Sleep better with these calming bedtime routines and tips
We all know that not getting enough sleep leaves you feeling groggy and irritable. But did you know that lack of sleep can also cause memory issues, trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and weight gain?
Skimping on sleep isn’t just inconvenient— it can take a serious toll on your health. It can even negatively impact the little things you might not think about like your skin health. While sleeping, your body produces more collagen, allowing your skin to maintain its elasticity and therefore preventing wrinkles. Another great way to fight aging is by taking a supplement like Mybite Beauty that contains Biotin – a powerful vitamin that promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails.
If your bedtime routine involves responding to emails, watching TV, or is otherwise non-existent, this article will outline some things to help you sleep, including healthy before-bed rituals.
Create an informed night time routine
There are various research-backed ways to set the scene for a good night’s sleep. The first one is probably the hardest for most of us—stop screen time at least two hours before bed. We live in a culture of being constantly on the go, plugged in, and available—and it’s not healthy! Besides the stress answering work emails before bed can cause, the blue light from the screen on your phone or tablet mimics daylight and stimulates you instead of helping you wind down.
If you absolutely must check your phone, or catch up on your favorite show before bed, consider investing in a pair of glasses that block blue light. Studies show that exposure to blue light aggressively inhibits the production of melatonin—the hormone that helps you sleep. While it inhibits melatonin, it actually stimulates the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which interferes with sleep.
And if all of that wasn’t enough to convince you—blue light can also shorten sleep time and lead to you waking up multiple times throughout the night. An easy way to eliminate these side effects (if you really can’t give up your nightly screen time) is to buy a pair of blue light blocking glasses—most of them are reasonably priced, so it’s definitely worth a try. There are also some apps for your phone or tablet that can block blue light, which are worth checking out.
More ways to improve your sleep routine
Another crucial part of a healthy bedtime routine is to find a ritual you incorporate every night. It can be reading a few chapters of a book, listening to calming music, meditating, taking a warm bath—something that signals to your body it’s time for rest. Many of these calming rituals are tried and true relaxation techniques that will be particularly helpful for those suffering from insomnia.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy and the use of essential oils can improve sleep quality and overall quality of life. Our sense of smell is linked to our memory and emotion—it’s why certain smells can make you feel nostalgic. Certain scents can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression—all of which can disturb sleep. Lavender, vanilla, rose, geranium, jasmine, and citrus are all essential oil scents that can help you sleep better.
Another important step is to create a comfortable sleep environment. This means diminishing noise and light, keeping your room clean, and keeping the temperature around 70 degrees. These simple steps will set you up for a good night’s sleep.
Finally, stick to a sleep schedule. Try your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day—even on weekends! Getting your body into a steady and consistent sleep routine is one of the best ways to fall asleep when you want to, and to stay asleep throughout the night.
And if sleep is still hard to come by, try a melatonin supplement like Mybite Sleep. Melatonin is shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and help you stay asleep through the night. Calcium is also proven to help the brain produce melatonin. It works in conjunction with magnesium to relax your muscles and nerves. If you aren’t getting enough calcium or Vitamin D in your diet, consider taking a supplement like Mybite Calcium—it very well might help you sleep.
Eating Tips to Help You Sleep Better
What and when you are eating can impact your sleep. Eating big, heavy meals late at night worsens sleep quality. Try eating dinner earlier on in the evening, especially if it’s going to be a heavy meal.
If you are hungry before bed and are craving a snack, there are certain foods you can turn to that will actually help you sleep. Almonds, turkey, chamomile tea, walnuts, bananas, and complex carbs all aid sleep.
But if you’re going to have a cup of tea before bed, try to do it 1-2 hours before hitting the hay. Drinking fluids close to bedtime will make you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom—maybe even multiple times a night! And if you’re someone who has trouble falling back asleep, you know how frustrating that can be.
Not All Sleep is Good Sleep
So, maybe you are sleeping, but the question is—are you getting high-quality sleep? Many of us caffeine junkies will turn to that third cup of coffee during the late afternoon slump. Having caffeine after 3 or 4 pm impacts your sleep—even if you don’t have trouble falling asleep, it can make you sleep lighter and wake up more often.
Another beverage that can prevent healthy sleep? Alcohol. It’s a common misconception that alcohol can help you sleep better. Many people turn to booze to help them fall asleep, but what they don’t realize is that it might be what’s causing their sleep issues in the first place. Alcohol interrupts your circadian rhythm, prevents REM sleep, and can lead to more trips to the bathroom.
If you are tired from not sleeping well, you might be tempted to take a nap during the day. A nap no longer than thirty minutes can be refreshing, but anything longer than that will have a negative effect. If you already have trouble sleeping at night, taking long naps during the day will only make the problem worse.
Not getting quality sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system. If you struggle with sleep, it’s a good idea to give your immune system a little extra help. Take Mybite Immune to keep your immune system strong. Getting sick definitely won’t help you sleep any better!
A note on daylight savings
Turning the clock back every winter can seem great because you’re getting an extra hour of sleep. Unfortunately, it can still be disruptive to your overall quality of sleep. Despite the extra hour, try to stick to the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, even though it might be tempting to squeeze in a little extra snooze time.
This next tip applies more to spring daylight savings when we lose an hour—but it can be helpful to start preparing yourself for the change in advance. Going to bed fifteen minutes earlier each night leading up to the change will make the transition so much easier. Have kids who still nap during the day? In the days leading up to daylight savings adjust their nap time by 10-15 minutes each day. Shift the nap gradually earlier leading up to springtime, and later leading up to fall time.
Still Not Sleeping Well?
Here are a few bonus sleep tips:
- Keep a sleep diary—this allows you to track what might or might not be working. It will make any unhelpful patterns or habits stand out, allowing you to find solutions.
- Expose yourself to bright light during the day to keep your circadian rhythms in check. Conversely, avoid bright light in the evening.
- Put your clock out of sight so you don’t anxiously keep checking what time it is throughout the night. That goes for your phone too!
- Get daily exercise—tire your body out! Aerobic exercise increases the amount of deep sleep you get. And it’s during deep sleep that your body and mind have a chance to recharge. Be mindful of timing though. If you find that exercising in the evening is too stimulating, try working out earlier in the day.
If all else fails, talk to your doctor. There are some sleep disorders that need medical intervention, and you should rule those out. Hopefully, these sleeping tips have helped you learn how to get better sleep—even if you just incorporate one or two of the suggestions, improving your sleep to any degree will be beneficial to your health and well-being.