The power of sleep

Bedtime Routine: Tips to Set Yourself Up for a Good Nightís Rest

Many choices you make throughout the day will ultimately affect how you sleep that night. So, itís important to remind yourself that a routine for better sleep does not only start right before bed.

Here are some things to keep in mind throughout the day:

No caffeine after 1 p.m.

Every time you break this rule, you are left tossing and turning at night. We know you know–itís just a matter of setting some rules for yourself. Next time you need an afternoon pick-me-up, try for a walk outside, a snack or tricking yourself with a cup of tea or decaf cup of coffee.

Exercise daily.

Exercise does so much good for the mind, body and soul, including helping you sleep much more soundly. Try to get into a routine that includes leisurely exercise along with more strenuous exercise throughout the week. This ensures that youíre working your muscles and metabolism hard and consistently enough that sleep becomes a time for your body to recharge, restore and rest for the next workout. Be sure that your workout ends up to three hours before sleep as endorphins can cause spikes of energy.

Here are some tips for right before bedtime:

Turn off electronics one hour before bed.

Our brains are stimulated by the light emitted by our electronicís screens. This confuses your mind and body as your body is trying to shut down but conflicting signals are being sent to your brain. Try to eliminate screens one hour before bed (Instagram can wait until the morning!).

Make a list of things on your mind.

These days, our minds have trouble shutting down. Because multitasking has become such a part of how we operate, when it comes to rest or bedtime, itís hard to turn all those lists off–plus, they just keep growing! Jot down what you need to do for a productive morning the next day or whatís on your mind and causing stress. By doing this youíll be able to focus on the moment–right when your head hits the pillow.

Drink a warm cup of water or chamomile tea.

A warm drink will soothe your nervous system, further relaxing your mind and calming down your body in time for bedtime.

Read (a physical book!).

The act of reading really does tire out your eyes so you can get to sleep faster. With the introduction of Kindles, iPads and beyond, it may be refreshing to see how quickly reading a physical book zonks you out. But, try to avoid suspenseful books that will have you reading for hours.

What are your bedtime rituals? Any tips we should be aware of?