Creating a regular bedtime routine can help you get to sleep faster and train your body to know when it’s time to fall asleep.
Research suggests that following a regular sleep schedule – even on weekends – helps regulate your internal body clock so you can wake up refreshed each day.
Benefits of bedtime routine:
- Helps calm your mind
- Train for your body for sleep
- Time to relax and de-stress from the day
Basic tips for better sleep:
- Get to bed and wakeup at consistent times
- Avoid napping close to bedtime
- Stay hydrated - check out this blog post for more info
- Following a calming routine before bed
- Get sunlight during the day, then limit light exposure at night
- Stay away from caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime
- Regular exercise
- Get your room and bed to the right temperature
That’s a big list! But don’t feel overwhelmed! The trick is to find what works for you and stick with it. So let’s cover some basics of a creating bedtime routine.
How long should your routine go for?
It’s up to you, if all you’ve got left after putting the kids to bed is 15mins, then you can make that work for you. However 30 – 60mins is the ideal amount of time to wind down.
Bedtime Routine Ideas:
- Switch off electronics - Take some time to disconnect from your devices including phones, laptops, iPads and even TV.
- Gentle relaxation exercises - This could include gentle stretching or breathing exercises. Healthline share some bedtime stretch ideas here.
- Meditation – Headspace offer some tips on bedtime meditation here.
- Read a book – Turning off your devices doesn’t mean you can’t be entertained! Pop down to your local library during the week and find yourself a bedtime story.
- Listen to music – Studies have shown that relaxing music before bed can help improve sleep in everyone from students to older adults. Create your own playlist of sleepy favourites or find plenty of premade playlists on pretty much every music platform.
- Journaling – Ever lie down in bed only to have your mind overwhelmed with thoughts? Journaling is a great way to start emptying your mind ready for sleep.
- Write out your To Do List – similar to journaling, writing down your To-Do list before bed can help you relax and get ready for sleep. Try keeping a pen and paper by your bed to jot down any last minute things you remember.
- Cuddle your pet – (or partner!) We get so many happy hormones from hugs, so take a moment to give someone a snuggle before bed! You can also try a weighted blanket, like our Hug Weighted Blanket to get a similar relaxing response.
- Warm (not caffeinated!) drink – try chamomile tea or turmeric golden milk for something different.
- Lower the lights – The lighting in your home can affect your circadian timing (part of our body’s natural rhythm of waking and sleeping). This study suggests lessening your exposure to light before bed to get your body in the mood to snooze.
Still can’t sleep?
Tried all of this and still can’t sleep? Don’t give up! It takes time for our bodies to adjust to new habits and patterns.
If you’re in bed and still can’t sleep after about 20 minutes, try getting up and doing something quiet and relaxing out of bed until you feel sleepy again. Try to avoid repeatedly checking the clock or late-night phone-scrolling.
The Hug Weighted Blanket
Stressed? Restless? Can't sleep? Weighted blankets like the Hug Blanket have been used for years in the medical community to help boost your mood and help you relax into sleep! Yes please!
"I can't put this blanket on until I'm 100% ready to fall asleep - once it's on me, I'm out!"
If you’re experiencing serious or ongoing difficulties with sleep or have other underlying medical conditions, then it is important to talk to your doctor who can provide professional and personalised advice for your situation.