Ah, bedtime. The time of day when you get to relax, unwind, and prepare for the peaceful night of rest ahead of you. That's how it should be, at least! For many of us though, that idyllic bedtime situation seems like nothing more than a dream.
Instead of winding down peacefully in preparation for a nice 8 hour snooze, many of us find ourselves scrambling, anxious and overwhelmed with tomorrow's schedule or today's mistakes. If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly half of Americans have trouble sleeping at least a few times per week. So, what do we do about it?
One of the most effective ways to regulate your sleep patterns and make bedtime a time of relaxation and rest is to create (and stick to) a nighttime routine. Routines help to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, which is the chain of chemical processes in your body that control your sleep-wake cycle. You can think of it almost like a pet dog. With enough time and repetition, you can train it.
How to create a nighttime routine?
Choose a few soothing activities, and do them around the same time each night. Some of these activities can be things you already do, like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or reading your kids a bedtime story. If you struggle with stress, it’s a good idea to incorporate an activity that specifically targets stress reduction, such as meditation or yoga, both of which have been shown to calm the mind and switch the body into resting mode.
The most important things to remember are to create a routine that you actually enjoy and is manageable to you. Repetition is key, as over time, your body will come to associate these activities with sleep.Some ideas to try out are:
- Listening to relaxing music
- Drinking a cup of chamomile tea
- Reading a book
- Taking a warm bath or shower
- Gentle yoga or stretching
- Guided meditation
- Diffusing lavender essential oil in an essential oil diffuser
- Getting ready for the next day by picking out your clothes or setting out what you’ll need to make coffee
- Listening to an audiobook
If you try this and you’re still having trouble sleeping, you might want to check in with your mattress. If you’re finding that you’re just not comfortable anymore, you’ve recently had a life change, or you can’t remember when you last went mattress shopping, it could be time to consider a replacement. When you’re ready to find your new mattress, chat with us. Our sleep experts will be waiting to talk through your needs and guide you towards the best mattress for you!