Many people struggle with falling asleep, whether it’s due to constant exposure to blue light-emitting screens or an overactive mind that can’t stop working even when it’s supposed to rest. Luckily, there are some helpful night routines you can try out to (hopefully) help you fall asleep faster.
That’s why experts recommend avoiding blue light at least two to three hours before bedtime. For many people, this is a hard night routine to implement as their favorite way of unwinding includes binging a Netflix show or scrolling through social media (sometimes even at the same time).
Still, if you’re struggling with falling asleep, this might be the most important night routine to try out as it might significantly impact your body’s release of melatonin. However, before going cold turkey, you might think about investing in a pair of blue light glasses and see if that slight change helps.
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Whether you choose to sit or lie in a comfortable position and start observing where you are, or you go another route, the choice is up to you. The goal is to notice what’s going on at the exact moment you’re starting your mindful meditation. What can you see, smell, taste, hear, and touch? What can you notice about your surroundings and what kind of emotion does it invoke in you? The more connected you get to the present moment, the easier it will be to “instruct” your mind to relax and calm down.
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Stretching your body is another known relaxation technique you can easily implement before bedtime to help your body transition into sleep mode. The goal is to go slow. Focus on deepening your poses, let your breath guide you, and allow your mind to wander. By releasing all expectations and to-do lists, you’re slowly decluttering your brain and sending fresh oxygen and nutrients into your muscles, releasing all tension.
And once the tension is reduced, relaxation naturally follows. Go for 10-15 minutes of slow, mindful, passive stretching. Avoid any force or tension, and deepen your breath as much as possible.
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Try to eat dinner a couple of hours before bedtime, especially heavier foods like red meat and rice that will take a long time to digest. You can also stick to lighter meals and see how they affect your sleep.
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It might be weird at first and could take some time to get used to, but once you get into the habit of writing down everything that is troubling you and telling yourself you’ll revisit it in the morning, sleep might come easier. And who knows, you might see things differently after you “sleep on it.”
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You might have heard of a special kind of breathing technique that’s supposed to help you fall asleep within minutes. It’s called the 4-7-8 breath, and it involves a four-count inhale, a 7-count hold, and a long, 8-count exhale. The pace you use should be comfortable for you, but the goal is to go as slow as possible, stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system and calming yourself down.
For some people, it really does wonders. Others say it distracts them. Try it out for yourself and see if this is the trick you need to switch off with ease.
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Studies show that taking a warm bath 90-ish minutes before bed can help you fall asleep 10 minutes quicker than usual, but it’s all about timing. Take the hot bath/shower too close to bedtime, which might elevate your body temperature too much, potentially delaying sleep.
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Maybe you try one, maybe you try them all, but find what night routine works for you and keep on implementing it every night. And if you’re finding it hard to figure out the right sleeping temperature, here’s some insight that might help you out.