A good night’s sleep is as vital as regular workouts and a balanced diet. Unfortunately, being restless at night after a strenuous day is quite common. Interesting to know, continued or frequent difficulty in sleeping is not healthy. According to medical studies, getting less than seven to eight hours of rest at night may lead to health risks like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Typically, sleeping difficulty is related to stress and fatigue. Luckily, this condition is reversible through effective nighttime practices. These pre-sleep routines involve engaging in calming activities like listening to music or reading a book to help you relax, thus inducing sleep.
This article will guide you through various nighttime routines that will help you on how to relax before sleeping.
Daytime light exposure is healthy and beneficial; however, during nighttime, the effect of bright light is reverse. It affects your body’s circadian rhythm, tricking it into thinking that it is still daytime, thus reducing your melatonin hormones. Similarly, the blue light emitted from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, TVs, and laptops affects your body’s rhythm. If possible, turn off any blue light gadgets two hours before bedtime.
Opt for tech-free ways to settle down and induce sleep; for example, count sheep or picture yourself asleep. They may sound silly, but they do work since they help your brain focus on one thing and eventually initiating your power down.
Meditation is one of the most effective nighttime practices for sound sleep. This relaxation technique quiets the mind and body, as well as enhances inner peace. These psychological changes initiate sleep by influencing body processes like increase in melatonin and reduced heart rate. As Charlotte Brontë quoted, ‘A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.’
To meditate, find a quiet and comfortable area, sit or lay down, close your eyes and breathe slowly. Focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply. If a thought pops up, let it go and concentrate on your breathing. Learning to quiet your mind takes time; therefore, start with two to three minutes of your time. You can progressively increase to fifteen to twenty minutes over time.
3. Make a good sleep environment
According to Sleep Foundation, the bedroom set up and environment are the key factors to getting a good night’s rest. A sleeping environment includes noise, lighting, bedroom furniture and beddings.
An environment with minimal lighting is perfect for initiating sleep. It is also quintessential to minimize and control noise to avoid distractions when settling down for the night.
The bedroom space should be orderly for relaxation and peace of mind, therefore put away all books, clothes and clear the nightstand.
Comfort is a priority; ensure the bed is clean and clear of clutter before you settle in. It may be the source of your tossing and turning in fits of insomnia.
4. Control the temperature
You may have experienced difficulty sleeping during hot weather or in locations where the temperature is too warm. According to studies, temperature affects sleep more than noise in the environment. Therefore it is important to ensure that the bedroom temperatures are conducive for a good night’s rest.
A temperature of around seventy degrees Fahrenheit or twenty degrees Celsius seems to work for most adults. Still, test out different temperatures to find which works best for you.
5. Take a warm shower or bath
To fall asleep faster, researchers recommend taking a hot bath ninety minutes before going to bed. The hot water helps change the body’s core temperature, signaling to your body that it is time for bed.
This nighttime routine is confirmed to be effective in giving you the best quality snooze. Better yet, it helps you fall asleep 10 minutes faster than normal.
6. Sip some relaxing tea
Typically, tea is touted for management of health issues such as headaches, cancer and sleep disorders. The essential oils found in tea have medicinal properties and act as anti-depressive stimulants, among other health benefits. Therefore, drinking tea before bed is an effective practice for a relaxed sleep.
Luckily, there’s a brew for everyone here in the UK, whether it’s to conveniently pop tea bags in a mug or traditionally boil loose leaf tea in a pot.
Boiling loose leaf tea such as Lemon Balm and Chamomile makes a brew rich in aroma and essential oils, hence relaxing and improving your general mood.
7. Reduce liquid intake
Although hydration is vital for your health, too much fluid intake before bedtime causes nocturia (excessive urination during the night). Try not to drink any fluids in the last hour before going to bed. Therefore, while drinking tea before bed is relaxing, it also important to regulate your consumption to one cup.
Additionally, use the bathroom right before retiring to bed to reduce your chances of waking up in the night.
8. Tailor your routine
Your body functions on a circadian rhythm, thus aligning itself with sunrise and sunset. To aid long-term sleep quality, it is necessary to maintain a bedtime routine. This will help you in managing how to relax before sleeping and eventually retiring to bed effortlessly.
Besides, due to consistency, regular napping patterns will automatically signal your brain to sleep at the right time and possibly wake up naturally, without an alarm.
There are numerous methods and routines to help you wind up your day for a good night’s sleep; you just need to find what works best for you. Nonetheless, if these nighttime practices aren’t effective, consider seeking medical attention to rule out sleeping disorders.
Quality sleep is crucial for your optimal health, well-being and productivity; ensure you get the proper rest needed.