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6 steps to creating a bedtime routine to help you get a better night’s sleep

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Are you struggling to nod off when night time comes? Whether it’s stress from a busy day, or your brain simply not switching off, a bedtime routine can be a powerful tool in helping your body unwind and get ready for sleep. 

If you haven’t heard of a bedtime routine, the idea is to do a series of calming activities to help you relax, ready for sleep. Not sure how to pull one together? Here are some key steps to establishing a routine that can help promote relaxation. Say goodbye to restless nights and hello to a restful slumber.

1. Set the stage for sleep

Creating a peaceful environment is one of the most important ways to switch off. From your bedding to the lighting and decluttering surfaces, there are plenty of ways to help set the right mood. 
Before you start your routine, spend a few minutes picking up your space. Whether you left some clothes on the bed when you were getting ready in the morning, or have some stray makeup still on your dresser, be sure to put everything back in its place. With a clear space, now you can think about how you can enjoy your room, making it your own personal sanctuary. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. Drawing your curtains or blinds can help block out light, while putting on white noise or other sleep sounds can help block out unwanted noise. 
  • Create a bed you can’t wait to dive into with cosy bedding and pillows. You may find you like to switch out your linen depending on the season, with breathable fabrics for warmer months and a thicker quilt during cooler months. 
  • Opt for soft lighting like a bedside lamp. 
  • Spray a scented room spray or have an aromatherapy diffuser running to create a nice vibe in your bedroom and signal to your brain that it’s time to relax.

2. Unplug and unwind

One of the most important steps in creating a bedtime routine for better sleep is to limit your exposure to electronic devices before bed. Whether it’s your phone or a tablet, the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.While we all love to scroll on social media in bed, it’s best to remove your phone from the space or place it far away from you while you sleep. Instead, engage in relaxing activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, drinking tea or practising relaxation techniques. 

3. Try to set a bedtime 

Knowing roughly what time you need to get into bed to have a good, long sleep is important. Set a rough bedtime that allows you to get the hours of sleep you need. Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, however this may change depending on your personal needs. With your bedtime in mind, you can then create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine to prepare your body and mind for a more restful night’s sleep. 

4. Avoid caffeine 

Another important element of your bedtime routine is what you drink – more specifically what you should try to avoid! Caffeine is a stimulant, which can leave us feeling more alert. One or two coffees before 2pm is fine, however you’ll want to try and avoid a cuppa too close to bed. This also goes for teas with caffeine, and soft-drink. 

If you’re wanting a warm drink to help slow the mind and unwind, herbal teas can be a great option. Peppermint and chamomile are some popular favourites, however there are a range of teas out there for you to try!

6. Journal your thoughts

One of the most popular ways to help your mind switch off is through journaling. Doing this before bed can be a great way to unwind. Whether you’re ruminating on something that happened throughout the day, or are worrying about the next day, try putting your thoughts down onto paper. You may find that planning your day ahead is another great way to feel prepared, helping your mind to settle. 

Keep a notebook within easy reach on your bedside table. That way you can jot down any thoughts that just won’t budge! 

7. Consistency is key

If you’re just starting out with a bedtime routine, remember that consistency is key. You may find that it takes a little while to build up these habits until they become second nature. However, the more consistently you do your routine, the easier it can become. 

One of the most important steps in creating a bedtime routine is setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Our bodies thrive on routine, and having a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate our internal clock and improve the quality of our sleep. 

While it can be tempting to sleep in, aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends or your day off. This will help train your body to naturally feel tired at bedtime and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. 

Remember that your routine should be created for you. What works for one person might not work for the next, so it’s important to try a range of things, switching them out if they don’t work for you. 

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