3 Bedtime Activities That Will Help You Fall Asleep Faster
Falling asleep is easy for some people, but for many, it’s a struggle. Anxiety, stress, and thoughts about the day behind you and the one ahead can all contribute to insomnia. To fall asleep faster, think back to how you got ready for sleep as a child. Kids have bedtime routines, which can bring benefits to adults as well.
What is a Sleep Routine?
A sleep routine is simply a set of activities you regularly do before bed that relax you and distract you from thoughts that tend to keep you awake. Being consistent with the scheduling of your routine allows your mind and body to get used to falling asleep at the same time each night.
3 Activities to Try for Faster Sleep
What works for one person may not be effective for another. Choose the routine that works for you, even if it looks different from what others do. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Set an alarm to turn off your devices.
Using your phone or tablet is one of the most damaging things you can do before bed. Several factors come into play: electronic devices keep your mind engaged, their blue light suppresses melatonin production, and researchers have even found that too much screen time at night may reset our circadian rhythms.
Thankfully, your device can actually help you break this bad habit. Set an alarm for an hour or two before bedtime. This will remind you to turn off your devices, or at least put them aside, and do something more conducive to sleep.
2. Practice journaling.
Your own brain can be a significant sleep disruptor. The thoughts swirling around in your head often keep you too alert and engaged to drift off. It may help to journal before bed to get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Try writing a list of what you hope to accomplish the next day. This can lower your anxiety about the demands of tomorrow by helping you consolidate the thoughts and tasks that are stressing you out. Write them down so you can physically and mentally leave them behind for the night.
3. Spend a few minutes meditating.
Studies show that mindfulness meditation reduces sleep latency, the time it takes to fall asleep. Meditation helps you focus on the present moment and allows you to shut out the anxious thoughts keeping you awake. BetterSleep has several guided meditations you can try, ranging in length, subject, and focus. We recommend Complete Release Body Scan, Mindfulness Meditation for Sleep and Letting Go of Your Day.
The Benefits of Better Sleep and Why Routines Matter
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are manifold: a stronger immune system, lower stress, improved mood, better focus and attention and a lower risk of physical health problems. Bedtime routines definitely aren’t just for kids. Try developing your own based on activities that help you relax and put away the troubling thoughts from your day. With the right routine, you’ll be well on your way to being well rested.
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