The Importance of a Bedtime Routine
What we do before bed has a direct impact on our overall sleep quality. Whether it’s 12 hours before bed, 5 hours before bed or simply an hour before bed. Your daily intakes, daily exercise and daily habits all play a role in the quality of sleep you allow yourself to get.
Set Constant Sleep and Wake Times
Setting yourself a consistent sleep and wake time is the essential first step to a healthy sleep routine. Allowing yourself to sleep at the same time each night forces your brain to begin easing you into your pre-sleep stages naturally, gradually producing Melatonin, the body’s natural sleep hormone.
As you begin to set your routine, waking up at the same time each day will become natural if practised effectively. There are tools you can purchase to help aid this, such as dawn-wake simulators; these remove the variable lighting caused by the time of year and help simulate the body’s instinct to wake to gradual light, much like sunrise. Your wake time is heavily dictated by your sleep time and you can work out your ideal routine based around your schedule and the amount of cycles you need per night. We recommend 5, 90 Minute cycles per night, meaning you need around 7 and a half hours of sleep. If you plan your wake-up routine around a similar structure, your body will adapt over time, and this behaviour will become instinctive.
Setting your Perfect Sleep Environment
If you stop perceiving your bedroom as just another room in your home and begin considering it as your sleeping space, you will immediately begin to see the room in a different light. Removing distractions, unnecessary furniture, clutter and mess and providing yourself with a calming and stress-free space is exactly what you should be aiming for with your bedroom. This room should be kept cooler than the rest of your home as well as being completely free of light when needed. Black out blinds and indicator light coverings are perfect for this and allow you to eliminate any unwanted distractions from the room. Any LED screens on alarm clocks, stereos or otherwise should also be covered where possible as these can act as distractions when it comes to sleep.
Pre and Post Sleep Routine
Your pre and post sleep routines are the make or break aspects of your recovery ritual. What you do before and after your slumber directly affects your overall sleep quality. Your pre sleep routine should consist of activities created to clear and calm the mind, preparing you for a care-free sleep. Pre sleep tasks could include things such as reading, writing down the following days tasks, listening to calming music, or taking a shower. Your pre-sleep routine can be as long as you like, but we recommend at least 1 hour’s pre-sleep without technology, especially phones. Keeping your pre sleep routine similar each day provides you with consistency, allowing your brain to take the “shut down signals” from the tasks you complete before bed, meaning by the time you get in bed, you’re already ready to snooze.
Post Sleep routines may seem insignificant to some, but it’s as crucial as the pre-sleep routine. Depending how you wake up, this will determine your entire days baseline. Given enough time, your body should be encouraged to wake up slowly and at a gradual pace. Allowing yourself at least 1-hour post sleep without technology removes the possibility of stress from an array of social factors, things you can deal with later on in the day. The first hour should be spent naturally easing yourself out of the slumber phase. Using the bathroom, showering, preparing yourself breakfast, meditating and any other gentle self-care rituals to prepare for your day.