If you’re serious about getting good sleep you need a night time routine. Any one who is suffering from insomnia can tell you what a relief it is just to know that your sleep ritual is helping you regain some of that quality sleep time.
Sleep, according to Webster’s dictionary, is defined as “the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored.”
It is no secret that sleep is a crucial element to our survival. You need sleep equally as much as food and water, however, not all periods of sleep are of the same caliber.
And it is the caliber of your sleep that can make a determinable difference in how well you function when you are awake.
If your sleep is interrupted frequently or if you simply don’t get an appropriate amount, the quality of rest you receive is diminished. Consequently, you will suffer a significant negative impact. Your ability to function and your overall productivity is affected by not getting the right sleep.
Proper sleep has a distinct and direct correlation on our memory, learning, and ability to retain information. By making sure you get into the habit of practicing sleep rituals you can and will make a difference in how successfully you sleep.
Night Time Routine: How to Make it Work for You
Many sleep rituals involve routines and habits that should take place long before you go to bed, including getting into the habit of taking care of certain activities or responsibilities first thing in the morning, as opposed to just before going to bed.
Tasks To Do In The Morning
You should complete stressful tasks or conversations that require extra thought and attention in the first part of the day. This may include paying bills, having intense discussions with your spouse or significant other, or basically participating in any activity that is likely to raise your blood pressure or trigger the release of cortisol and other stress hormones. You shouldn’t do these things as the last thing in the day.
Basically, don’t do anything to get ramped up too close in proximity to the hour when you will try to wind down. You need to remove these stressful tasks in the evening and implement a night time routine.
Keep Bed for Sleeping Only
Similarly, another habit that is beneficial to your sleep quality is reserving the place where you sleep for sleep only. Don’t use your bedroom also as an office or a TV room. If sleep is the only activity that your mind and body associate the bed with, then it will be easier to fall into a restful state when you do go to bed.
Additionally, the environmental factors of your sleep space, such as the lighting, temperature, and noise level, can all play major roles in affecting the quality of the sleep you receive.
Keeping the bed room dark, quiet, and a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house will have a positive impact your ability to truly rest.
For more details on how each of your senses play a role in your sleep pattern, keep reading below. You will find more details on each sense.
The details on an optimal sleep environment (below) give you more details on how to achieve the best sleep setup to complement your night time routine.
It’s so important to find a balance in your night time routine and your sleep environment to give you the best chance at quality sleep each and every night.
Sleep and Food
Some other factors that can affect your sleep are how recently you eat or consume alcohol prior to trying to go to sleep.
Food and alcohol will metabolize at different rates and eating or drinking too recently prior to going to bed interrupt your sleep pattern. It can actually result in your sleep being interrupted right when your body is attempting to enter the “REM” (rapid eye movement) stage of your sleep and can interfere with your body’s ability to re-charge.
Why You Need to Plan a Night Time Routine
If you want to achieve your optimum productivity level throughout the day, you need to plan ahead. It is essential that you plan ahead for where, when, and how long you sleep.
Night time routine, including the elements listed above, are simple, easy, and guaranteed ways to ensure sleep. Sleep routines ensure that your mind and body have the best chance at rejuvenation overnight.
Rest is paramount to our overall wellbeing. And discovering, practicing, and implementing night time routines that contribute to the quality of that rest are in turn paramount to your health, happiness and vitality.
Practicing these sleep rituals (and exploring others that you may find work individually for you), and simply just paying attention, by putting effort toward receiving good, wholesome periods of rest will result in you feeling and doing your best when you are awake.
The Optimal Sleep Environment
In addition to a good night time routine you need an optimal sleep environment. It is essential to gently coax your body and mind into sleep each night.
Everything in life requires some degree of effort in order to be of optimal use and efficiency. This includes paying attention to how well you sleep. The timing, duration, and quality of your sleep are all determining factors in how productively you are resting in terms of the caliber of replenishment that your mind and body receives.
Creating the ideal sleep environment is an essential element toward ensuring that you get the most out of your sleep. You need to start with a night time routine and then use your sleep environment to take advantage of it.
Although our bodies differ slightly when it comes to what we individually find to be the most restorative, there are a few environmental factors that correspond with all our senses (except for sense of taste).
Considering the other senses of sight, sound, smell and touch when creating your sleeping quarters will result in creating the optimal sleep environment.
The Sense of Sight
Research has shown that statistically, your mind associates the colors blue, yellow and green with rest and relaxation.
In contrast the colors purple (especially), red and orange, especially in vibrant hues, are associated with stimulation and activity.
You therefore need to choose the correct color of paint for the walls in your bedroom. You’ll find this highly beneficial to achieving optimum rest.
As part of your night time routine, before bed you’ll appreciate the calming effects of the color of your bedroom.
The Sense of Sound
As part of your night time routine you won’t want any stimulating sounds or music before bed. However, certain sound can be useful to get to sleep.
Contrary to popular belief, the mere presence of sound is not what is most likely about noise to disturb sleep. Rather, it is inconsistency in sounds that makes going to sleep, or staying asleep, difficult.
Many people report needing some sort of sound. You may like soft music, or “white noise,” such as the sound of a whirring fan, to get to sleep.
Whatever your preferred sound or noise level, ensuring that the decibel level remains consistent throughout the night will ensure that noise is not a factor in sleep disruption.
The Sense of Smell
Just as with color, the mind associates certain smells with alertness and being awake. These include examples such as coffee, breakfast food, or even odors associated with one’s occupation such as paint or chemicals.
Alternatively, there are certain smells that can assist one in falling and staying asleep, such as lavender and vanilla. Both of these aromas are available in a wide variety of aromatherapy delivery methods.
The Sense of Touch
Your sense of touch affects your sleep in a couple of different ways. The first one being that the temperature in the room, and whether or not you feel cool or warm, can have a significant impact on your ability to stay asleep consistently.
Cooler environments inevitably lead to better sleep. Warm or hot rooms are likely to make us restless and agitated.
Does the Type of Bedding Make a Difference?
The second touch factor to consider is the bedding itself.
You can get an ergonomically designed mattress and pillows to make a huge impact on the quality and duration of your sleep. Additionally, comfortable sheets and blankets will have a huge impact on your quality of sleep.
As already mentioned, there are some other things to consider about creating your sleeping quarters.
If you want to be well rested you should remember to limit the number of uses that the bedroom has. Reserve the bed and the bedroom for sleeping, not for watching television, cruising the internet, or any school or work-from-home activities.
Also, tidiness is a consideration. Keep your bedroom free of clutter and organized. It has been shown to calm the mind and allow it to rest more easily.
Lastly, some studies have shown that not allowing pets to sleep in the bed can make a difference to sleep. Although many animal lovers would probably disagree or be willing to make that sleep sacrifice.