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet.
The problem is, most people have difficulty sleeping either with insomnia, waking up multiple times, and not having the knowledge to perform a bedtime routine. Everybody has different routines and sleeping times will differ depending on family, children, and work commitments.
But in this article I’ll show you proven tips and a bedtime routine for better sleep. The important thing is taking this routine, being consistent, and sticking with it.
How can a bedtime routine help me sleep?
Here are some of the benefits of having a bedtime routine:
- Calm an overactive mind.
- Planning for the next day clears your mind.
- Repeating this consistently will train your mind to unwind.
- Help you relax instead of doing overstimulating activities.
Bedtime Routine For Better Sleep
#1 Sleep at regular times
Regular sleeping hours is crucial to program your internal body clock to a set routine. This means you must go to sleep and wake up at the same time each and every day, even on weekends. If you stick to this consistently then the quality of your sleep will drastically improve.
#2 Make your bedroom sleep-friendly
Many people relax in the bedroom during the day and watch movies, but the key is to keep the bedroom just for sleep and sex. Here’s how you can create a sleep-friendly bedroom:
- Temperature: The ideal temperature of a bedroom should be between 18C and 24C.
- Comfort: A comfortable mattress and pillow will allow for a great night’s sleep. You should replace a mattress every 5 – 7 years and pillows annually.
- Light: Your bedroom should be as dark as possible to allow for a better night’s sleep. A great option for this is to get blackout curtains that will block all of the daylight.
- Sound: If you are disturbed easily by even the slightest sound, it may be a good idea to invest in some earlplugs.
#3 Be aware of what you eat and drink—and When
- Caffeine and nicotine: Both caffeine and nicotine are stimulants which can take many hours to wear off. Caffeine can stay in your system for 6-8 hours which means you shouldn’t really consume drinks high in caffeine after 3-4pm.
- Alcohol: People always claim they drink alcohol to make them sleep. Alcohol can make you fall to sleep quickly, it can drastically lower the quality of your sleep by disrupting sleep patterns. Alcohol can also increase sleep apnea and snoring.
- Liquids: Although drinking plenty of water is crucial for hydration, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of water you consume late in the evening. Drinking too late will increase the chances of you waking up during the night to go to the bathroom. Try not to drink any liquids 1-2 hours before you go to bed.
- Food: Eating too late in the evening can effect the natural release of HGH and melatonin as well affecting the quality of your sleep. You may also find it hard to sleep if you are feeling hungry. The best option is to eat a high carb meal around 4 hours before you go to bed.
#4 Make sure you wind down / Have an evening routine
It’s important to have a bedtime routine for better sleep. Here’s some tips and routines you can follow.
Relaxing bath or shower
Taking a relaxing bath or shower is proven to improve sleep quality and to help you fall asleep much quicker.
By far one of the best ways to get a great night’s sleep is to use relaxation techniques such as meditation before bed. If you practice meditation on a daily basis, here are some of the benefits you will experience:
- Reduces Stress
- Controls Anxiety
- Promotes Emotional Health
- Enhances Self-Awareness
- Lengthens Attention Span
- May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
- Can Generate Kindness
- Help Fight Addictions
- Improves Sleep
- Helps Control Pain
If you want to learn more on meditation, here are some great resources:
- Meditation Mastery: More info here
- FREE 60 Minute Guided Meditation: More info here
- FREE Meditation Miracle eBook: More info here
Listen to music
Listening to music, especially gentle hypnotic music is a great way to relax your mind before bed.
Reading a good book is a great way to help you feel fall asleep. This is a way better option than electronical devices such as a tv or your phone. (more on this later).
Writing a to-do list for the next day can help to clear your mind and organise your thoughts.
#5 Keep a sleep diary
Keeping a sleep diary is a great way to learn about your sleeping pattern. Here’s what you can track with a sleep diary:
- The time you went to bed
- The time you actually fell asleep, if known
- How many times you woke up during the night
- How long, each time, it took you to fall back asleep
- The time you woke up in the morning
- How many naps you took that day, and how long each lasted
- The medications you used
- How much caffeine or alcohol you drank
#6 Consider using supplements
There are a number of supplements you can use which will help achieve relaxation for you to be able to get a great nights sleep.
Nutricost Ginkgo Biloba
A herb which contains many benefits.
Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets
Used to treat insomnia as it contains a key sleep hormone which tells your brain when to relax.
NOW Supplements, Glycine 1,000 mg
Studies have shown that sleep quality can be improved by taking 3 grams of glycine.
Sundown Valerian Root 530 mg
Valerian root can improve sleep quality and help you relax.
#7 Reduce irregular or long daytime naps
It’s recommended to take short power naps as theyhave great benefits, but napping for too long can have a negative effect on your night time sleep. The reason this happens is because it confuses your internal clock. If you are one for napping during the day, don’t nap for longer than 30 minutes and don’t do it too late in the day.
#8 Don’t Watch the Clock
Most people are guilty of staring at the clock when they can’t sleep, but this just makes it harder to snooze because you become more stressed. Turn your alarm clock the opposite way around so you can’t see the time, and never check your phone for the time.
#9 Exercise regularly — but not before bed
This is the one that nobody likes to do or hear about, but exercise is one of the best ways to improve sleep quality and is fully backed by science. Studies have shown that exercise can halve the amount of time it takes you to get to sleep. It can even work better than taking medication or supplements.
This will work better the more vigorous the exercise but even light exercise such as a 10 minute walk can have a great effect. The one key thing to remember is do not exercise too late a in the evening. Doing this can have a negative effect and actually interfere with sleep. Complete any exercise around 3 hours before you go to bed.
Here’s an example workout that anybody can do from home without any equipment.
#10 Increase bright light exposure during the day
Cardian Rhythm which is your bodies natural time-keeping clock which effects your body, brain, and hormones. Increasing your exposure to bright light in the daytime will help to keep your circadian rhythm healthy. The other factor to doing this is it will also improve nighttime sleep quality. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Expose yourself to bright light in the morning. In the summer you can eat your breakfast outside. In the winter eat as close to a window as possible.
- Spend as much time outside as possible. Exercise outside, walk your dog during the day, if your at work, don’t eat at your desk, go outside.
- In your home: Keep curtains and blinds open as wide as possible to allow as much natural light as possible.
- Use light therapy lamps: These are a great option during the winter months when it is dark. Click here to view a full range of light therapy lamps.
#11 Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
An important factor of a bedtime routine for better sleep is Light exposure at night which should be completely reduced. Too much exposure to light, especially blue light can effect your circadian rhythm which will trick your brain into thinking it is still daytime. Blue light is the light that emits from devices such as laptops and smartphones.
Pretty much everybody these days lies in bed late on a night checking their Facebook. Here are some tips and guidelines you can follow to reduce blue light exposure:
- F.lux app: This can be downloaded on your laptop to reduce blue light.
- Turn off bright lights and stop watching tv around 2 hours before you go to bed.
- Wear glasses that block out blue light.
- Don’t read using backlit devices.
- Ue blackout curtains or blinds which will make the bedroom as dark as possible.
#12 Learn ways to get back to sleep
There are a number of different tricks you can use to get to sleep quickly that not many people know about.
Trick 1: Deep breathing exercise
- Lay down with your eyes closed.
- Place one hand on your stomach, the other on your chest.
- As you breath in through your nose, your stomach should rise because you are breathing from your belly rather than your chest. Your chest should also rise a little.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and exhale as much air as possible through your mouth.
- Repeat this process and count whilst you do it.
Trick 2: The military method
This method comes from a book called “Relax and Win: Championship Performance.” It was designed by the United States Navy Pre-Flight school to allow pilots to fall asleep in 2 minutes or less.
- Relax your entire face, including the muscles inside your mouth.
- Drop your shoulders to release the tension and let your hands drop to the side of your body.
- Exhale, relaxing your chest.
- Relax your legs, thighs, and calves.
- Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene.
- If this doesn’t work, try saying the words “don’t think” over and over for 10 seconds.
- Within 10 seconds, you should fall asleep! (with a few weeks of practice)
Hope you enjoyed this post on a bedtime routine for better sleep. These are proven tips that really work, but like anything else in life you have to take action and actually do them. If you have tried any of the above tips and had success with them, let me know your thought’s in the comments below.