Have you ever stopped to think about what you are doing late at night?
Do you find yourself working, watching tv, or surfing the web all the way up until your bedtime?
A night time routine for adults is just important as a night time routine is for children.
Responsibilities such as taking care of a family can make it feel as though you do not have much time for yourself to unwind at night. However, if you have sleeping problems on regular basis there are ways to establish a night time routine for adults.
Schedule 30 to 60 minutes to slow down at the end of a busy day and performing these 10 methods which will help calm your mind down. By establishing these good habits everyday over time these habits will become second nature and you will do them without thinking about it.
You have a choice on how you spend your quiet time. These are suggestions that will help you unwind after a long day. In addition, you will also find some activities that you should avoid.
Does having a night time routine help me sleep at night?
The answer to that question is yes.
These are four reasons why having a night time routine is beneficial:
- By performing the same actions everyday this will condition your mind to know when it is time to slow down from your daily activities.
- Planning what you need to do the next day can be done during this quiet time. Since you have your thoughts recorded down. Doing this will help eliminate any racing thoughts that will you keep awake at night.
- This routine will help calm an overactive mind that cannot settle down.
- Many of the activities that people do at night time are overstimulating. This will trick your brain to believe that it is not time to slow down and that we should continue. Having a night time routine set in place will eliminate these overstimulating activities and replace them with activities that will promote relaxation.
How long should this night time routine be?
There is no set time for how long a night time routine should be. You can set your routine for the amount of time that it takes for you to relax.
Factors in your life affect how long your routine will be as well. For example, if you have a family to take care of and spent some time cleaning your home, then 30 minutes is sufficient.
If you have sleep problems and have a few free hours at night. In this case, one hour is a better time frame.
If you are one of those people who uses electronic devices and watches television in the evening (very common). I advise that you take the last hour of the day to avoid using any electronic devices.
Things to do for your night time routine
The thing to keep in mind is that this is a time of the day that should be peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. The routine is different for everybody depending on what you choose.
These are 10 methods that will help you unwind at night:
1. Schedule some time with your partner, family, or your friends
This is one method that is often overlooked. If you live with other people you should spend some time before going to bed playing a quiet game or conversing. Avoid using your phone or any electronic device when you are in the room with the other person.
This will help keep your mind away from and any distracting thoughts that are interrupting your quiet time.
I recommend playing board games or cards during this time as they are relaxing and do not stimulate your mind nearly as much as electronic devices would.
My family and I sometimes gather together to play board games or cards. We always end up having a blast regardless of who wins or loses.
The trick here is to not be overly competitive (some healthy competition is good), feel upset or feel any strong emotions. The activity is more far more important than the outcome of the game. You should feel relaxed and have a good time.
Play fair and show good sportsmanship. You will reap the benefits if you do so.
2. Relaxation Exercises: Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Mindfulness and Guided Meditation
If you have a difficult time sleeping at night because of stress, anxiety, or because you have an overactive mind.
Performing some these relaxation techniques will help out immensely.
Explore the different relaxation techniques for sleep here.
3. Spiritual Practices: Meditation, Yoga and Praying
Spiritual activity can bring clarity and peace of mind to those who feel tension. The best time to do these are before going to bed.
Meditating, praying, light yoga and reading up on spiritual literature are all excellent activities that can be included in your night time routine.
4. Record any thoughts, reminders and worries
Have you ever lied in your bed thinking about what you have to do the next day?
Thoughts such as these can race around in your mind and make it difficult for you to relax. Before you know it other reminders and worries join in and add to the mental checklist in your mind.
An effective trick that works really well is to record all thoughts, reminders, and worries into a “to do list” before you go to sleep.
As a bonus, you will not forget what important thing you have to complete the next day. I have done this many times before and this is an excellent method to keep track of important tasks.
5. Drink a relaxing beverage or eat a light snack
I do not recommend drinking any beverage that contains sugar, caffeine, or alcohol.
I can tell you this from my own experience because I have made this mistake before. There were times when I drank coffee right before going to sleep. That was a bad choice because it took me a few hours before I could relax enough to fall asleep.
A better alternative is to drink herbal tea. This can be combined along with listening to some relaxing music or reading a book.
Avoid any fatty, fried or spicy foods.
What I have learned over time is that these types of foods are difficult for your body to process at night time and sometimes can cause unusual dreams or nightmares. This is something you should avoid doing because eating these types of foods can disrupt your sleep patterns.
Save these types of foods for earlier in the day.
If you are hungry in the evening, it is completely fine to eat a light snack before your scheduled bedtime. Foods such as low fat yogurt, granola, and bananas are much better choices over fried, fatty and spicy foods.
6. Turn off all electronic devices
There is no doubt that electronic devices are a large part of our modern lives. Most people use them all the way up until their scheduled bedtime.
Devices such as cellphones, televisions, tablets, computers, laptops, and video game consoles can consume a lot of time.
These are the following reasons why you should turn off all electronic devices one hour prior to your bedtime:
- Examining email or other types of news can cause unnecessary stress and worrying thoughts.
- These types of devices are very addicting. Using them can cause you lose out on vital sleep time.
- Your brain is constantly stimulated and this stimulation makes it difficult to calm down.
- The light emitted from these devices tricks your biological clock into thinking that is still daytime and that you should be active instead of relaxing.
It is even better if you remove all electronic devices from your bedroom and place them in a separate room. The temptation to use these devices will be greatly reduced.
7. Listen to relaxing music
Although, it is in your best interest to avoid using electronic devices before going to sleep.
Listening to some relaxing music is an excellent idea.
I have done this and relaxing music helps me calm down.
This is what I recommend that you do:
- Make sure that there is nothing that can bother you.
- Dedicate this time only for listening to music.
- Select your relaxing music.
- Turn your volume down to a comfortable level.
- Turn off the display of your device so that it is not emitting any light.
- Do not look at the screen of your device.
- Do not respond to any other messages or notifications. (It is best to turn these off)
The key here is to not listen to any music that will cause excitement or stir up any emotions.
How often do you listen to music while just relaxing at the same time?
8. Read a book or a magazine
This is a much better alternative to the using electronic devices at night time. It is completely fine to read a book or magazine while lying down in bed.
Many people I have spoken to find reading a book or a magazine while lying down in their beds to be a relaxing activity. In turn, this helps them sleep better.
The secret to this method is to read by a lamp that has a soft yellow light that is of moderate brightness. Avoid any lamps that emit a bright white light as this type of light will keep you awake.
9. Lower the temperature in your bedroom
The temperature in your bedroom is one factor of sleeping that is often overseen.
It is important to control the temperature in your bedroom.
These two facts will help you out:
- The body is conditioned to know if the temperature is lowering, it is a signal to go to sleep.
- The best temperature for sleeping ranges from 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 to 22.2 degrees Celsius. Sleeping in a very warm or hot room is possible and can be done.
This is usually not an issue during the winter months. However, if the temperature in your bedroom is greater than the temperature range listed above.
There are ways to lower the temperature of your body and your bedroom by taking into account the following options:
- Take a short walk outside and breathe some fresh air.
- Take a shower 15 to 30 minutes prior to sleep. (Ideally a cool shower and not a hot one)
- If you prefer to take hot baths instead of showers. Take your bath one to two hours before going to sleep. It will take some time before your body to fully cool down after a hot bath session.
- Open your bedroom door and windows to release any hot, stuffy air that is not circulating.
- Adjust the thermostat in your bedroom to be within the best temperature range listed above in fact #2.
- If you live a hot climate, a cooling mattress or bed fan will help you out nicely.
10. Do not lie in bed for hours on end
This method is a very important one. On average, it should take you between 15 to 20 minutes to fall asleep.
If you find that you are still awake after lying in bed for 20 minutes. That is an indicator that your mind and body and not ready to sleep.
The trick here is to get out of bed, enter another room in your home, use a soft yellow light that is not too bright, and repeat any of the methods that you choose from this list.
After this 15 to 30 minute period, go back to your bed and try to go to sleep once more.
The worst possible thing that can happen is that you toss and turn throughout the night while getting little to no sleep.
If you are still wide awake during this time, it is better for you to stay up for as long as you can until you feel sleepy.
Having a night time routine set in place will help you create and maintain a consistent pattern in your life. This way you do not have to feel like you always have to be constantly moving here and there.
It is a positive thing to be able to come home in the evening and take a load off from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Time to relax and unwind at night is a part of your sleep routine that you should place a great deal of value on.
What is your night time routine?
Do you do anything different from these 10 methods?
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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