Do You Have a Bedtime Routine?
If you have younger children, chances are you are familiar with the concept of a bedtime routine. In fact, it’s usually one of the things that sleep experts suggest for young children who have trouble going to sleep. Create a routine that prepares them for sleep so that they will fall asleep on their own. Fast forward to our adult years and how many of you have a bedtime routine now?
Gratitude Tip: Creating a bedtime routine as an adult (or a teen) will allow you to get the rest and recovery that can only be found in a solid 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Use your gratitude habits as part of your routine to help your subconscious to focus on positive things while you are asleep.
On Thursday Oct 8th, the episode of The Dr. Oz Show I attended live back in August will be airing. And one of the topics is sleep, featuring sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus. Check your local listings and set your PVR as you don’t want to miss this episode. And pay close attention to the audience – I had the opportunity to answer a question on the show!
Here are my suggestions for creating a bedtime routine that will help you get the sleep you need.
1. Set a bedtime alarm. An hour before you want lights out, set your alarm. For example, if you’d like to be in bed by 11 pm, set your alarm for 10 pm.
2. Turn off the TV and all electronics. Falling asleep with the TV on is one of the worst things you can do as the light emitted from the television does not allow your brain to go into the deep sleep that you body needs. And the same light is emitted from our tablets and smart phone, best to turn these off and charge them in another room. If you use your phone as an alarm, set it to airplane mode.
3. Dim the lights. In order for our natural melatonin levels to rise in the evening, it’s important to dim the lights. As we age, it’s normal for our production of melatonin to decrease so using a natural melatonin supplement such as Pure Rest from USANA can help your body prepare for sleep. Allow the tablet to dissolve under your tongue 30 minutes before bed.
4. Block out light from the outside. If you have a street light in front of your home or during the summer months, a light blocking shade is essential. As soon as your eyes see the natural light, your melatonin levels quickly drop and you’re wide awake. If you wake up to use the bathroom during the night, don’t turn on the light or use a small night light in the bathroom.
5. Cool down your house. As we move into the winter months this is easier to do, simply drop the thermostat by 1-2 degree at night. You will sleep better if you’re a bit cool. However, make sure you’re wearing socks! For many people, their cold feet will wake them up during the night. Keeping the tootsies warm will help you stay asleep.
6. Affirmations. Create a list of I am affirmations to say in front of the mirror before bed. I am strong. I am intelligent. I am a money magnet. I am in my best health. And finish with a sincere I love you.
7. Just before turning off the lights, write in your gratitude journal. Write at least three things you are grateful for, for the day and then write one or two things you are looking to manifest in your life, in the present tense. For example, I am so happy and grateful now that I am living in Annecy, France with my family (that’s my personal goal!).
8. Lights out. Say a prayer or two and breathe deeply to fill your cells with beautiful oxygen and to allow your body to relax. Use a sleep mask and earplugs if your environment is not completely dark or quiet.
Sleep tight! Did I miss anything? Is there something in your bedtime routine that we could add?