It is becoming increasingly more common for people to struggle to settle down to bed and sleep through the night, perhaps due to the stresses of work and life commitments and technology disrupting the body’s natural circadian rhythms.
You might be keen to overcome your own sleeping issues in order to achieve a restful night’s sleep that will leave you feeling bright and awake the following day. Key to sleeping through the night is establishing a bedtime routine that enables you to wind down fully at the end of the day. Here is how you can plan the ultimate relaxing bedtime routine.
Switch off Technology
There is an increasing body of research suggesting that being constantly connected to technology does not facilitate restful sleep. This is due to the artificial blue light generated by screens disrupting the body’s natural circadian rhythm to trick it into feeling more awake.
To combat this, switch off all technology – from smartphones to tablets, TV sets to gaming consoles – at least an hour before your bedtime. If you find the urge to check your phone too hard to resist, try keeping it out of your bedroom. This will give your body time to relax and settle down for sleep.
Many people enjoy reading in bed as a chance to relax and wind down before sleep. However, there are some things to keep in mind to make the most of your bedtime reading. Keep a pair of ready readers close to hand to help you to focus on the page without straining your eyes. A reading light with a brightness adjuster will provide you with the correct brightness without fully waking you up.
Furthermore, you may also like to carefully consider your reading matter. Avoid books on which you need to concentrate, as you are unlikely to fully take in what you are reading; instead, choose a light and fun read that is not too taxing on your mind and will allow you to fully relax and wind down.
Take a Bath
If you find it difficult to physically relax after a stressful day, a solution might be to take a bath before bedtime. This ritual will force you to take some time for yourself to relax and drift away in a warm, nicely scented bath. Add some aromatherapy bath oil to help your mind to unwind, or Epsom salts to ease tired and aching muscles. For an even more relaxing bath time, light some luxurious candles.
Sleep playlists can greatly help you to relax in bed and drift off. Look for those offering relaxing sounds from nature, such as a thunderstorm or the sounds of a tropical rainforest at night. Alternatively, an ASMR playlist may involve a sensual human voice or low frequency background noise, such as typing, to provide a pleasurable feeling of relaxation.
Most sleep playlists are available in eight to ten hour running time, covering the time you switch your light off to waking the following morning.