We’re all familiar with the idea of bedtime routines for kids—brush your teeth, read a story, and off to dream land. But the truth is, a bedtime routine for adults is totally a thing, and an important thing at that. The idea is to perform a few simple steps before bedtime, which will put your brain into sleepy mode as soon as you hit the mattress. Read on to see how (and when) to get started.
60 Minutes Before Bedtime:
Set an alarm to go off one hour before your goal bedtime. This will kick off the bedtime routine, and remind you that it’s time to turn off Netflix and focus on getting the sleep. After all, sleep has major health and mental benefits, which is all something we could use right now.
59 Minutes Before Bedtime:
Create a to-do list for the next day. This will help you feel more in control of tomorrow, which will release stress. Anxiety is a huge contributor to those restless nights, and so giving yourself a tool for mental relief is important. Another option is to journal during this time, since that is another form of mental relief.
50 Minutes Before Bedtime:
Do some light stretching or yoga. After you relax your brain from the previous exercise, it’s time to focus on relaxing your body. This works to loosen tight muscles, slow your breathing, and trigger signals that it’s time to relax.
35 Minutes Before Bedtime:
Take a hot shower or bath. The warm water raises your body temperature, which then drops when you get out. Research shows this can actually induce and improve sleep. Not to mention it’s just plain relaxing, and makes climbing into your supportive mattress and sheets that much cozier.
20 Minutes Before Bedtime:
Lower the temperature. Our body temperature drops before we go to sleep, and then rises a few hours into the cycle. This is why we wake up hot, and why the National Sleep Foundation recommends lowering the thermostat before bed. The best temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees. You should also start lowering the lights too, which will send sleepy signals to the brain.
19 Minutes Before Bedtime:
Spend the final minutes of your bedtime routine for adults by listening to music. Sleep studies have proven this can reduce stress, while also helping your brain to “turn off.” Classical music is a go-to, but it can really be anything that you personally find soothing, from R&B to jazz.
After that, all that’s left in your bedtime routine for adults is to go to bed, preferably with a comfortable mattress, pillow, and sheets. The more you practice your routine, the more natural it will become, and your brain will start to associate the routine with getting tired. And as we all know, the best days start with great sleep.