Did you know sleep-deprivation, long and short-term, can be detrimental to your overall health? A 2017 study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health showed that lack of sleep can lead to rapid mood swings, behavioral problems and can negatively affect your motor skills.
Especially when you have trouble falling asleep or suffer from insomnia, having a nighttime routine can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. For optimal results, start your routine every night at the same time. After a while, even if you feel restless, the routine will help you relax, calm down, and trick your brain into feeling sleepy.
Below are 6 simple bedtime routines everyone can do before bed for a better night’s rest!
There’s nothing like curling up with a warm cup of tea after a long day. There’s just something about having a cup of tea that can be so relaxing. But you might be surprised to know that that reason just might be science. Herbal teas are already full of vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids all to aid in your daily life and replenish your body.
In fact, a study has shown that tea before bed can help aid in the fight against numerous cancers and helps “high-fat diets induce obesity.”
Not sure where to start? Chamomile tea is always a fan-favorite, it is full of antioxidants, is caffeine-free and best of all it helps you sleep by relaxing your nerves and soothing your nervous system! This is probably why it’s best not to drink this during the day. Added benefits are that it eases stomach pains (menstrual or otherwise) and has been known to help with insomnia.
Most of us are on their phones until they fall asleep, texting friends, reading emails or blog posts, or watching videos. But according to science, we should switch out the phone or computer for a nice book.
A study has shown that reading for 30 minutes lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and reduces your stress level. Another study conducted by the University Of Sussex showed that reading for just six minutes reduces stress by 68%!
Dr. Raman Malhotra, Associate Professor of Neurology at the Washington University Sleep Center in St. Louis, Missouri, states that,
“Adding a bedtime routine can separate sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety that make it more difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep… Reading can be relaxing and enjoyable, which can put your mind and body in the appropriate mindset or mood to go to sleep.”
Looking at your tablet, phone or any electronic device can hinder your sleep as the blue light-emitting can cause too much stimulation in your brain and thus disrupt your sleep cycle. You may think this may lull you to bed, but the quality of your sleep will greatly differ.
Everyone knows that daily physical activity is a great way for you to stay healthy, but did you know a simple stroll around the neighborhood before you go to bed can help you sleep better?
A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that this intermittent workout can reduce stress and boost your mood. However, be sure not to overdo it, as too much stimulus can trick the brain into being more awake and alert.
“Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin,” says Dr. Karen Carlson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of Women's Health Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital.
A daily walk around the neighborhood with friends, or alone, can help create a calming environment and help you de-stress from the day. It lowers your blood pressure, gives you extra steps for the day, and keeps depression at bay by helping to keep your mind at ease. Making this into a ritual will help your brain naturally understand that it is time for bed.
"Rituals help signal the body and mind that it's coming to be time for sleep," explains Dr. Carlson.
Originated in ancient India, meditation would help focus the mind, body, and soul. Today, it is used as a popular warm-up to yoga and used as a relaxation technique. According to many researchers, meditation can have several health benefits for individuals. A primary cause of lack of sleep is stress or worry. Meditation before bed can help reduce insomnia and issues sleeping by calming yourself before bed.
According to Healthline, meditation also helps with the increase of melatonin (the sleep hormone), increases serotonin, reduces heart rate, decreases blood pressure, and activates parts of the body that control sleep.
One type of meditation you can practice by yourself at home is ‘mindful meditation.’ In this, you only pay attention to your thoughts, you simply observe them and notice the patterns. This helps you practice concentration and awareness, and helps you reflect on the day in a non-stressful way. Whilst doing this exercise, be sure to focus on your breathing, it’ll help you feel more grounded.
Nothing beats getting off all that make-up (and other build-ups) from the day and going to sleep with a fresh-face. This ritual will ease you into the latter part of your day. The decompression of this daily ritual will not only let your skin breathe but also you as you can truly mentally unwind and have a few moments with your thoughts.
Pampering your skin at night will also help your body restore your skin better, as the added products will help the body's natural repairing process.
While you sleep, your skin formulates more collagen, this helps your skin look plumper and gives you fewer wrinkles. This will also help with the puffiness and dark circles under your eyes.
Dr. Anna Persaud, Ph.D., sleep expert and CEO of ThisWorks, a beauty, and wellness product brand, agrees. “Overnight, skin goes into repair and restore mode, meaning it removes toxins, repairs cell and DNA damage caused by the environment, replaces aging cells, and creates new ones. That’s why after good-quality sleep, skin looks fresher, younger, and more radiant.”
Journaling has real scientific properties to aid in your sleeping schedule. As previously stated, a common theme emerging from a lack of sleep is stress and anxiety. According to the University of Rochester’s Health Encyclopedia, journaling can have a profound impact on your mental health.
For example, daily journaling can help you articulate how you feel, track your problems, legitimate fears, and concerns. It can also help with finding patterns in your behavior and working as a sort of calendar to help you better manage situations in the future. Additionally, it can help you track what is stressing you out the most and you can help tackle that better.
It can also be helpful just to let everything out for the day, without judgment or the laws of syntax.
Soon, overtime this will become a sort of therapeutic way of destressing from the day and going to bed feeling lighter and happier.
It’s undeniable that sleep is an integral part of your healthy life but with times being as hectic as they are, it may seem a bit difficult to not stress and worry and this can lead to an uncomfortable night’s rest. But adapting, one or more, of the above habits, can drastically make a difference. Creating a sleep ritual that helps you feel calm, relaxed and at peace can truly make all the difference. Try one, try all, find what will help you relax at night. Sweet dreams from us at Airgrip to all of you at home.
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