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Britt’s Top Tips For a Healthy Night Time Routine

Think back to when you were a child, how awesome was your bedtime routine!? It may have gone something along the lines of, a warm bubble bath, throwing on your pj’s and getting tucked into bed with a bedtime story. Who doesn’t wish this was still the case?! Through days, weeks, months and years of childhood, the repetition of this bedtime routine trained our body and brain to learn when sleep was coming and how to best prepare for it. 

Fast forward to now and, unfortunately, many of us have fallen out of these routines, or we have created new routines that are not as gentle on our minds and bodies as a warm bath and a bedtime story (think scrolling social media, watching TV, having a glass of wine). This lack of night time routine (on top of many other stressors of adulthood) can mean our sleep is not as good as it once was.

We know that a bedtime routine is one of the best changes you can make for many good nights of sleep, and while it may not involve a bedtime story or getting tucked in, finding ways to relax and calm yourself before bed will put your brain into sleep mode and better prepare you for a restful nights sleep.

Some of my top tips to help for a healthy night time routine include:

Have a consistent bedtime: this can better regulate your internal body clock which can help you fall asleep faster and wake up more easily in the morning. 

Switch off screens and take a break from social media and TV:  screens before bed can suppress your body's production of melatonin (a natural hormone that makes you feel tired) and therefore can interfere with your sleep. Reducing screen time before bed may help you sleep longer and improve your quality of sleep. Try to switch off social media and screens at least 1 hour before bedtime. 

Do something that relaxes you: this could be reading a book, having a cup of tea, meditating. Meditation is something that is very underrated and is a perfect activity to prepare you for bed! If you don't know where to start, there are many free online guided videos that can help you. 

So now you know that your sleep and bedtime routines are important for good quality sleep, what are some changes that you can make to create a healthy sleep routine? 


References:

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Waters, F., & Bucks, R. (2011). Neuropsychological effects of sleep loss: Implication for neuropsychologists. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17, 571-586. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617711000610