Not getting enough sleep? It could be that your nightly routine before you hit the sack is to blame. By changing your bedtime routine, you’ll not only get better sleep, but improve your health in various areas like metabolism and memory.
Create a Quiet Hour
There’s nothing that can grate on the nerves like loud noises and bright lights when you’re trying to get sleepy. An hour or two before bed turn down the lights and keep your house quiet. The lack of lights and noises will signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. If you must have noise, get a white or pink noise machine or even download an app like Noisli on your smart device to lull you to sleep at night. Just remember to put your device away and not browse on it when you should be getting to sleep.
Put Away Electronics
Using electronics like smartphones and watching TV before bed can disrupt sleep. These devices give off what is known as blue light, which prevents your body from producing melatonin—the hormone your brain releases to help you get sleepy. While some devices like the iPhone now come with “Night Mode” that shifts the light of your phone to a warmer color to reduce the effects of blue light, it’s still a good idea to put away your devices as there have been no studies to confirm that Night Mode actually helps sleep.
Get in a Good Stretch
Stretching or doing some yoga before bedtime helps you loosen up and relieve the stress and tension you built up over the day. Contrary to what some people think, exercising before bed doesn’t make it harder to sleep. In fact, getting in daily exercise can lead to better sleep. Just don’t overdo it.
Keep it Cool
Studies have shown that for a good night’s sleep, you should turn down the thermostat and keep your bedroom cool—around 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re too hot in your sleep, you’ll be moving around more kicking off blankets in an effort to keep cool, which isn’t conducive to a restful sleep. Also, when you enter the Stage 2 cycle of sleep, your body temperature drops which helps you sleep better.