As much as we would all like to believe you pop into bed, switch the lights out and quickly drift off into the land of nod, our busy daily lifestyles mean often that’s not the case.
Instead, we need to designate time to wind down, relax and shake off the thoughts and stress of the day prior to enjoying a great night’s sleep.
With that in mind, here are four things to add to your bedtime routine to help you transition from daily grind to total dream sleep.
Whether it’s a foot bath, some quiet reading, a nice warm shower or listening to a calming podcast that soothes the soul, taking the time to actively relax before bedtime helps improve both the quality and duration of your sleep.
For many people, it’s important to transition from the busy day that has been to the quieter space of the night ahead, and routines and relaxing activities can serve as an essential cue to your body that there is a period of sleep ahead.
Each of these relaxing routines should serve to slow your heartrate, help you relax and allow you to step away from the stress of the day that has been
Meditation is renowned as a relaxation technique that helps quieten the mind and still the body, and there’s a multitude of ways it helps you get a good night’s rest.
As US website Healthline explains, meditation can:
- increase melatonin (the sleep hormone)
- increase serotonin (precursor of melatonin)
- reduce the heart rate
- decrease blood pressure
- activate parts of the brain that control sleep
Ther are a wealth of great apps and resources available with tips on meditation technique, but ultimately it’s about finding what works for you, your style and your routine.
Each of the senses plays a role in setting you up for a good night’s sleep, with the sense of smell particularly important.
The method works by triggering relaxing brain waves that help ready the body for sleep and then, once you nod off, lull the brain into a deeper sleep.
When it comes to which oils work best, the American Sleep Foundation suggests lavender, bergamot, chamomile, cedarwood or clary sage oil.
Over recent years, several studies have indicated that music both enhances the quality of sleep, and reduces the time it takes to fall asleep.
And the Sleep Foundation explains why that’s the case.
They note as the brain interprets musical sounds, a cascade of physical effects are triggered within the body.
“Many of these effects either directly promote sleep or reduce issues that interfere with sleep,” they state.
The final nod
If sleep is proving elusive or quality sleep is hard to come by, it’s often prudent to start the quest for a better night’s sleep by improving your bedtime routine and your sleep environment.
Each of the suggestions above is easy to implement and is beneficial for both your physical and mental health.
If you’re consistently struggling to get a good night’s sleep, consult with your doctor or view our range of further resources here.