More than five million Americans struggle getting to sleep each night. Many people experience sleep issues due to stress. Finding a good nighttime routine can be vital to help you have better sleep and improve your overall mental health. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night here are some tips to implement a healthy nightly routine:
–Decompress at the end of your day. The brain prepares to fall asleep about two hours before our actual bedtime. By decompressing you will allow your body to slowly come down and allow your sleep system to take over. Some ways to decompress include: spending time with family, reading, or even watching television.
–Make a list. Write down 2-3 things that went well and 2-3 things that could have gone better from the day. If there is something you need to work on make a plan of action for the next day or weeks to come. By doing this it allows you to start your next morning refreshed with a good moral compass.
–Practice meditation. Meditation is the practice of quieting the mind. It is a simple practice which can be done anywhere. Be patient if you are just starting out a meditation practice. If you are new to mediation start by practicing 3 to 5 minutes before bed, and slowly increase. Here is a list of apps to help guide you on your mediation practice.
–Take a bath. Not only is this relaxing already, but a drop in body temperature can increase a person’s chances of falling asleep according to a study done by Cornell University.
–Put your phone away. This can be easier said than done for most people. If you struggle to stay off your phone try placing your phone in another room, so it is out of site out of mind. Between our phones and computers, we spend all day staring at a screen. Bluelight is harmful to your eyes and can impact the production of melatonin which controls your sleep-wake cycle. Spending time on technology can also increase alertness, which is not something you want before bed.
Whether you are struggling to fall asleep at night or do not have any problems; these tips can be beneficial in having a positive evening routine. Sleep plays an essential role in your health, so it’s important you find a healthy nighttime routine which works for you.
Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.