The Best Bedtime Routine Do’s and Don’ts
One way to ensure more restful night-time sleep is to set up a bedtime routine that works for you. Here are a few bedtime do’s and don’ts that you may want to consider as you set yourself up for better sleep.
Do: Stop Electronics Two Hours before Bed
So many people like watching movies before bed, but the truth is, falling asleep to movies and technology is counterproductive when it comes to ensuring a good night’s sleep. Turn off your electronics at least two hours before bed and focus on low-tech, quiet activities at that point.
Do: Create a Quiet Environment
Now that you’ve shut down technology, it’s time to quieten down the environment. While you do need to turn off your technology, it’s okay to listen to a little slow and calming music in the background two hours before bedtime. However, you want the environment quiet once you lay down to sleep.
The music at the end of the day shouldn’t be anything energizing or that you want to sing along with, though. The point is to create a quiet, calming environment. Maybe listen to nature sounds if you cannot take silence yet. You really do want to work toward silence two hours before bedtime.
Do: Take a Warm Bath or Shower
Most people in today’s hard-working environment tend to shower in the morning before work. It helps with the hairstyling and other factors, but the truth is, bathing before bed is a lot more beneficial to a good night’s sleep. In many cultures, like Japan, it’s a tradition to soak in a warm bath before bed.
A warm bath gets all the germs, pollen, and other environmental contaminants off you. Also, a warm bath or shower can be very relaxing for your muscles and help you sleep. You don’t have to wash your hair to take a warm bath before bed. You can still do that in the morning if you prefer.
Don’t: Use Caffeine before Bed
Using caffeine after about 2 pm is not going to help most people sleep better. Avoid it permanently if you can, but if you can’t, at least avoid it after 2 pm. If you are having issues with insomnia, you may need to stop even earlier than that.
Try other types of drinks that don’t have caffeine. For example, if it’s cold where you are, instead of sipping on hot tea, try using just hot lemon water. You’ll still be warmed up, but you won’t be adding anything to your digestive tract to make sleeping harder.
Don’t: Drink Alcohol before Bed
Likewise, you should not drink alcohol before bed either. Try not to have any type of alcohol after 6 pm as it can interfere with your circadian rhythm. Even if you think you’re sleeping better due to the relaxation, you’re not.
If you like to drink wine with your meal, that’s okay, but if you find that you have insomnia, you may have to eliminate alcohol from most of your days. Everyone reacts differently to alcohol, but most people will benefit by giving it up before bed.
Don’t: Drink Liquids before Bed (Except Sleep Betr - That's Why Our Bottles Are Only 2oz)
One of the worst offenders in getting a good night’s rest is getting up to pee. If you want to avoid this, make sure you use the toilet right before you get into the bed, but also avoid drinking any liquids at least one hour before bedtime.
Don’t allow yourself to be dehydrated before bed to avoid getting up each night, though. Ensure that you mind your hydration all day long so that you don’t need anything right before bed that will require you to get up.
Do: Optimize Your Bedroom
Turn your bedroom into a sleeping sanctuary. Get the best mattress you can afford as well as the best window treatments, sheets, pillows, and so forth. When it’s all designed to help you relax and get more sleep, you will get more sleep.
Make your bedroom an oasis for sleeping and relaxation. When you do this, you’ll notice the moment you go inside your room that you start to feel relaxed. The colors of paint you choose, the bedding you pick, and the mood you set all make a big difference in the quality of your sleep.
Do: Set Your Bedroom Temperature Cooler
If you don’t have an air conditioner in your bedroom yet, you may want to consider investing in one for your wall or window, depending on where you live. As mentioned earlier, keeping your room temperature between 60 and 68 degrees is optimal for the best high-quality sleep.
Not only is setting the temperature colder good for helping you sleep but it’s also helpful to your body overall – helping you get over colds and allergies, and encouraging proper hormone production.
Don’t: Eat Two Hours Before
Just like drinking can interfere with sound sleep, so can eating. You don’t want to go to sleep hungry, but you also don’t want to sleep when you are still digesting food. Try to limit food two hours before bedtime at the minimum to avoid needing to get up to use the toilet or other issues.
If you find that you are feeling hungry right at the two-hour mark, go ahead and have a tiny high-protein snack such as a slice of cheese or a handful of nuts, so that you don’t experience hunger while trying to fall asleep. But aim not to eat closer to bedtime than that.
Do: Get Relaxed
Set up your environment so that the last couple of hours of the evening are dedicated to relaxation. That’s when you can take your night-time bath, enjoy a good book while curled up in your fluffy robe, and maybe even do a little meditation, to set the mood in your mind to relax and get rest.
Make that last two hours before sleeping a relaxing time for you and your entire family. Keep your voices down, keep the lighting dim, and make everything focused on relaxation.
The most crucial aspect of your night-time routine is that you should ensure it is focused on the main point, which is to sleep soundly at night as long as possible so that you allow your body to regenerate itself in the way it is meant to each evening.