Settling into a Good Sleep Routine
Ever feel like you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed for a month straight? Or that sleeping for four hours and sleeping for 10 hours gives the same result? Or that no matter what you do, you just feel tired? Forty percent of adults on average get less than six hours of sleep, and over 60 percent of teenagers don’t reach the eight-hour mark. When adults need seven to eight hours of sleep, and teens need at least nine, this shows a problem, and it’s called sleep deprivation. A good sleep routine is needed to fix this problem, and here are some tips to getting it started and keeping it in place.
1. Try to go to bed at the same time every day. Whether this means going to sleep at 8 p.m. on the dot, or arranging the period between 10 and 100 to get ready, a time slot should be marked for when it’s time to sleep. If you have a habit of staying up late, don’t suddenly switch to a 9 o’clock bedtime. Make slow increments to the time you want to sleep at so as not to engage in insomnia for the next few hours.
2. Use your bedroom for sleeping activities only. Sleeping, getting dressed, and falling asleep in general should be some of the only things done in your bedroom. This is not available for everyone, but for those that have enough space to keep the bedroom the bedroom, do it! It conditions your brain to see the bedroom as a resting area, and will start to induce the melatonin when you walk in.
3. Make yourself completely comfortable. For some this means opening windows to cool down the room and dressing in soft pajamas, for others this includes big warm blankets and body pillows. Sleeping should be comfortable, and there are many ways to help. A good way is to wear a sleep mask or eye pillows. A sleep mask helps to block out the cracks of light that can come from anywhere, while eye pillows put pressure on your eyes that helps reduce headache pain and increase sleepiness.
4. Listen to something. Calming music is a great way to put your mind at ease, but it’s not the only option out there. There are several programs, such as Audible, that read stories in a soft voice and are incredibly useful for relaxation. For the sleepers that have a hard time with falling asleep to coherent thoughts, don’t fret! “Sleep with Me” is a podcast that is designed to relax the mind and put you to sleep while telling boring bedtime stories in creaky dulcet tones. It is available on multiple podcast platforms and should be given a shot by anybody that has a hard time sleeping.
5. Don’t use electronic devices before sleeping. Devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and most anything that has a screen produces blue light, an artificial light that keeps your brain thinking that it’s daytime. Reduce the usage of electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed. If this isn’t an option, install an app or software that changes your blue light to warm light at a specified time so your brain doesn’t mistake it for sunlight.
6. Keep going. It’s going to take more than a week to get a sleeping schedule on point. Things such as exercise, food choices, and reducing stress can also help to create a better sleep, but these are also things that are influenced by your sleep. Healthy sleep makes a healthy mind.