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Reassess your bedtime routine to ensure a good night’s rest

bedtime routinebedtime routine
bedtime routinebedtime routine

 

Reassess your bedtime routine to ensure a good night’s rest

Many mornings our alarms wake us up and we wonder, have we even slept at all? There are the occasional situational circumstances that negatively affect our sleep but, most of the time, there’s something we can do about it.

It’s time to reassess your bedtime routine to ensure that you get the good night’s rest you need. Without rest, we’re pretty much useless throughout the day and fall into a cycle of being exhausted. That’s not a goal you should strive for. We’ll be asking some questions and discussing topics related to a good night’s rest and if you find yourself relating to anything, it may be time to change your bedtime routine.

 

Is your bed even comfortable?

Let’s start with the obvious, you need a comfortable bed to support your body when you want to sleep. Waking up with aches and pains after sleeping for eight hours isn’t supposed to be the norm.

Neck aches and tension headaches are a sign of inadequate pillows. And lower back ache means your mattress is due for a flip or an upgrade. Cloud nine beds, for example, offer a posture-foam range that is specifically designed to support your spine and body while you sleep. You need support from your mattress if you want to sleep restfully instead of restlessly. With the right mattress and pillows, you’ll wake up more comfortably in the mornings and be ready to start the day on a positive note.

 

Have you heard of bed-yoga?

Once your bed is sorted, you can move on to the more routine practices that happen around your bedtime. Think about the act of physically climbing into bed and lying down. Not many of us think further than getting under the covers and trying to fall asleep.

It’s the end of the day and what better way to wind your mind and body down before attempting to sleep than doing a little bit of bed-yoga? You may have heard that breathing exercises, meditation and physical exercise all help with sleep, but that seems like too much to do when all you want to do is pass out. Bed-yoga is a way in which you can do all three at one time and then gracefully roll over to your side of the bed when you’re done.

It’s only a handful of yoga poses and stretches that can easily be done within 10 minutes and leave you in a ready-to-sleep state.  

 

How much screen-time do you have before bed?

This is where most of us are guilty. We tend to be on our phones, tablets or laptops right until we’re one more nod-off away from dropping the device on our face. At least one hour before you get into bed and plan on going to sleep, you should be off all electronic devices.

The problem with screen-time at bedtime is that it stimulates our minds instead of turning them off. The blue light these devices emit are also disruptors of our body’s internal clock and it can prevent us from reaching REM (which is where we get the most rest). You may want to use the argument that the light from the screen helps to make your eyes tired when you want to try and sleep, but that’s (clearly) a flawed argument. It's healthier for your mind and in the best interest of your body’s rest to leave all screens about an hour before you go to bed.

Try reading a book instead. A hardcover book, not a PDF on your Kindle.

 

When was your last cup of caffeine?

Another reason you’re probably struggling to sleep well is that your last cup of coffee was too close to bedtime. But, when we say “close”, it can be as much as up to six hours before you go to bed.

The point of the matter is that caffeine affects your sleep and you, essentially, lose hours of sleep because of when you have your last cup of the day. If we take the six hours before bedtime scenario, they say you can lose up to one hour of restful sleep. Your body needs time to process and rid itself of the caffeine before it will allow you to rest.

Just because you may be able to fall asleep after having coffee before bed, doesn’t mean you’ll get the right kind and amount of rest.

 

Anything troubling your mind?

The last thing you need to do is take care of your mind. No one knows why it is that when you get into bed with the intention of sleeping (after being busy and productive all day), your mind starts to race and wonder about tomorrow. And while it may seem like the best time to work through your thoughts because of the peace and quiet, you’ll feel much better if you actually just slept.

Before you go to bed and child's pose yourself into REM, you’re going to want to grab a pen and journal, and write out everything that’s troubling your mind. Anything you’re worried you’ll forget, need to do the next day or any random thought that’s occupying your mind. Write it all down, relieve your mind and go to sleep.​ 

bedtime routine