It’s no secret that a lot of people struggle to fall asleep, or stay asleep. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, about 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep disorders. One in three adults do not get the recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep they need nightly to optimize their health.In 2022, only 32% of Americans reported very good or excellent sleep.
If you have difficulty with sleep, be it falling asleep or staying asleep, you have to fix the problem. Easier said than done, right? Sleep is a fundamental part of your overall health and well-being, and insufficient sleep can negatively affect your health. That is why many sleep experts recommend establishing a healthy nighttime routine. Give yourself an hour or more to relax before you actually go to bed. Wrap up your tasks around eight o’clock at night and take time for yourself.
In this post, we will detail some helpful tips that can calm the mind and body before bed. Take some quality “me time” at night because you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself. You don’t have to do everything on this list, but a lot of people find many portions of this routine very helpful.
Watch Your Favorite Show
There is a lot of evidence that indicates a problem with screen time before bed. Going from your computer, to the TV, and then to your phone as you get into bed is not what this tip is about. Most people have busy schedules, so allot one hour, or thereabouts, to watch an episode of whatever you are watching. That could be your favorite show or some funny YouTube videos. It is 100% acceptable to spend time on other things that work, chores, or schoolwork. You can easily get lost in your priorities, but don’t forget that your health is also a priority. Just make sure to turn off screens about an hour before bedtime.
Plan Your Day
Not to add another item to your to-do list, but this can be a great thing to add to your nighttime self-care routine. Plan out your next day in order to get a better visual of what you need to do. Once you write your list, separate your hard priorities, soft priorities, and non-urgent tasks. Do you like to accomplish tasks in blocks of time? Place the priorities in your planner and choose time frames, during which you can complete them. Add your most difficult tasks to the start of your day because your brain will be fresh, so you can knock them out in a breeze.
A Break Is Encouraged
It is perfectly acceptable to take a break. In fact, you deserve a break! You have probably been sucked into the work vortex, being pulled every which way to complete tasks with quick turn-around deadlines. When you have a moment to yourself, taking a break to rest can feel unproductive, but this relaxation time is often necessary for your overall health. After a long day of racing around town or a stressful day in the office, put yourself first in the evening. Your self-care nighttime routine is the break you deserve.
Hone Your Skin Care Routine
It’s easy to just skip your skin care routine after a long day. The energy levels are low and the effort to care for your skin just isn’t there. Don’t be that person! Your skin needs love, too! Going through your nightly skin care routine can help prevent breakouts, which can often result from stress, overeating, or lack of skin cleansing. This routine doesn’t have to be a 15-step process, just so you know. You can use a simple cleanser, moisturizer, and eye cream as your primary products. Just make sure they are high quality and as natural as can be.
Read A Good Book
A lot of people want to read, but they can’t find the time. Reading in the morning is not feasible and you definitely don’t want to read during your lunch break. Why not incorporate reading into your nighttime self-care routine? Reading can help you unwind and may even help lull you to sleep after a solid 30-40 minutes. This is a great thing to do in place of watching TV right before bed. If reading an actual book proves difficult, consider listening to an audiobook. This is a great option, but just make sure you aren’t playing games on your phone while you listen to the book. Lie in bed and let the writing take you places.
Tidy Up Just A Little
A 10-minute tidy-up can go a long way in relaxing your mind before bed. You don’t have to worry about a cluttered room or mess if you spend a small amount of time cleaning up at night. Nobody wants to wake up to a sink full of dishes or a pile of clothes that you didn’t put away. Waking up to a task like this can bring your mood down in the morning because it makes it seem like you have more things to do than there really are. Don’t let yourself start out in a slump! Set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes and clean up as much as you can during this time. A huge mess can seem intimidating, but you’ll be surprised to see how much you can tackle in just 10 minutes!