Want to sleep better each night? Creating a consistent bedtime ritual or routine could help. Below, we’ve compiled the best tips for sleep to help you establish a routine, fall asleep fast, and sleep through the night.
Get Started Early
Schedule some time to unwind before you turn in for the night. If you don’t have a lot of time to relax before you go to bed, try just five or ten minutes. Then, increase the time by five or ten-minute intervals each week until you have anywhere from half an hour to an hour to wind down.
Drink a Warm Beverage
Having a glass of warm milk before bed might sound like a sleeping tip your grandparents would give you, but there’s science to back up the advice. Warm beverages at night can help you relax more. If warm milk doesn’t sound appetizing, you can always opt for tea. Chamomile, lavender, and passionflower teas are some popular options for nighttime tea.
Try Yoga or Stretching
Because a common inhibitor of a good night’s sleep is pain, many people find practicing yoga or doing some light stretching before sleeping to be helpful in preparing the body for bed. Try this 20-minute bedtime yoga flow or these eight stretches for better sleep.
Calm Your Mind
If anxiety is causing poor sleep, some relaxing activities or environment adjustments can help. Try a guided sleep meditation, listen to a bedtime podcast, or watch sleep-related ASMR videos. Another remedy for insomnia is taking CBD for sleep issues.
Take a Warm Bath or Shower
Taking a warm shower or bath one to two hours before you turn in for the night can also be helpful. Because warm water increases blood flow and brings body heat to the surface, the body’s internal temperature cools, allowing you to sleep easier.
Eat a Healthy Snack
While you may have heard that it’s bad to eat right before bed, the right snack at the right time could be part of a healthy bedtime routine. Look for magnesium-rich foods that are high in calcium or carbohydrates, and remember to keep portions relatively small. Some ideas include:
- Cheese and whole wheat crackers
- Peanut butter on toast or a banana
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Tart cherries
- Pistachios or almonds
Keep in mind that you should still avoid eating fatty foods, sugar-filled snacks, and alcohol a few hours before bed.
Unplug from Technology
Even with night shift settings to limit blue light on your phone or computer, technology before bed can still be overly stimulating. While it may not be feasible for you to totally disconnect for a full hour or two before bed, try shutting off your TV or laptop 15 minutes prior. Not only will this help your body’s circadian rhythms return to normal, but it will also free up time for another calming activity before you fall asleep.
Set the Right Environment
Make it a habit to set the thermostat lower right before bed to create a cool sleeping space in your home. Eliminate any sources of light so that your bedroom is as dark as possible. Turn on a diffuser with lavender or chamomile flower essential oils. You can also use a sound machine or fan for white noise to set the scene for restful sleep.
Try Natural Herbs
If all of these other efforts don’t seem to do the trick, try including a natural sleep aid into your nighttime routine. Melatonin is one of the more common supplements for sleep aids, but it’s not the only option. CBD, L-theanine, magnesium, valerian root, lavender, glycine, and chamomile are other commonly used natural sleep aids.
Stick to a Schedule
Once you’ve determined how to create a bedtime routine that works for you, keep it up. Consistency is key for getting to sleep faster and sleeping better each night. Start your nighttime routine around the same time every day—even on the weekends, if possible.
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