These five rituals are easy to adopt and are best implemented right before bedtime. Add these into your bedtime routine, and you’ll soon be drifting off to dreamland and won’t spend any more time worrying about how you can get a good night’s sleep.
1. Avoid caffeine and theine
It’s no surprise that avid coffee drinkers may struggle to fall asleep. Caffeine - and theine, for that matter - have a real impact on your sleep.
After all, most people consume caffeine to get a wake-me-up kick. This substance specifically works to keep your body and mind more alert, and can thus greatly affect your sleep - even if you had your last coffee late afternoon, hours before your bedtime.
Caffeine has a two-pronged effect. On the one hand, it can lead to greater difficulty falling asleep. On the other, it leads to more restless sleep.
Studies show that caffeine can affect your sleep even if it’s consumed 6 hours before going to bed. Thus, we’d recommend that you start eliminating your afternoon or evening coffee to get some better snooze time.
2. Reading before going to sleep
Books have largely been replaced by laptops, tablets, and smartphones. But they can be a real magic cure for sleep disorders! Reading before bed can really help you fall asleep faster - as long as you’re reading an actual book and not straining your eyes by staring at a device. In fact, reading has multiple health benefits, including:
- Improved memory
- Resting your eyes: If you’ve spent your day in front of a screen, they’ll definitely relax more while reading a book.
- Decreased anxiety: Reading has a calming effect. It allows us to relax, reduces anxiety, and helps you forget about your work and everyday worries.
- Rest for your body: Reading activates different areas of the brain that allow for full-body relaxation. This will help you fall asleep more easily.
3. Apps to help you fall asleep
While we would generally advise you to put away your phone at night to help you sleep better, there are a few apps that could actually help you get a better night’s sleep.
The problem with most electronic devices is that they emit blue light, which inhibits your production of melatonin, a sleep hormone.
Most phones now do have a function that allows you to decrease the amount of blue light they emit, which certainly helps if you’re on your devices in the evening. If your phone doesn’t have this feature in-built, you can download the Twilight app, a blue light filter.
Sleep Better Runtastic
The Sleep Better Runtastic app analyses your sleeping patterns and tracks your sleep cycle. It’ll tell you how well you sleep, when your best time to fall asleep is, and even what your optimal wake-up time is.
Calm is a popular meditation app that can help calm you down and rid you of stress and anxiety.
Meditation can be difficult to get into if you’re a newbie but this app is perfect for beginners and will guide you through the whole process. It also features select programmes that you can participate in. You can choose the duration of your meditation session and choose from a variety of guided meditations, including anxiety relief, stress management, deep sleep, and etc.
4. Take a bath before bedtime
Studies show that taking a hot bath or shower an hour and a half before bedtime can help improve the quality of your sleep.
Doing this really helps your body relax after a stressful day, allowing for deeper and more restful sleep.
5. Cooling your room to the right temperature
Your body cools at night to facilitate better sleeping. Ideally, your room should aid this process and the ideal sleeping temperature is between 16°C and 18°C.
While this temperature may be easy to obtain in the spring and autumn months, it can be little more difficult during the hot summer or icy winter months.
While a room that’s too cold won’t directly affect your sleep, it may make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. So it’s important to make sure you stay warm and snug. If it’s too hot, however, your slow-wave sleep or rapid eye movement sleep may be affected, leading to more restless sleep.
Make sure you keep your bedroom at an optimal temperature to help you fall asleep quickly and benefit from more restful recovery.