Bedtime Practices: 7 Habits Will Help Your Body for Sleep

You may get a better night’s sleep if you follow a regular bedtime routine each day. For a comfortable night’s sleep, try any or all of the following activities.

Take a hot bath

New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center did research in 1997 that found that your body temperature begins to fall two hours before you go to sleep and reaches its lowest point around 4 a.m.” or 5 a.m.” at night.  Your body temperature increases when you bathe in a hot tub, which calms you shortly.

A 20- or 30-minute soak in the tub two hours before going to bed is recommended by associate professor of medicine at New York University’s School of Medicine, Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D. 

According to the author, to have a good night’s sleep, you need to elevate your body temperature by a few degrees with a warm bath. 

Taking a shower isn’t as effective, but it’s still a viable option.

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Set up a dimmer switch

Late at night, your body produces the chemical melatonin that causes drowsiness, but only if your environment provides the correct signals to your body. 

melatonin is the hormone of darkness, according to Walsleben, and it is inhibited by light. “As early as nine or ten o’clock is when you want to adapt to darkness.” 

Before getting ready for bed, try sitting in a darkly lit area for a few minutes to help you relax.

Sort your clothing

Repeating the same pattern each night might assist your body in understanding that it’s time to go to sleep.

 Dr. Gary Zammit, head of the Sleep Disorders Institute in New York City, says, “We propose that individuals adopt regular nighttime rituals before bed to assist their brain change into sleep mode.” 

Sleep-inducing routines include putting your pajamas out, putting on your hairspray, and brushing your teeth.

Shun p.m. stimulants

To help you go to sleep faster, you may want to cut out your daily cup of coffee, even if it’s as early as midday. For those who have had a terrible night’s sleep, Walsleben advises against consuming coffee afternoon since it may remain in the body for hours.

You should be careful even if you drink decaf. As much as 32 mg of caffeine per cup—roughly the same amount as a 12-ounce can of cola—a 2007 Consumer Reports research revealed that “decaffeinated” coffee provided at multiple chain restaurants varied substantially. If you’re very sensitive to caffeine, two or three glasses could keep you awake.

Smoking to wind down before bed may have the opposite effect, increasing heart rate and alertness, according to Walsleben.

Turn off all electronics.

A few minutes of emailing or texting before bedtime may be pleasant, but it might be increasing the amount of time you toss and turn.

According to Walsleben, all displays that emit light (even TVs) are stimulating, and thus it’s better to stay away from them.

For example, she suggests that you read in a comfortable chair before you go to sleep so that your brain can wind down before you fall asleep. “Stop watching television and reading your email.”

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Wear socks to sleep

Warm your cold paws with a cozy pair of socks, particularly in winter. To help you sleep better, Phyllis Zee, MD, Ph.D. professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, recommends adding a layer of clothing beneath your duvet or comforter to aid increase circulation in your limbs.

Eat and drink in moderation at night.

As a result, your digestive system may be overworked while your body is asleep, making it difficult to fall asleep.

It may make you sleepy after supper, but drinking alcohol will delay you from receiving the deep restorative REM sleep that you need to wake up feeling rested.

If you drink a lot of water or any other beverage before going to sleep, you may have to go to the toilet during the night.

A Stanford University professor of psychiatry and author of The Promise of Sleep states that “most persons middle-aged and older have to get up at night for this reason, although reducing drinks before bed may assist.”

Install a dim red light bulb in your bathroom if you have to get out of bed often; it’s less stimulating than strong white light and will not disturb the passage of melatonin into your brain.)

Tips: Bedtime, Bedtime

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