by Krista Harper
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder
Just as kids can benefit from a bedtime routine so too can adults. If you’re part of the 25% of the American adult population that has insomnia, you know how frustrating trying to fall asleep can be.
Having a routine that includes regular habits that help you wind down and relax can actually train your body to get tired.
Don’t know what to include in your nighttime ritual? Add the following five activities to your evening an hour or two before turning in to encourage a better night’s sleep.
1. Practice Yoga or Meditation
Both yoga and meditation require you to focus on your breathing and living in the present moment instead of worrying about what could go wrong or anything bad that happened during the day. A 2013 study found that yoga helped people age 60 and older sleep better, but those benefits can extend to all ages.
Meditation can also quiet your negative thoughts and set you up for a positive morning the following day. If you find meditating on your own too difficult, try listening to a guided one that will help you visualize pleasing situations and focus on positive affirmations.
2. Nosh on a Healthy Snack
While going to bed with a full stomach can keep you awake, something light and healthy can actually help make you feel drowsy.
A small serving of carbohydrates or food that contains tryptophan—an amino acid that helps create serotonin, which relaxes you—is a great choice. Try some cheese and crackers, turkey meat, salmon, a hard-boiled egg, nuts, seeds, or a soy product before turning in to help encourage rest.
3. Shut Down Mobile Devices
While it may be fun to check in with friends on Facebook or scroll through your Instagram feed before turning in, your mobile device may be keeping you awake at night.
Blame it on the screen’s blue light, which can disrupt sleep-regulating hormones and trick our body into thinking it’s daylight. Power down the devices at least an hour before bed and try reading a physical book instead.
If you can’t give up the screen before tucking yourself in, invest in some blue light blocking glasses.
4. Sniff Essential Oils
Essential oils are the extracted concentrated oils of plants, flowers, and herbs that carry their natural scent. Many essential oils have soothing properties that can induce relaxation and sleep.
Lavender oil, in particular, was found by at least one study to help with restlessness and disturbed sleep, as well as anxiety. Other essential oils you may want to try diffusing before bedtime include sweet marjoram, chamomile, and sage.
5. Listen to a White Noise Machine
If background sounds in your home or neighborhood prove too distracting when you’re trying to fall asleep, turning on a white noise machine in your bedroom can help. These devices are designed to gently mask your ears from background noise to help you fall asleep.
Create a Bedtime Routine You’ll Look Forward To
Above all, your bedtime routine should be the perfect ending to your day that you look forward to.
In addition to the five tips above, you can also try taking a warm shower or bath and spending time with your partner, children, and other loved ones to help you wind down your mind and body for a better night’s rest.
Conscious Reminder seeks to expand your mind and improve your life with content spanning spirituality, consciousness, astrology, lifestyle, and more.
For more tips on how to get better sleep and feel your personal best, check out our latest health and wellness posts.
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