It can’t be said enough — sleep is vital to your health and well-being. Without it, you drag through the day, feeling out of sorts, unable to focus, or worse, more likely to be in an accident. In fact, nearly 100,000 traffic accidents per year are caused by sleep deprivation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
When you do get a good night’s sleep, all feelswell with the world. Your mood is brighter, your immune system stronger, and your memory and concentration are sharper. You’re also less prone to weight gain, mental health disorders, illness, and the negative effects of stress. Sleep is when your body regenerates and heals itself.
Even before the pandemic, many of us struggled to get a good night’s sleep, with stress being one of the top causes. It has only magnified the problem, leading to a dramatic increase in sleep disorders, not to mention sky-high stress levels.
You can’t escape stress, but you can take the edge off it to ensure you’re getting deep, regenerative sleep every night. How? By creating your own nighttime routine. Establishing healthy habits around bedtime can help your body get into a natural sleep rhythm. With these tips, you’ll be off to dreamland in no time.
Build Your Sleep Routine With These Tips
Not sure what to include in your nighttime routine? These researched tips can help you find a nighttime routine that supports your sleep and wellness, from the inside out.
Plan Your Bedtime
The first step in establishing a nighttime routine is to set a regular bedtime for yourself. Most experts recommend 6–8 hours of sleep. Keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity.
Your body goes through five stages of sleep, with stages four and five being the deepest. REM sleep (rapid eye movement) is the time when you dream. Based on this, select a bedtime that allows you to get sound, uninterrupted sleep in a quiet, dark room. Research has shown that 10 p.m. may be the ideal bedtime for adults.1
Keep Your Hands Off the Electronics — Just Do It
We get it. The temptation to lie in bed with your smartphone, shopping on Amazon, answering work emails, scrolling through social media, or catching up on the news, is great. But it can spell disaster for your sleep. Think of how many times you’ve read something that made you angry, stressed out, or depressed. All it takes is one unpleasant email from a coworker to ruin your entire night. Studies show that looking at social media before bed messes with our circadian rhythms, the 24-hour process that controls our sleep-wake cycle. Electronic screens also emit blue light, which stimulates the “alert” areas of your brain.2-4
Build new habits by setting your phone or tablet to the side — and make a commitment to leave them there. You’ll keep your sanity while also getting quality sleep, free of stress and other worries. Even better, leave electronic devices in another room or somewhere away from your nightstand.
Unwind With a Warm Shower or Bath
Studies suggest that people who take a bath or shower one to two hours before bedtime have an easier time drifting off to sleep. Heat boosts blood flow to the hands and feet, which helps body heat escape faster.5
Have a Magnesium-Rich Snack
Just like a cup of soothing chamomile tea helps release stress before bed, certain foods can help ease tension and promote sleep. Foods high in magnesium are especially effective — magnesium has a naturally calming effect on the body, and stress tends to cause depletions of this anti-anxiety mineral.6
Healthy snacks before bedtime:
- Dark chocolate
- Pumpkin seeds
- Peanuts and peanut butter
Create Your Own Bedtime Ritual
This can include journaling, listening to soothing music, or using essential oils to counteract stress and promote relaxation.
Journaling: According to a study done at Baylor and Emory Universities, nighttime journaling diminished distractions, worry, and overthinking, helping people fall asleep faster. Try journaling about your day or make a short to-do list for the next day.7
Music: Make a bedtime playlist featuring a mix of calming, slow songs and sounds, such as classical music, nature sounds, and chakra-balancing pieces.
Aromatherapy: There are endless options when it comes to using essential oils for stress relief and better sleep. You are probably familiar with lavender’s calming properties, but did you also know that chamomile, hops, orange, and other oils are equally effective for stress and insomnia? Try a combination blend designed for anxiety, relaxation, and/or sleep.
Breathe Away Stress
If you get into bed and your brain is still buzzing, focus on your breathing. Mindful breathing starts with closing your eyes and emptying your mind of all thoughts. Pull air in on the inhale and push air out on the exhale, concentrating only on your breath. Let thoughts of any kind swim by like fish. Do not force it. Allow the calm to loosen your mind and body. It may take some effort at first, but your breathing will eventually take on a mellow rhythm that will lead you to a more relaxing state. As drowsiness enters the picture, anxiety will dissipate as you drift off to sleep.
Try Natural Sleep Supplements Proven to Work
Thankfully, there are many natural remedies that alleviate stress and help prepare your body for sound sleep. ecoSleep is a comprehensive blend of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and Asian herbs shown to support restful sleep. This sleep-friendly mix also helps balance your circadian rhythm and REM cycles for optimum sleep.
If stress-related sleep disturbance is your main problem, HonoPure can help. This unique extract features a highly active compound called honokiol, purified from magnolia bark (Magnolia officinalis),. Extensive research shows pure honokiol promotes relaxation, boosts mood, regulates cellular function, and more. HonoPure is the highest purity and potency honokiol available to provide powerful yet gentle relaxation and mood support, along with cognitive and neurological benefits, antioxidant defense, and other comprehensive benefits for long-term wellness.*
Regardless of the routine you create, choosing researched relaxation methods and ingredients that promote healthy sleep can help you reset, refresh, and repair your body for the next day ahead.
1.Eric Suni. Stages of Sleep. Sleep Foundation website. Updated March 11,2022. Accessed April 9, 2022.
2.Alshobaili FA, AlYousefi NA. The effect of smartphone usage at bedtime on sleep quality among Saudi non- medical staff at King Saud University Medical City. J Family Med Prim Care. 2019;8(6):1953-1957.
3.Rafique N, Al-Asoom LI, Alsunni AA, et al. Effects of Mobile Use on Subjective Sleep Quality. Nat Sci Sleep. 2020;12:357-364. Published 2020 Jun 23. doi:10.2147/NSS.S253375
4. Bhat S, Pinto-Zipp G, Upadhyay H, et al."To sleep, perchance to tweet": in-bed electronic social media use and its associations with insomnia, daytime sleepiness, mood, and sleep duration in adults. Sleep Health. 2018 Apr;4(2):166-173.
5. Haghayegh S, Khoshnevis S, Smolensky MH, et al. Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2019 Aug;46:124-135.
6.Pickering G, Mazur A, Trousselard M, et al. Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited. Nutrients. 2020;12(12):3672. Published 2020 Nov 28. doi:10.3390/nu12123672