Life is stressful. We find that we are facing an increasing mountain of pressure, in a personal and professional sense. And as such, it’s hardly a surprise there is more stress and anxiety in the world than ever before. So, if you find yourself in this unenviable position, and you are trying to be the best person you can, but feel you are falling short of the mark, have you considered a bedtime routine? We all had a bedtime routine when we were babies, but when we got old enough, we seemed to shake this off. You might think you already have a decent bedtime routine, if you consider lying down in bed, watching Netflix, and checking your phone to be one. But if you are trying to be productive in your working day, but you are constantly tired, even though you’ve had a sufficient amount of sleep, what can you do to ensure your bedtime routine makes you the best version of you?

Two Hours Before Bed…

Now is the time to switch off all electronics. Remember, the blue light being emitted from any device will interrupt your sleep hormone, melatonin. Lots of people use blue light filters on their phones, but if you feel the temptation to grab your phone and look at it, put it on airplane mode, and put it far away from your bed. Your bed should be enticing and welcoming. If it’s uncomfy, or unkempt, then it’s not going to help you get a good night’s sleep. Comfort is vital to a good night’s sleep, and there are many latex mattresses and mattress covers that you can put on your bed to make sure that it’s as comfy as can be. And at this point, you need to make sure your bedroom is at an ideal temperature. When going to sleep, you need to be in a cool environment. Too hot, and you won’t go into as deep a sleep, and will feel uncomfortable.

One Hour Before Bed…

At this point, it’s time to calm your mind down. We all have racing thoughts and unfinished business throughout the day, and at this point, it’s important to get all of these thoughts out. A brain dump or planning your day tomorrow will ensure that you’ve got rid of all of the extraneous thoughts, so your brain can focus on the act of falling asleep. Have you ever struggled to fall asleep because of something playing on your mind? You’re not alone. If you have a problem swimming around your head, get a piece of paper, and list the pros and cons of the problem. When you wake up in the morning, you will have a renewed sense of perspective on the issue. This is because your subconscious has been working through it while you are asleep. When it comes to preparing for the following day, the more you can get done at night saves you the rush in the morning, so you can wake up and face the day with a relaxed disposition. So, you could lay out your clothes, or make a to-do list. If you can get ahead of yourself the night before, you will sleep better as you won’t have those worrying thoughts intruding.

Thirty Minutes Before Bed…

Now is the time to do something that you know will make you feel sleepy. Reading a book is one of those options, but be sure that it’s not too stimulating. Go for something as mundane and boring as possible, not a page-turner. On the other hand, if reading isn’t your thing, or you’re used to reading on your phone, it’s time to find ways to prime your mind for sleep. Deep breathing or progressive relaxation are two techniques that work wonders, especially if you are of a stressy disposition. But there’s also methods like the 4-7-8 breathing technique, as well as certain sleep hypnosis tracks. It can take some time to get right but once you have found something that suits you, getting into the habit of preparing your brain for sleep is easier.

Goodnight…

Because we need to be fighting fit when we get up in the morning, the day always begins the night before. You might have heard of decision fatigue, well this is something that you can minimise by preparing your day the night before. Doctors visually prepare themselves for complex operations by running through it in their minds. Regardless of what you do during your day, by getting ahead of the game the night before, by calming your mind, laying out your clothes, and planning your day, there is no need to feel so stressed. We all feel pressures now, but it shouldn’t be this way. Sleep tight.

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