How to Improve Your Nighttime Routine for Better Sleep
By Premier Medicine and Wellness
July 31, 2020
Sleep is crucial for a healthy body and mind and yet sleep problems are one of the biggest issues that people face. Everyone wants to discover ways to help them fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed. Now, barring any diagnosable sleep disorder, most people can improve their sleep issues and get better sleep just by improving their nightly routine. There are certain habits that you could be doing every evening that could be negatively impacting your sleep. Talk to your general medical practitioner to learn more.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Most people are guilty of staying up late on weekends and then trying to get back into the routine during the weekdays, but this can throw off your body's natural sleep rhythms. While it might not be something that you want to hear, you must be keeping the same sleep schedule each day, regardless of the day.
Maybe You Need to Skip the Nap
Many people benefit from power naps in the early afternoon; however, if you find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night then you may want to nix that afternoon nap in place of going to bed early. If you are going to nap, try to aim for that 1 pm-3 pm window and keep your nap around 20 minutes (and no more than 30 minutes).
Prep Your Bedroom
It’s also important to check your bedroom and see if it’s creating the ideal sleep environment or if changes need to be made. The optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60-67 degrees F. The room should also be free of noise and light. If necessary, invest in blackout curtains or wear an eye mask to keep out the light. If the quiet makes it difficult to sleep, you may want to consider getting a white noise machine.
Power Down the Electronics
Your general med practitioner believes that our electronics are probably the biggest culprits when it comes to affecting our sleep. If your face is always in front of some kind of illuminating blue screen, then you’re going to have some trouble sleeping. You must power down all electronics (even your phone) about three hours before going to bed. Instead of playing on your phone, take time to wind down and get ready for bed (take a soothing bath, or read a book instead).
Are you still having trouble getting quality sleep? If so, then it’s time to talk with your general medical practitioner. They can evaluate your current routine and sleep patterns to help you create better sleep habits or to determine whether you should see a sleep specialist for help.