Every now and then it’s worth examining your sleep routine to make sure you’re doing all you can to get the restorative sleep you need. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night, it’s time to put in the work and examine your sleep hygiene and the steps you’re taking to support ongoing healthy sleep.
Thankfully, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that just a little time and effort can go a long way towards solidifying your relationship with sleep and getting you back on track to being well rested once again.
Is It Time To Audit Your Sleep Routine?
Sleep routines aren’t just for kids. No matter your age, you should always include a pre-bedtime routine as part of your preparation for sleep. It’s not likely that your mind and body can shut down at a moment’s notice, as such, you’ll need to prepare yourself to get there. If you find you’re rushing at bedtime, staying up too late, feeling tired in the morning, or experiencing fragmented sleep, it’s time to audit your sleep routine.
To get started, keep reading to learn more about practical and effective sleep routine tips worth implementing. How many of these are you currently doing?
- Set a sleep pattern and stick to It. Going to bed and waking up around the same time will keep your body clock in synch. When you synch your sleep with your natural sleep rhythms and biological clock you’ll be able to achieve the best restorative sleep possible.
- Be mindful of your sleep debt. Adults typically need 7-8 hours of consolidated restorative sleep per night. While it’s true that some can function on 5-6 hours of sleep per night, it’s a small percentage of people that can do so. So if you think it’s you, it’s probably not. When you don’t meet your basal sleeps needs (the amount of sleep your body needs each night) on a regular basis you start to accumulate a “sleep debt.” For one hour of sleep lost, you need 24 hours to recover. You can’t erase your debt with just one weekend of sleeping in.
- Limit technology before bed. That blue LED light from your screen can really over stimulate the brain and turn the sleep switch off. It suppresses melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Practice a consistent bedtime routine. A good night’s sleep always starts with a great bedtime routine. Find what works for you. From taking a bath or a shower, to listening to soft music or a podcast, to reading a book or doing light yoga, take the time to build a bedtime routine that makes you feel relaxed and removes the stress from the day.
- Set your bedroom up for sleep success. Ideally, your sleep space should be a dark, quiet, and cool for ultimate sleep success. Install black out blinds, invest in a white noise machine and choose natural fibers like breathable cotton bedding to keep you cool and dry.
It’s Okay To Ask For Help
Improving your sleep hygiene and prioritizing your sleep routine can be exactly what you need to create sleep success for the long term. However, if you’ve made a consistent effort to improve your sleep habits but are still struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Sleep is considered one of the three pillars of good health, along with nutrition and exercise, so it’s critical to make sure you get the sleep you need in order to support your wellbeing. If you’re waking up tired even after having a full night of sleep, falling asleep throughout the day, or are a frequent snorer, make an appointment to discuss your issues with your doctor to see if a sleep study should be considered.
Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Consultant of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She serves on the faculty of The Family Sleep Institute and is host of the ‘This Girl Loves Sleep’ Podcast and author of ‘This Baby Loves Sleep’. She and her husband, Mike, live in Toronto, Canada with their 3 children (1+twins!) You can follow her expert advice in national publications like Macleans, Prevention Magazine, Today’s Parent, and Huffington Post. Alanna has established the world-wide brand of Good Night Sleep Site as being a #1 sleep resource for families and her and her team of sleep consultants strive in helping families (baby to adults) and corporations overcome their sleep challenges and have well-rested smiles in the morning. You can find out more about Alanna McGinn and how to work with a Good Night Sleep Consultant at Good Night Sleep Site and follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram – @GNSleepSite.