How to Create a Healthy Sleep Routine
As a new year begins, you’ve likely come up with resolutions for positive change and growth. January is a popular month for health goals, and now is a great time to learn to master your sleep and to commit to more hours of shut-eye. Anyone can sleep better with a routine, a series of actions that become a habit and promote quality sleep.
How We Form Habits
The secret to doing anything consistently is to form a habit. Habits can be bad or good, but they are equally powerful. A habit is based off of a cue and a response. For example, if you always get popcorn at the movie theater, stepping into a theater is a cue that leads to your response: eating popcorn, whether you really want to or not.
Changing old habits and forming new ones, such as a bedtime routine, requires conscious effort. Follow these steps to install your healthy habits:
Pick a cue.
For instance, brushing your teeth before bed could be your cue to start settling into your new sleep routine.
Make it easy.
Ensure everything is ready for your sleep routine activities, so there is no impediment to doing them.
Add a physical element.
It’s easier to make a habit out of something that involves moving. The action of going to get your phone for a bedtime meditation, for example, is a physical step you can add to your routine.
Add a visual or auditory cue.
Something you can see or hear will also help trigger a response. Try setting an alarm on your phone to begin your bedtime routine.
Remember to be patient as you begin to form a habit of better sleep and a healthy bedtime routine. Researchers have found that it takes at least 66 days to build a new habit. They also found that habit-forming time is individualized and can even take up to 254 days.
The Benefits of a Sleep Routine
Why should you take the time to build a sleep routine and turn it into a habit? The primary benefit of creating this routine is that you will enjoy more and better sleep. Experts tell us that developing regular sleep habits, like going to bed at the same time every night and engaging in relaxing pre-sleep activities, eliminates a lot of sleep issues.
Research has also shown that a bedtime routine and consistent sleep and wake time has additional health benefits: lowered risk for obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and heart disease.
How BetterSleep Can Help You Craft a Personal Sleep Routine
A relaxing activity before bed should be an element of any quality sleep routine. BetterSleep can provide this with guided meditations, bedtime stories, soothing sounds, and other tools to help you unwind. Make it a goal to try one of these each night before bed to find what works best for you. Set an alarm on your phone to act as a cue.
You can also use the app to set a bedtime reminder, which will signal when it’s time to get ready for bed and help you develop a consistent routine. Use the alarm feature to wake at the same time each morning and carry through with consistency.
When you develop new habits, you’ll reap a lot of benefits. When it comes to sleep, this means so much more than just getting more time under the covers. You’ll feel better, think more clearly, and enjoy many important health benefits.
Join us on a restful journey to sleep.
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Combine the different features and mix them together to create your own perfect sleep sanctuary!
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