Develop a Bedtime Routine
Believe it or not, a bedtime routine could be the best thing that you do for yourself when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep and feeling like your best self. Researchers recommend that adults get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, but nearly 35 percent of us are not, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
When it comes to getting sufficient sleep, an evening routine is one way to allow your body to learn to go to bed at the same time. It’s also a great way to build some restful exercise, like yoga, into your day. Routines are known to be great for our children, but they’re just as important for adults.
The routine starts by choosing when you need to go to bed. Seriously, set yourself a bedtime. Maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule, even on the weekends, is the first step towards getting a good night’s sleep. Give yourself about 9 hours between when you need to be in bed and when you need to wake up so that you have time to fall asleep. As you get better about going to bed and waking up promptly, you’ll likely find it easier to drift into a resting state.
When it comes to a routine, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Some people might choose to sink into a hot bubble bath, do a face mask, and read before bed. Others may want to brush their teeth and hair, write about their day, have a cup of calming tea and curl up in bed with a book.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to create a list of things that you have to do and make this a chore. You want to build a routine that makes you feel prepared for the night’s sleep. Your bedtime routine can include anything that you want, though you should avoid doing heavy exercise that will get your adrenaline pumping.
Some simple yoga poses may calm your body and mind during your bedtime routine. Regular yoga practice has been found to reduce stress and increase sleep quality, which is exactly what you want it to do.
The Yoga Journal offers a list of poses that are designed to be restful for various parts of your body, from your nervous system to your spine. Standing forward bend and breathing exercises are among the recommendations. Many yoga teachers have also posted videos that you follow along to get ready to for bed.
Each pose focuses on different parts of your body and may help to alleviate any aches and pains you might have from sleeping on an older bed. Buying a firm mattress that supports proper spinal alignment may also reduce aches.
Some activities are better to leave out of your routine. You should definitely consider putting your phone somewhere out of reach to avoid falling into the trap of just checking one email or Facebook notification.
Whatever you decide to do, the most important part is that it works for you, and makes you feel ready to sleep well.