Everyone has had those nights where you lie in bed, tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. While you can’t avoid those completely, there are some things you can do to make sleepless nights happen a lot less frequently. And one of those is to create a sleep-inducing pre-bed routine. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Start at the same time every night. Your body’s circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that tells you to feel sleepy or awake, can get out of whack easily. By having a consistent bedtime, you keep the rhythm in sync with the time of day, ultimately helping you fall asleep more easily.
Dim the lights. When exposed to bright lights, your body thinks it’s time to be alert. But the opposite is also true: Dimming the lamps in your home and turning off overhead lights can induce feelings of drowsiness.
Put down your phone, tablet, or laptop. Not only does looking at electronics activate your brain, but these kinds of devices emit something called blue light, which are especially disruptful to sleep.
Do something relaxing. Now is not the time to have an emotional conversation with your partner or cram in some last-minute work—you want the hour before sleep to be calming. Read a book, sip a calming tea, listen to some music, do a series of light stretches, or take a warm shower or bath. What’s even better is if you do the same thing each night. That way you are really signaling to your body to prepare for sleep.
Lower the thermostat. It can be tough to fall asleep if your bedroom is too hot. Ideally, you want the temperature to be between 60 and 67 degrees.
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