3 Bedtime Rituals To Help You Sleep Better
If you constantly have trouble falling and staying asleep, you’re more likely to experience chronic fatigue, a slower metabolism and reduced physical and cognitive functioning. How do you improve sleep quality and achieve a more restful, restorative sleep?
The National Sleep Foundation suggests sleeping on a mattress that lets you sleep easily and comfortably with the right support your body needs. Practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual can also help you transition from the day’s action-packed events to a more calm part of the night.
A routine activity right before bedtime also helps you leave the stress of the day behind, making it easier for you to not only fall asleep but also achieve deep, quality sleep for a longer period. Here are some of the bedtime rituals you can do to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Dim the lights
San Francisco psychologist Steve Orma suggests turning down the lights before bed to trigger the production of melatonin, a natural hormone that is associated with the onset of sleep.
Melatonin is made by the pineal gland in the brain. At daytime this gland is inactive, but once the sun goes down and the body is exposed to darkness, the gland starts to produce melatonin and secrete it into the bloodstream. As a result, the body’s level of alertness decreases and you begin to feel sleepy.
For best results, turn the lights off completely. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, it was reported that exposure to room light, even dimmed, between sundown and bedtime suppresses melatonin during the usual sleep hours.
Aside from turning off the lights, you should power down your electronic screens as well, or at least use a blue light filter. Blue spectrum light from devices such as smartphones and tablets can trigger the brain to stop the production and secretion of melatonin, leaving you awake.
For optimal sleep, the National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the body decreases as you prepare to sleep, and to facilitate this drop in temperature and make it easier for you to fall asleep, you need to keep your room or yourself cool.
Make it a habit to set your thermostat to the ideal temperature and make sure that it stays consistent. If you don’t have a heating or cooling system, take a bath or a shower. A cold one right before bed is ideal. If you want a hot shower, do so around a couple of hours before bed so that your body has enough time to cool off.
Make your bed
The bedroom environment can affect your ability to sleep well at night, so tidy up. In a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, results suggest that people sleep a whole lot better when their bedrooms were clean and comfortable.
The foundation stated that the survey participants reported not only getting longer hours of sleep but also feeling better about heading off to bed when their bedroom was comfortable, with a made bed and fresh sheets.
These three simple bedtime rituals can help you doze off easier and allow you to have a longer, more comfortable night’s rest. What other nighttime rituals can you suggest for better sleep? Let us know!
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