Did you know that 45% of Americans say that insufficient or poor sleep affected their daily lives at least one time in the last week?
Do you have a hard time falling asleep, getting out of bed, or sleeping straight through the night?
If so, it might be time for you to take a look at your nighttime routine.
Here are ten key tips for getting ready for bed to ensure that you sleep soundly the whole night through.
- 1 1. Go Screen Free
- 2 2. Dim the Lights
- 3 3. Read a Book
- 4 4. Avoid a Nightcap
- 5 5. Avoid Eating too Close to Bed
- 6 6. Do Breathing Exercises
- 7 7. Write in a Worry Journal
- 8 8. Take a Warm Bath
- 9 9. Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night
- 10 10. Avoid Caffeine Later in the Day
- 11 Make Getting Ready For Bed Your Favorite Time of Day!
1. Go Screen Free
We’ve all been guilty of it: staring at our computers or phones right before we try to go to sleep. This is to be avoided in order to get the best night of rest, however, as screens are stimulated to your mind and make it more difficult to sleep.
Set a rule for yourself that you stop using devices at least 30 minutes before bed. Ideally, you’d be screen-free by two hours before your bedtime.
If you absolutely have to be using a device right up until you go to sleep, install an extension or app on your device that adjusts the amount of blue light emitted by your screen.
2. Dim the Lights
When you keep bright lights on in your room, your brain doesn’t understand it’s time to sleep and won’t produce the necessary melatonin. This will make it more difficult for you to fall asleep when the time comes.
Consider switching the lights in your room to dimmer switches, and design your bedroom with this concept in mind.
3. Read a Book
Reading a book before falling asleep is relaxing, enjoyable, and healthy. Don’t worry, if you use a device with e-ink technology such as the Kindle, you don’t have to stop using it 30 minutes before bed.
4. Avoid a Nightcap
Drinking alcohol before bed might help you fall asleep faster, but the quality of your sleep will suffer. Alcohol has been found to affect the REM phase of your sleep, which is the sleep cycle that is the most restful.
If you are used to having a special drink at night and wondering what to do to get ready for bed instead, consider having a calming cup of herbal tea.
5. Avoid Eating too Close to Bed
One of the most important things to do in your sleep preparation is to allow time to digest your dinner before sleep. You ideally want to have at least three hours between a meal and your bedtime.
Here’s a pro tip: sleeping on your left side is one of the best positions for our gastrointestinal health. If you’re looking for the best mattress for side sleepers, check out this mattress guide.
6. Do Breathing Exercises
If you’re having a hard time unwinding from your hectic day, breathing exercises can help you relax and get to sleep more easily.
Deep breathing has a long list of benefits. Utilizing this practice before bed and throughout the day can help increase your overall energy, improve your digestion, lower your blood pressure, decrease stress, and much more.
The way to do this is to lay down, close your eyes, and slowly breathe in and out, focusing on each breath. Do this for a couple of minutes.
When you first begin doing breathing exercises, it’s common for your thoughts to race. As you get more comfortable with the practice, your mind will settle down more quickly.
7. Write in a Worry Journal
If it’s hard for you to get to sleep at night because you are worried about things that happened in the past or might happen in the future, try writing in a worry journal.
Open a notebook and use the left side of the page to write down things you’re worrying about. On the right side of the page, brainstorm about possible solutions. Even if you can’t come up with direct solutions, writing down your problems can help ease your mind.
Writing in a journal can help relieve stress, boost your memory, inspire you creatively, and help you process the events of you
8. Take a Warm Bath
If you ask anyone how to prepare for bed in a way that improves your sleep, they’ll probably suggest taking a warm bath. Take your bath at least an hour for bed, and soak for at least 20 minutes.
9. Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night
Did you know that people who go to bed at the same time each night are more successful and healthier than their peers with varying bedtimes?
Maintaining irregular sleep patterns can make it harder to wake up in the morning, can impact your grades or work performance, and can negatively impact your health.
10. Avoid Caffeine Later in the Day
The half-life of caffeine is about eight hours, meaning that if you drink a cup of coffee at 4 pm it is still in your system at midnight. Set a cut-off point during the day when you shouldn’t drink anymore caffeine. This can take some getting used to but is well worth it in terms of how much easier it will be to get to sleep.
Make Getting Ready For Bed Your Favorite Time of Day!
It can be hard to institute new routines in your life. At first, it can feel like a chore. Once you realize how much better you feel after getting a quality night’s sleep, though, getting ready for bed will quickly become something you look forward to.
Did you find this article about what to do to get ready for bed helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!