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15 Tips to Create Your Perfect Evening + Bedtime Routine

You already know that a quality sleep at night can make a world of difference to your life.

Yet it never happens.

Failure to prioritize sleep is the number one reason most people cannot improve their life and well-being.
And the ONLY reason you cannot prioritize sleep daily is your lack of proper bedtime routines for sleep.

Sleep is the single most important activity that can radically transform your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Research has suggested that a consistent and healthy sleep routine promotes better memory, productivity, physical performance, metabolism, heart health, pain management, and immunity.
It also lowers the risk of depression, weight gain, and inflammation.

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How can a bedtime routine help you?

There are a few reasons how having a bedtime routine can help you:

  • A sleep-focused evening/pre-bedtime and bedtime routine can prepare your mind and body for quality sleep at night
  • It can help you relax and ease into your bedtime routine so you can peacefully go to sleep
  • Following evening and bedtime routines regularly trains your mind and body to sleep at your ideal sleep timing
  • Sleep focused routines will help you prioritize sleep no matter how your day goes

Now that we know how sleep focused routines can help you, let’s get straight to it.

Your preparation for sleep starts from the evening.
Follow step 1 to 8 as part of your Evening Routine or Pre-Bedtime Routine to prepare yourself for bedtime.

1. Cut-off Caffeine 6 hours Before Bedtime

Caffeine blocks the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter adenosine in your body. This tricks your body from not getting tired and needing sleep for rest.
Our bodies take 3-5 hours to get done with only 50% of the caffeine we consume.
So, it’s wise to cut-off any drink or food that may contain caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime.
Check out these 6 foods that have hidden caffeine in them.

2. Have Dinner 3 hours Before Bedtime

Become mindful of what you eat and have a light dinner with foods rich in melatonin, GABA, tryptophan, magnesium, calcium. These minerals and chemicals promote healthy sleep.
Having dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime eases much of the stress off your stomach for digestion.
This can help promote enhanced relaxation for the body when you need to doze off for a great sleep at night.

3. Drink Water 2 hours Before Bedtime

Get done with drinking your daily water quota by dinner or at least 2 hours before bedtime.
This reduces stress off your urinary organs when you go to bed, also reducing any chances of needing to get up at night in the middle of your sleep.

4. Cut-off All Electronic Screen Exposure 1 hour Before Bedtime

The pineal gland becomes active around 9 pm and starts releasing the melatonin hormone which prepares us to go to sleep.

Melatonin release is solely affected by bright light exposure.
It’s recommended to cut-off any bright electronic screen exposure an hour before bedtime.

Also try to limit electronic appliances and devices inside your bedroom to reduce electromagnetic radiation and exposure to screens emitting blue light.

5. Take a Warm Bath 1 hour Before Bedtime

Research says the increase in body temperature induces relaxation and signals your body to get ready for sleep.
A warm relaxing bath will prepare your mind and body for a peaceful sleep at night.

It’s recommended to use special bath salts like Epsom for maximum relaxation.

6. Journal 30 minutes Before Bedtime

Take a few minutes before bedtime to reflect and journal about your day.
Also write down your plan for tomorrow.

This will help you go through all of your thoughts, worries, and to-do’s for tomorrow and put them down on paper so you have a plan for tomorrow on paper and they don’t interfere when you’re trying to sleep.

7. Dim the Lighting Before Bedtime

As soon as you’re done with all of your work, dim the lights.
Bright light with shorter wavelength (blue light) inhibits melatonin release and can disrupt your sleep.

You can also use lights with longer wavelengths like red, which doesn’t affect melatonin release to promote and enhance the quality of sleep.

8. Adjust Room Temperature Before Bedtime

Temperature close to 68 degrees promotes an ideal condition for relaxation and going to sleep.
Adjust your room temperature before bedtime, or whenever you are ready to relax.

Now that you have prepared yourself for bedtime through the evening routine.
Follow the steps from 9 to 15 for your Ideal Bedtime Routine to have a quality sleep.

9. Drink a Bedtime Tea

Drinking a cup of bedtime tea will bring relaxation in your mind and body.
Flowers like Chamomile, Valerian, Passionflower, etc. have been used since ages to improve sleep quality. Find out the seven best teas to help you sleep.

10. Read or Listen To Music

Do some leisure activities like reading or listening to music when you’re on the bed.
Read something which is not cognitively demanding. Rather pick something which will soothe your mind.
You can also create your Pre-Bedtime Playlist with soothing music.

11. Deal With Your Phone

It’s recommended to keep your phone outside of your bedroom. It will help you not to reach out for it if you’re not able to sleep.
Don’t use it for the alarm. Invest in a quality alarm clock.

But, if you really need to keep your phone inside the bedroom, put it in airplane/flight mode to eliminate any radiation completely.

12. Perform Toe Stretch or Bedtime Yoga

Stretching helps to relax the tired and stiffened up muscles in your body.
Certain Yoga poses like the Wide-Knee Child’s Pose, Standing Forward Bend, etc. are proven to relieve stress and prepare your mind and body for a good night’s sleep.

Check out these seven bedtime yoga poses recommended by Harvard Health.

13. Perform Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation and Body-Scan techniques are proven meditation techniques which can improve sleep quality. Research suggests regular practice can also relieve insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.
Take out 10-15 mins during bedtime to perform either mindfulness meditation or the body-scan meditation to tap into your mindful mode and bring relaxation and peace in your mind.

14. Keep a Bedside Journal or a Sleep Diary

If an interesting idea comes to your mind as you’re about to sleep or when half asleep, note it down on your bedside journal.
Doing so will reduce your chances of ruminating on it inside your head.
You can go back to sleep and return to your idea tomorrow.

15. Use Different Techniques to Fall Asleep Faster

If you still find it difficult to doze off to sleep, try some techniques that have been used by elite performers like athletes and the military, to help them fall asleep within 1-2 minutes.
Check out these four techniques that can help you fall asleep in under 2 minutes.

These 15 practices will help you prioritize sleep every day and help you maintain optimum health, productivity, and well-being.

Design your sleep-focused evening and bedtime routines starting from today and live the life you truly deserve.

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