Bedtime Habits for Better Sleep

Think about the last time you had an amazing night’s sleep. You woke up feeling amazing, right? You felt accomplished before getting out of bed merely because of what you had just achieved by actually sleeping the amount of time your body needs. A great way to start a day. You can start everyday like this if you are dedicated to what you do at the end of every day. Here are some tips to create bedtime habits for better sleep:

Create a Bedtime Ritual

Go to sleep at the same time every night. A ritual is much more than a routine, a ritual is a meaningful practice. It’s about valuing sleep and being in the right mindset. Author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin offers advice and stresses the importance of doing the same thing every night as to cue your body that it’s time for sleep. Find a few things that you can do every evening both physically and mentally. Create a checklist if need be. Hold yourself accountable.

Control the Blue Light

Blue light is the highest energy visible light our eyes can see. The biggest natural source of blue light is the sun. Our circadian rhythm, or “sleep cycle,” is highly impacted by exposure to this blue light. When the sun is up (blue light present), the retina in our eyes sends a message to the brain to cease melatonin production; awake time. When the sun goes down (no more blue light), the retina sends a message to the brain to make melatonin; sleep time. Our digitally addicted age has brought a multitude of artificial sources of blue light that is confusing our bodies after the sun goes down; most notably the CFL light bulb, smartphones, and televisions.

A couple of hours before bed consider wearing blue light blocking glasses that reduce the exposure to blue light, thus starting the melatonin production. As you start to finish out the day watching TV and checking social media feeds on your device, these glasses can nearly eliminate the artificial blue light illuminating from these screens.

Change the lighting in the bedroom. Low blue light bulbs are available for your bedside lamp. These bulbs produce a light with an orange hue that mimics the sunset. Most people are not used to this color of lighting in their homes but deep down their brain is accustomed as the light reflects what’s been happening in nature for millennia.

Put Away the Devices

 

Aside from the blue light exposure these little computers are emitting, digital consumption is stimulating our brains in the evening when we should be calming down. Our addiction to digital devices is not unlike addiction to other harmful substances. Some are even suggesting that people are replacing drugs for smartphones. Nonetheless, we all do it for pleasure, work, and life.  Consider making an hour or two before bed as a “screen-free” time and read a book instead!

When it comes to your new bedtime ritual put the connected device away an hour before you plan to sleep. You have enough thoughts running through your head from the day’s events. Reading one more email can trigger your brain into thought process that can distract from the number one task at hand; a restful night’s sleep.