How to Create a Healthy Bedtime Routine

Think bedtime is only confined to your younger years? Think again. Building an evening and bedtime routine can be the passageway between a groggy mood and a lively, functional human being. Learn how to create a healthy nighttime routine for adults here!

Night Time Routine for Adults

Stay Consistent with Bedtimes

Consistency is key when building a bedtime routine, so aim for a specific bad and wakeup time on a regular basis. Also plan your routine to align with the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendation of seven to nine hours of sleep eight night. So if planning to to wake up at 6:30 a.m., head to bed no later than 11:30 p.m. the night prior to achieve the minimal seven hours.

Power Down

Quiet the mind by powering down all electronics. Televisions, phones, and tablets are not only distracting for hours on end, but inhibit the natural sleep cycle related to their emitting blue light. Disconnect from them when going to bed, or at least have a designated time to switch off the TV and minimize social media outlets.

Write It Out

Despite the efforts to power down, sometimes the mind is loudest at night even in absence of a chattering sitcom. But rather than allowing nagging thoughts, worries, and anxieties prevent you from sleep, write down the feelings that are keeping you awake. Continue to write until the mind becomes blank and eyes start to become heavy, along with ending with statements such as “I feel better and this can wait until tomorrow.”

Evaluate Your Room

Evaluate and design your room to establish prime sleeping conditions. Sleep experts suggest a bedroom should be dark, cool (between 60 to 67°F), free of any clutter and distractions. Your mattress and pillows should also be comfortable and supportive, along with being free of any allergens.

Take A Bath

Take some “you” time and draw up a relaxing bath. Warming up the body and offering it a chance to cool helps induce proper sleep cycles, while also have you feeling refreshed by hopping into bed.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Rather than stressing over not being able to fall asleep, prime your sleep cycles by practicing relaxation techniques. From breathing exercises to guided imagery, these techniques provided by the National Sleep Foundation can help quiet the mind and calm the body.

Relieve that Nighttime Hunger

When late night cravings attack, it may be hard to avoid a trip to the kitchen. Fill that bedtime hunger with these nine snacks  to relive hunger, keep health goals in check, and induce and improve sleep.

More Sleepy Time Tips

Along with the nighttime routine itself, synergize your efforts in the day by:

Exercising Regularly

Physical activity not only benefits to overall health, but can assist in regulating sleep cycles. Exercise has shown to combat against insomnia by facilitating an earlier sleep onset, a longer night’s rest, and a higher quality of sleep.

Reducing Caffeine in the Afternoon Hours

Drinking caffeine in the afternoon and evening hours can impede on your nightly sleep, as coffee has a half life of three to seven hours. Try confining caffeine intake to the morning and early afternoon hours to minimize its overhanging effects come bedtime, along with limiting water and other liquids to reduce bathroom runs throughout the night.

Reconsidering Naps

Although naps can be offer a mental and energy boost during the day, too many of them can delay and disrupt sleep. Along with keeping naps to 20 minutes, keep them before 4:00 p.m., but avoid them altogether if you have difficultly falling asleep at night.

Talking with Your Primary Care Provider

Even after creating and implementing an effective bedtime routine, medical conditions, medications, depression and stress, or a sleep disorder can disrupt your ability to fall and stay asleep. Talk with your primary care doctor or sleep specialist if still having difficulty falling asleep.