Did you know that not getting enough sleep puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart-related problems, and more? A global sleep survey conducted by Philips revealed that 62% of adults still feel like they do not get enough sleep. Sleeping routines and habits have changed drastically in the last few years due to the abundance of smartphones and OTT platforms. Not only this, we are all trying to keep up with the endless stresses of life and often forget to keep track of what we do before sleeping.
Our habits affect the way we sleep. There are some habits that are beneficial while others can lead to sleep disturbance or in some cases no sleep at all. To help you understand how you can develop a good sleep routine, here is a list of dos and don’ts before bed.
What should you do before sleeping?
If you are constantly wondering how to fall asleep or improve sleep, here are some practical tips that will help you:
● Include tryptophan-rich foods in your dinner: Tryptophan is a type of amino acid that regulates the production of several neurotransmitters and hormones, including melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for maintaining your sleep cycle and helps you sleep at night because the brain produces melatonin in response to darkness. Foods like chicken, egg whites, pumpkin seeds, fish, milk and cheese are rich in tryptophan and can help induce good sleep.
● Set a reminder an hour before bed: Of course, you don’t forget to sleep, but you forget to sleep at the same time every day. Setting an alarm for an hour before you go to bed helps you relax and maintain a consistent sleep routine. This is necessary before sleeping only if you have not yet developed the habit. Within a few days, you’ll find that your body automatically gets used to the routine and tells you it’s time to hit the sack.
● Make sure you have a comfortable sleeping space: Clean the area where you are going to sleep before you go to sleep. Make sure the room is clutter-free, warm and dark. Dimming the lights before bed helps you fall asleep faster.
● Stretch and breathe: Some stretching before bed is the answer to the question of how to sleep. Stretches are known to relax the body instead of stimulating it like some other form of exercise. Relaxing your muscles is a great way to begin the process of relaxing and unwinding. This, combined with some deep breathing exercises is perfect for getting your mind into a calm state, allowing you to sleep better.
● Take a bath with lukewarm water: Taking a bath with warm water before sleeping helps in relaxing the muscles. Studies have shown that taking a warm bath about an hour before sleeping reduces core temperature.
● Switch your devices to night mode: About three to four hours before you go to bed, it’s a good idea to turn on night mode on your devices. Ideally, you should completely turn off your devices at least two hours before you go to sleep. However, if it’s unavoidable, Night Mode reduces the strain on your eyes.
● Meditate for a few minutes: We often get so consumed by our thoughts that it becomes difficult to sleep. Meditation helps you calm your mind and prevent thoughts that cause anxiety and stress, disrupting your sleep. Mindfulness meditation sets a purpose for the practice. It helps you become more aware of the things you are experiencing and cope with them more easily.
● Drink relaxing tea: Herbal teas such as chamomile have been used as a remedy for poor sleep. More importantly, they reduce the levels of stress hormones making it easier to fall asleep.
● Journaling helps: If you start feeling restless before sleeping, journaling is quite useful. It helps you get your thoughts down on paper and get them out of your head. This is also a great way to set an intention for the next day. The latter is a powerful habit that is known to help you fall asleep and feel awake at the same time.