ESTABLISHING A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Establishing a great bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare your body to sleep. Here are a few guidelines to help maximise the opportunity you have to get some decent shut eye!
REDUCE LIGHTING IN THE 90 MINUTES UP TO BED.
Turn down the lights in the lounge, try to reduce the light going into your eyes as much as possible even if this means brushing your teeth in the dark. The bright light is a signal to your body that it is still daytime so we want to minimise this.
REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF ‘BLUE’ LIGHT GOING INTO YOUR EYES.
This comes from electronic devices such as TV’s and phones. Phones often have a nighttime filter on them so try and use this, again in the 90 minute window before bed. Even better is to get some blue light glasses to help filter it out completely. Again this is about reducing the light going into your eyes to help your body get ready to sleep.
NO ELECTRONICS / EMAILS / SOCIAL MEDIA BEFORE BED.
I know this one is going to be hard but just switch the phone off or put it on flight safe mode. You want to reduce the inputs going into your brain that are going to keep it stimulated and ticking over. Avoid having a TV in the bedroom too. The bedroom should be used for only two things, sleeping and you know what else! With the phone start 30 minutes before bed then over time see if you can leave it alone 90 minutes before bed.
SLEEP IN A PITCH BLACK, QUIET, SLIGHTLY COLD ROOM.
Again this is about reducing the possible distractions on your eyes and ears so make the room as dark and quiet as possible. If you struggle with the quiet part get a white noise sleep app on your phone which will help you sleep. You want the sleeping environment to be slightly cold (19-20 degrees) so that you need the sheets. Having a room that is too hot will inhibit your ability to get quality sleep.
TRY NOT TO EAT AND REDUCE FLUID INTAKE SLIGHTLY IN THE 90 MINUTES BEFORE BED.
Let your food digest and settle before bed. Going to sleep on a full tummy for some people is fine but for most this will affect your sleep. Also don’t chug a load of water before bed this is inevitably going to make you wake up in the night.
USE A MEDITATION APP, OR READ A BOOK TO SWITCH OFF.
If you lay in bed and struggle to sleep you can try a meditation app (such as headspace) to help or read a book before bed. When reading pick a fictional book not a self help kinda thing that might make you start questioning your existence before bed!
KEEP A JOURNAL.
If you struggle to switch off from work start writing a short journal. Clear your head of what you did today and what you need to do tomorrow so you can really switch off.
NO CAFFEINE IN THE 6 HOURS BEFORE BED.
Caffeine stays fully active in the body for 6 hours after consumption. You might feel ok but you AREN’T. Whilst you may not feel the effects consciously your body still will so the presence of a stimulant in the system is not going to help!
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