Don’t Have a Sleep Routine? Steal Ours!

Craft a sleep routine for relaxation and deeper sleep

Written by
Brian Leddy
Beginner
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A good night's sleep is not a luxury—it's a necessity for optimal health, well-being, and productivity. 

Crafting a sleep routine, like a real plan that you put pen to paper on (or maybe finger to keyboard…but as you'll learn you're gonna need to eliminate those screens so maybe bust out that nice notebook you were saving for something special) is essential for your overall well-being and is a key pillar to your health and longevity strategy.

It's time to reclaim control over your sleep by creating an intentional nightly routine that sets the stage for relaxation, promotes faster sleep onset, and fosters deeper sleep. 

This is going to be a work in progress that you're going to need to tweak as you learn what works for YOU, but as a starting point, here's an outline you can use for crafting your own blueprint for a night routine that helps you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up more refreshed.

Evening Preparation (2-3 Hours Before Bed):

Dim the Lights: Begin to dim the lights in your home to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. Lowering light exposure helps decrease the production of stimulating cortisol and increases the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. Consider using dimmer switches or warm-toned light bulbs. 

Disconnect from Screens: Power down electronic devices like phones, tablets, and computers at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from these screens can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. If you must use devices, consider blue light filtering apps or glasses.

Engage in Relaxing Activities: Instead of screens, opt for calming activities like reading a book, listening to soothing music, taking a warm bath, or practicing gentle stretches. These activities promote relaxation and prepare your mind and body for sleep.

Mindful Eating: Avoid heavy meals or caffeine close to bedtime. If you're hungry, have a light snack like a handful of nuts or a small bowl of yogurt. Consider a calming herbal tea like chamomile or lavender.

Bedtime Ritual (30 Minutes Before Bed):

Prepare Your Sleep Environment: Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light, earplugs to reduce noise, and adjust the temperature to a comfortable level (around 65-68°F or 18-20°C).

Practice Relaxation Techniques: Engage in relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. These practices can help calm your mind and ease physical tension, making it easier to fall asleep.

Journaling: If your mind is racing with thoughts or worries, try journaling to release them onto paper and clear your mental space.

Prepare for the Next Day: Lay out your clothes, pack your bag, and make a to-do list for the next day. This can help reduce anxiety and free your mind from worrying about upcoming tasks.

In Bed:

Consistent Sleep Schedule: Stick to a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's internal clock and promotes better sleep quality.

Avoid Clock-Watching: If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, avoid looking at the clock. This can increase anxiety and make it harder to relax.

Get Out of Bed: If you can't fall asleep after 20-30 minutes, get out of bed and do a relaxing activity until you feel drowsy. Then, return to bed and try again.

Additional Tips:

Limit Napping: While short naps can be refreshing, long or late-afternoon naps can disrupt your sleep at night.

Manage Stress: Stress can significantly impact sleep. Explore stress-management techniques like exercise, yoga, or mindfulness meditation to promote relaxation and improve sleep.

Consult a Doctor: If you constantly struggle with sleep, consult a doctor to rule out any underlying sleep disorders or health conditions that might be affecting your sleep.

By implementing practical steps that work for you specifically you can create a personalized sleep routine. A successful sleep routine can transform your nights into restful retreats and allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and energized each morning.

Brian Leddy Profile Image
Brian Leddy CEO & Co-Founder, BodyStack (FDN-P)
Certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner (FDN-P) and owner of Leddy Functional Wellness. Formerly an Adweek Executive and Media Entreprenuer, Brian pivoted his career to focus on inspiring and coaching people from all walks of life to make positive strides in their respective health journeys. Brian is a Co-Founder, and now serves as the CEO of BodyStack.
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