10 Bedtime Routines for Better Sleep
Replace tossing and turning with sound, peaceful sleep by following these 10 bedtime routines.
1. Embrace Your Dark Side
When darkness descends, your body’s natural inclination is to rest and sleep. But light in the bedroom can interfere with sound slumber. Eliminate all sources of light from your room such as a digital clock’s glow or streetlight creeping through the blinds. Also, try a comfortable sleep mask.
2. Silence Snoring
If you snore, you may not realize that snoring does more than disrupt your partner’s sleep, it disrupts your own sleep, too. Various types of snoring solutions are on the market such as the VitalSleep mouthguard, our memory foam cervical pillow and the Slumberbump positional belt. Keep in mind that snoring is also a sign of sleep apnea, a nighttime sleeping disorder. If you are a snorer, be sure to tell your primary care provider.
3. Be Cool
Bedroom temperatures that are too hot (or too cold) can impair your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Play around with your thermostat to find the temperature that lets you snooze in peace.
4. Soak In the Tub
A warm, soothing bath with Epsom salts an hour or two before bedtime can help you fall asleep and improve your quality of sleep—even in warm weather. That’s because the bath cools your core body temperature which triggers the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. If you don’t like baths, a warm shower will also do the trick.
5. Change Your Oil
Certain essential oils—which are simply concentrated plant extracts—promote sleep and relaxation. Those best known for their sleep-inducing properties are lavender, sandalwood, chamomile, jasmine and valerian oils. Pour a few drops in your bath, add a few drops to an air diffuser or mix with water to spray your pillow. Be sure to check the oils’ instructions before using.
6. Make Comfort a Priority
Nothing kills a good night’s sleep like a lumpy, worn-out mattress or limp, shapeless pillow. Check the manufacturers’ instructions on when to replace both. As an added tip, you may not realize your pillow is home to dust mites and microscopic organisms which cause allergic reactions. Though recommendations vary, pillows should be laundered every three to six months; check the label for instructions.
7. Quiet Things Down
Some people sleep peacefully through loud thunder and blaring sirens—others have no such luck. Eliminate harsh or rhythmic sounds (like a ticking clock) from your sleep environment. For street traffic or noisy neighbors, try ear plugs.
8. Sleep Without Your Pets
If your household pets are fond of snuggling with you during the night, gently break them of this habit. Their nocturnal noises and movements can disturb your rest multiple times through the night. Provide them with comfortable beds elsewhere in your home.
9. Use Your Bedroom for Two Things Only
Medical experts recommend reserving your bed for two activities only: sleep and sex. That’s so you associate the bedroom with slumber. Don’t let your room double as an office or recreational space. If you like to read before bedtime, find a comfortable spot elsewhere in your home.
10. Take a Deep Breath
Many healthcare practitioners recommend deep-breathing exercises for better sleep. These techniques calm your central nervous system and serve as a form of meditation to calm the mind as well. Experts recommend doing these exercises right before bedtime.