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Our Favorite Things to Include In Your Bedtime Routine

Dec 11, 2023
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Is watching your favorite show on your smartphone your favorite bedtime routine? Your phone isn’t helping you sleep better. Learn what the sleep experts recommend you should include in your bedtime routine.

A good night’s rest does more than help you feel more energized for the day ahead. Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night offers many benefits. It reduces your risk of chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, helps with weight management, and improves your mood.

What if you have a hard time getting enough sleep? You’re not alone. About 15% of adults in the United States report difficulty sleeping.

Sleep medicine expert Dr. Rajendra Rampersaud at NY Metro Sleep in The Bronx, New York, helps many people get a better night of rest. Establishing a bedtime routine is one of the tools we use to help our patients fall asleep and stay asleep. 

In this blog, we want to share our favorite things to include in a bedtime routine.

What is a bedtime routine?

Your bedtime routine is the things you do every night before going to bed. You might shower, brush your teeth, and watch a little TV before turning off the lights. These rituals you engage in are instinctual, according to a recent study

Nesting and bedding, or getting your bed and body ready and comfortable for sleep, are part of your protective mechanisms, which help your body enter all the sleep stages to recover from the previous day and prepare for the next. These daily acts also help prevent insomnia.

Unfortunately, with an on-the-go lifestyle, you may not follow the same bedtime routine every night or not give yourself enough time to properly wind down before going to bed. 

A good bedtime routine, called sleep hygiene, prepares your body for sleep, setting you up for success as you slumber.

What to include

Bedtime routines vary, but we have some standards we think everyone should include in their nightly ritual. Bedtime routine tips include the following:

Have a consistent bedtime and wake-up time

You need consistency for your bedtime routine to work. Going to bed and waking up at the same time is essential, even on the weekends, for establishing a routine.

Put away the electronics

Falling asleep watching TV feels normal, right? Unfortunately, the light emitted by whatever electronic device you're watching stimulates your brain, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

We recommend turning off the phone, tablet, computer, and TV at the start of your bedtime routine.

Keep your bedroom cool and dark

Creating the right sleeping environment also helps you sleep better. The temperature of your body influences the sleep cycle. Your body temperature declines slightly during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, the sleep cycle essential for restoring physical and mental well-being. 

Before going to bed, make sure your bedroom is at the right temperature and the window shades are closed. 

Eat a light snack

Going to bed hungry can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. But you don’t want to eat a large meal too close to bedtime either.

Eating a light snack, such as yogurt or fruit, right before you start your bedtime routine is recommended so you don’t go to bed hungry or too full.

When to start

Get ready for bed about 30 to 60 minutes before your bedtime. Eat a light snack and then put away your electronics. You may then take a bath to help you unwind, brush your teeth, and get your room and bed ready.

Instead of watching something before bed, read — it helps relax the mind and body. 

A good bedtime routine helps you feel more relaxed before you turn off the lights and close your eyes, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

If you’re having difficulty creating a sleep routine that helps you sleep better, let us help.  Call our office today or use the online booking feature to make an appointment with our sleep expert.