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How to Build a Better Bedtime Routine

sleep stress management Feb 27, 2024
How to Build a Better Bedtime Routine | Arangio

Ever wake up feeling like you need a nap before you even get out of bed? 

Simple things, like doing an early workout or eating breakfast, feel like a major hassle. It's a constant struggle against exhaustion, and no amount of espresso can save you.

In the quest for health and longevity, sleep is often overlooked amidst the chaos of modern life.

Truth is, the quality and quantity of your sleep plays a profound role in managing the natural aging process.

At its core, sleep serves as a time for your body to repair, regenerate, and rejuvenate. Throughout the night, your brain undergoes essential processes to consolidate memories, flush out toxins, and regulate hormones. Likewise, your body repairs damaged tissues, strengthens the immune system, and balances metabolic functions while you slumber.

Inadequate sleep disrupts these vital processes, paving the way for accelerated aging and a host of associated health issues, like metabolic syndrome.

Good news is that you can improve your sleep by upgrading a few simple habits. 

How to Build a Better Bedtime Routine

If you struggle with getting quality sleep, it's time to rethink your bedtime routine. 

Here are 11 actionable steps to get more restorative sleep.

1. Schedule your bedtime

If you want to be a morning person, start by being a bedtime person. To align with your body's natural rhythms, establish a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night and stick to this schedule even on weekends. To reinforce this routine, set a reminder alarm to kickstart your bedtime preparations. You know you're getting serious about sleep when you start scheduling your bedtime like it's a business meeting.

2. Avoid screens

You ever try to fall asleep with the glow of your phone in your face? It's like trying to sleep in the middle of Times Square. Blue light emitted by electronic devices disrupts melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep. Avoiding electronics before bed is like giving yourself permission to unplug and recharge. Begin winding down by powering off electronics at least an hour before bed. If unavoidable, activate the red-light filter on your devices to minimize blue light exposure.

3. Have a decaffeinated tea or a light snack

Avoiding a big meal before bed is like giving your digestive system a break instead of sending it into overtime. Opt for a light, nutrient-rich snack to stave off hunger without overloading your digestive system. Choose foods rich in tryptophan, magnesium, and calcium, such as yogurt with berries or a handful of nuts.

Also, you ever try to sleep after a double espresso? It's like trying to tame a caffeinated Tasmanian devil. Consider the timing of your caffeine intake to minimize its impact on sleep quality. Aim to avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, allowing your body ample time to metabolize it before bedtime. Instead, sip on herbal teas like chamomile or lavender can promote relaxation and ease you into sleep.

4. Enjoy a warm bath

Harness the power of temperature regulation to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. Indulge in a warm bath an hour before bed to raise your body temperature, followed by a rapid cool-down as you exit the tub. This drop in temperature mimics your body's natural sleep cycle, priming you for restful slumber. It's like giving yourself permission to wash away the day's worries.  

5. Listen to relaxing music

Calm your mind and drown out external distractions with soothing music or ambient sounds. Listening to relaxing music before bed is like wrapping your brain in a cozy blanket and tucking it in for the night. Experiment with different genres or opt for playlists specifically designed to promote relaxation and sleep. Allow the music to guide your thoughts away from stress and worries, creating a tranquil environment conducive to sleep. 

6. Stretch out

Not getting enough sleep is a one-way ticket to cranky town. So incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or gentle stretching into your bedtime routine. Engage in a short yoga session or practice progressive muscle relaxation to release physical tension and quiet your mind. Side note: You might have tight hamstrings when you try to touch your toes and ending up touching your knees.

7. Meditate

Meditation sounds great until you realize you left the oven on. Truth is, you can calm racing thoughts and promote sleep onset with a quick mindfulness routine.

Dedicate a few minutes to meditation, focusing on your breath and observing thoughts without judgment. Alternatively, engage in visualization exercises or guided meditation to ease into a state of deep relaxation. If you find yourself staring blankly at the ceiling wondering where your life went wrong, re-focus on your own natural inhaling and exhaling.

8. Read a good book

Embrace the age-old tradition of bedtime reading to unwind and prepare for sleep. Opt for light, engaging literature that fosters relaxation and escapism. Steer clear of stimulating page-turners like suspense or thrillers. You know you're desperate for sleep when you start reading the dictionary.

9. Write in your journal

Clear your mind and alleviate bedtime anxiety by jotting down a to-do list or journaling your thoughts and feelings. Reflect on the day's events, express gratitude, or outline tasks for the following day. This simple practice can help declutter your mind and promote mental relaxation, paving the way for restful sleep. You know you're bad at sleeping when your to-do list has sub-categories and footnotes.

10. Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet

Transform your sleep environment into a sanctuary conducive to optimal rest and relaxation. Set the stage for sleep by adjusting the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, dimming the lights, and investing in blackout curtains to block out external light. Banish noisy electronics, declutter your space, and infuse your surroundings with calming scents using an aromatherapy diffuser.

11. Actually get into bed

You ever try to put off going to bed and end up scrolling through social media for hours? It's like trying to resist the pull of quicksand. 

Sounds obvious but the last step in your bedtime routine involves actually getting in bed. Many poor sleepers simply procrastinate when it comes time to place your head on the pillow. Reserve your bed for sleep and intimacy only, avoiding stimulating activities like work or screen time. Once in bed, focus on relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or visualization to ease into sleep effortlessly.

Summary:

A bedtime routine can set the stage for restful and restorative sleep, essential for slowing down the aging process and adding life to your years. By implementing these actionable steps and prioritizing sleep hygiene, you can unlock the profound benefits of quality sleep and embark on a journey to age gracefully and vibrantly.

To your success,

Coach Joe

 


 

Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women lose weight, gain strength, and slow aging. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to increase longevity with the best online age-management program, or you want to visit the best age-management program in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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