Building the perfect go to bed routine

June 5, 2020 By Meeriad Sleep

Building the perfect go to bed routine

“Most of us cannot sleep on command, but routine helps the brain know that it’s preparing for sleep”, said Rebecca Scott, research assistant professor of neurology at NYU sleep-center. Building a great, consistent, and regular routine is probably the secret to the best sleep. As difficult as it might be, we should all aim to build an end of the day routine, it’s the best way for our body to know when it’s time to go to sleep. 

 This is important because a regular routine before bed can significantly improve your quality of sleep, reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep, and put all the chances on your side for sleepiness and rest. The hard part is not creating the routine, it’s the consistency. There are ways to remind yourself, if needed, that it’s time for bed or a certain activity you engage in before bed. For example, you might set an alarm at 10 pm to go read in bed, this activity will significantly ease your way into sleepiness. 

Of course it doesn’t have to be exclusively activities that help you fall asleep or make you tired, it can be any activity that you enjoy and that lets you wind-down after a long day. Some people might enjoy reading a book, some a hot bath, some will engage in knitting, and others in listening to calm music.  

The attitude you should have when approaching your routine is that of non-striving, like in meditation – not focusing on the outcome but experiencing the moment and enjoyment for its own sake.  This will help you clear your head, calm your nerves, let go of any tension or emotions of the day, and prepare your mind and body for a good night’s sleep. 

Of course, we would advise you to limit your screen time, as the light emitted from your screens will trick your body into thinking it’s still daylight.  Of course your routine should be your own and tailored to your needs and wants, but we have some advice for you on what works.

  1. Set an alarm an hour or two prior expected bedtime, this signals your wind-down moment 
  2. Don’t wind down with screens – stay far from your phone or tablet. You can however indulge in some TV time,  a TV is usually far enough for your eyes to be spared from the light
  3. Don’t over eat, eating lightly facilitates our digestion while eating heavy foods and big meals disrupt sleep 
  4. A warm bath a couple hours before bed can actually reduce your body temperature before bed, which is known to increase chances of falling asleep. Research has shown that raising your body temperature leads to your body dilating your blood vessels and directing blood towards the skin, releasing heat. 
  5. Don’t be in bed too early, your body gets used to you being in your bed and not sleeping. Try to leave your brain’s association to your bed with sleep, because as Dr.Scott states “the more time you spend in the bed before you sleep, the more your body gets used to being awake in bed”

With that being said, don’t forget that our sleep system loves predictability and consistency, don’t forget your routine, keep it up and you’ll see a huge difference in your sleep quality! 

And don’t forget that with our Meeriad application, you have at disposition calming and soothing music for your wind-down routine.