10 Ways To Build A Good Nighttime Hygiene Routine For Better Sleep 

10 Ways To Build A Good Nighttime Hygiene Routine For Better Sleep 

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, the various habits that we engage in before bedtime can have a significant impact on both the quality and quantity of the rest time.
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When you climb into bed, does it take forever to fall asleep? Or are you out like a light the minute your head hits the pillow only to wake up at 2 am, tossing and turning? If you relate, you might be in the need of a sleep hygiene or a night time hygiene routine essential for better sleep.   

What Is A Sleep Hygiene Routine? 

Sleep hygiene is science-backed behavioural practices — during the day and before bedtime — that help create the ideal conditions for healthy and restful sleep. These practices can mean the difference between a restful night and a restless one.  

Why Is It Essential To Have One? 

Gaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation slows our reflexes, sabotages decision-making and affects creativity. The most obvious signs of poor sleep hygiene are trouble falling asleep, disrupted sleep, feeling fatigued and foggy throughout the day. But, a good sleep hygiene routine can play a vital role in fixing all of those issues and encourage better rest that helps you stay refreshed during the day.  


10 Relaxing Activities To Add To Your Night Routine For Better Sleep 

1. Internal clock 

Try to have a consistent a sleep and wake-up time every night. This will train your body and mind to automatically be ready for bed at that time every night. Studies show that maintaining a regular sleep schedule, may cut down on the amount of time you spend tossing and turning before drifting off. 

2. Avoid nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol before sleep 

The stimulating effects of nicotine or caffeine you have consumed in the afternoon will impair your ability to fall asleep at night. And, although alcohol does have a sedation effect, it has a secondary effect after falling asleep that will cause you to awaken early from a deep sleep. Fluids in general are good to limit before bed so you don’t get up to go to the bathroom. 

3. Meditation 

Meditating before bed time is a great way to unwind after a long day, calm the mind, reflect on what happened during the day, and let go of the day’s stresses and worries. Research shows that several minutes of meditation can induce a relaxation response in the body, which triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleepiness.  

This guided meditation can help you relax better at night.

4. Minimize screen time 

Despite what you think, that endless scrolling through Instagram or Facebook doesn’t help you relax. Electronic devices with screens such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions emit blue light which can suppress the production of melatonin, (sleep hormone), as the brain is tricked into thinking it’s day time.  So, say goodnight to your electronics at the beginning of your bedtime routine.  

5. Soothing scents 

Certain aromas are believed to have calming qualities that can promote feelings of relaxation and tiredness. These include essential oils such as lavender oil. If you have a hard time relaxing before bedtime, consider using essential oils to help you wind down. 

6. Yoga 

Yoga can help you wind down and lower stress levels after a busy day.  A session of calming postures and slow deep breathing at the end of your busy day will send your body the signal that it’s time to wind down for the night. Consider practicing relaxing postures, such as forward bends, restorative poses, and poses that help you breathe deeply before bed.  

The ThinkRight.me app can help you with yoga routines for a restful night’s sleep.

7. Relaxing bath 

Consider taking a warm bath about an hour before you go to sleep. Your body will heat up from the water, and cool down quickly as the water evaporates. A drop in temperature helps signal to the body that it’s time for bed.  

8. Light snack or bed time tea 

Heavy meals and drinking before bed can promote acid reflux and indigestion. But going to bed on an empty stomach is just as bad an idea. Find a healthy middle ground by calming your stomach with a light snack, like a piece of fruit or yogurt. Cherries, grapes, strawberries, nuts, and oats all have high melatonin content. Non-caffeinated herbal teas, especially ones with chamomile or lavender, can help calm the mind and induce better sleep. Just make sure to use the restroom before bed.   

9. Transform your bedroom 

A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. To make your bedroom a sleep oasis, lower the volume of outside noise, limit the light exposure with heavy curtains, or eye mask which acts as a powerful cue that tells the brain that it’s time to sleep. Keep the temperature comfortably cool and the room well ventilated. Try keeping your computer, TV, and work related materials out of the room to strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.  

10. Avoid naps in the day 

For those who find falling asleep or staying asleep through the night a herculean task, afternoon napping may make it worse or in fact, be the culprit. This is because late-day naps decrease sleep drive. So, if you must nap, it’s better to keep it short and before evening.  

Bottom Line 

How energized you are when you wake up is not just about the quantity of your sleep but also about the quality of your sleep. Hence, sleep hygiene is not just about making sure you get eight or nine hours of sleep. It’s about making sure you’re relaxed enough for that sleep to be restful. 

Read More: How Meditation Can Help Us Explore The Universe Within

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