5 Ideas to build a Wind-down Routine that Promotes Restful Sleep
Modern life can be pretty stressful, and too often, daytime activities don’t end until evening, making it difficult to unwind before bed. However, your sleep time counterbalances your busy daily schedule, so finding a balance is essential in order to allow your mind and body to recover. It doesn’t matter if you spend your day exercising a lot or sitting at a desk – you still have to set aside some time to recoup. Sleep is crucial for both your mental and physical health, allowing your brain to process what happened during the day and ensuring you’ll wake up refreshed – not only physically but also emotionally.
Creating a wind-down routine is key to promoting relaxation and preparing you for a restful sleep. But what does this routine look like? Truth be told, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach – what works for one person may not be efficient for someone else. But don’t worry too much about creating the ‘perfect’ evening routine – all that matters is to have one! That said, here are some ideas that may help you relax before heading off to dreamland.
Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary
All your efforts to unwind before bed won’t mean anything unless your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep. Imagine walking into an untidy room: how would that make you feel? You’d probably be annoyed by all that mess! According to studies, a cluttered room makes it hard to fall asleep, so this is a good starting point if you want to improve your sleep quality. You can make your bedroom more inviting by making some changes. For instance, consider minimizing outside noise and keeping the temperature in the room cool and comfortable. Also, if you have the chance to paint your room, make sure to choose a soothing, warm color that doesn’t stimulate you visually.
Wear comfortable clothes
What you wear at night determines the quality of your sleep. If you choose the wrong attire, you may deal with issues like skin irritation, restriction, restlessness, and even pain. Hence, make sure your nightclothes provide a sense of warmth and comfort, helping you get good sleep. The clothing material is incredibly important, and linen, silk, and bamboo are all great choices because they are breathable, thus reducing the risk of overheating at night. This goes without saying, but wearing loose-fitting garments is crucial in ensuring you stay comfortable while you sleep – plus, it can also benefit your mental health by calming your anxiety. Hence, consider investing in Canadian sleepwear to set yourself up for a calming and restful night. Pajamas are made of soft fabrics that provide the conditions you need to get a sound sleep, and they absorb moisture, which means they won’t hurt or irritate your skin.
Nowadays, the reliance on smartphones and tablets is only increasing, with people spending hours on these devices. Screen time is part of many people’s evenings, whether playing a game, watching TV or simply scrolling on social media. But as exciting as it may sound to unwind with your favorite Netflix series, electronic devices emit blue light that drops the melatonin levels in your body. Therefore, it’s best to step away from them at least two hours before bedtime, as this will make it easier to fall asleep. If you really must use your phone, consider putting it on night-time mode to decrease the amount of blue light.
Try a relaxing activity
An effective evening routine needs to include an activity that helps you relax, such as taking a long bath, listening to music, or reading a book. Research shows that music can promote a good night’s sleep, so play some nice songs and take a moment to unwind – you deserve it! If you’re a book lover, immerse yourself in a good story before sleeping. This is a great way to calm your mind in the evening as you disconnect from the real world for a while. For some people, practices like yoga and meditation work wonders in decompressing after a hectic day. Plus, research has found that all these practices have incredible benefits, including improved sleep. When you meditate, different physiological changes happen, regulating your autonomic nervous system and increasing serotonin and melatonin. Plus, meditation reduces blood pressure, heart rate and other body functions.
Rethink your evening diet
If you can’t sleep well at night, this may have a lot to do with your diet. Perhaps you enjoy drinking coffee during the day, but you should reduce caffeine intake at least three hours before bedtime. This is important because caffeine can cause sleep disruptions and can be found in unexpected foods and beverages, such as hot chocolate or a chocolate bar. So, make sure to be mindful of this. When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, sugar isn’t your friend, either, as it can cause regular arousal during the night. Also, consider your evening meal, as what – and when – you eat can also impact your sleep. Make sure to give your body enough time to digest the food before bed. Suppose you experience indigestion or heartburn in bed; this may be because you eat too close to bedtime, so instead of foods with high-fat content, consider healthier options, as they can take less to digest. This is also true for evening snacking. You probably enjoy a late-night snack (who doesn’t!?), but it’s best to drop it or choose something lighter so you can sleep better.
Getting your evening routine in place
Now that you’ve learned some practical ideas on unwinding, it’s time to put together your evening routine. Consistency is crucial because your body needs routine to thrive. So, set a bedtime and do your best to stick to it as much as possible. This way, your brain will ultimately associate the routine with sleep, and sooner or later, you’ll start seeing the results. Just make sure to be patient, as it will take a while until your brain learns these new habits. So, don’t lose motivation, and remind yourself of the benefits you’ll get once your routine is established. Not only will you sleep better and wake up energized, but your overall health and well-being will also improve.