Sleep is to a human body what fuel is to a car. Proper, timely rest for a minimum of 7 hours every night is crucial to keep up the efficiency and quality of work for every individual. For most working parents, sleep, in today’s era, is frustrating at best, and elusive at its worst. With a whole host of problems eating at their mind at all times, sleep, actually, has become quite a precious commodity.
This, however, can be overcome, to quite an extent, by sticking to a nighttime routine religiously and diligently.
A nighttime routine can rid you of sleep issues, inculcate a smoother morning routine, and promise an energetic day, both at work and at play.
Why it is Important to Stick to A Nighttime Routine
Many people have a habit of performing certain jobs or chores before retreating to bed every night, like having a hot drink just before bedtime or reading themselves into slumber. But it has been noticed, however, that the majority take each night as it comes, and do not have any specific nighttime routine to adhere to.
It should be understood, here, that following a night routine is as important as following one in the morning. Just as a morning routine guides you through each important activity smoothly, before leaving for work, without having to churn your brains as to ‘what’s next?’, similarly, a nighttime routine has the following advantages:
- It improves the quality of sleep that you get.
- It makes your mornings a smooth sailing experience and hence, more productive.
- Your brain functions more efficiently throughout the day.
This is applicable for both kids and adults, although the amount of sleep required by them may vary.
Now, having understood the importance of following a nighttime regime, let us see what steps should be undertaken to implement this as a daily chore.
- Jot down what all you wish to include in your nighttime routine clearly and follow the plan religiously. Having done so for a few days, you need not refer to your plan any longer as by then it will have gotten converted into a positive habit.
- Make use of digital alarms in the initial days of your nighttime routine to remind you of the same at a specific time every night.
- Make goals which are easily achievable, that give you a sense of achievement at the end of every day. Setting a difficult and cumbersome nighttime routine regimen right from the start will only tempt you to skip through them.
Tips to get you better sleep
- Create a comfortable and clean sleep environment so that you get up in a more peaceful fashion.
- Establish a calming pre-sleep routine, which may include brushing your teeth, changing into your sleepwear, reading, and so on.
- Use the right mattress, which is comfortable, ergonomic, and just the right thickness, as desired. You can get a whole range of them at wakefit.co.
- Dim the lights to prepare your senses to sleep.
- Avoid stimulants like nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol in the evenings.
- Try identifying the factors that are restricting you from following and sticking to a healthy nighttime routine.
Why it is More Important for Children to Follow A Nighttime Routine than you Think it is
Kids, oftentimes, are extremely smart, and they know just the right tricks that will let them buy extra time to play or watch their favorite program on the TV or simply laze around with sweet nothings. And as a parent, you need to encourage them to get rid of these temptations.
Giving in to their wishes and demands may tag you as a ‘nice and fun parent’ in their innocent minds, but the harm that ensues, in the long run, will be more alarming than you can ever imagine.
It has been seen that children who regularly sleep late and get up early, not being able to catch up on enough sleep, start having behavioural issues and even lower test scores. This further cements the importance of following a nighttime routine for your kids.
- A consistent nighttime routine enhances the development and growth of your little ones.
- Your children feel safer and more secure when they regularly and structurally follow a bedtime regime.
- Nighttime is the best in terms of harnessing and nurturing your relationship with your child. They get undivided attention, and hence, save their most sensitive questions for moments such as these.
A Step-by-step Guide to a healthy nighttime regimen
Generally speaking, most doctors will advise the usage of sleep masks and sleep meditation programs to kick-start your pledge of sticking to a nighttime routine. However, there is much more to it.
As adults, we need to have more determination and will power to introduce something new into an already existing regime.
The following preparatory steps can help you stick to a nighttime routine more diligently.
Before you head home
- Avoid having caffeine after 4 pm as anything you consume during this period affects and stays in your system for up to 6 hours. However, you can replace it with herbal tea.
- Stay hydrated at all times.
- Wind up work on time and have a cut-off time for attending to office emails and calls, etc. Remember, setting boundaries is critical to getting a good night’s sleep.
Immediately after work
- Avoid alcohol, at least two hours prior to sleep. Consuming liquor may make you feel drowsy, but it will never give you a restful sleep throughout the night.
- Have your dinner two hours prior to sleep to avoid uneasiness and indigestion. Also, eat light, so as to feel light and energetic.
- Tidy up your environment as staying organised helps you wake up with a peppy mood.
- Make arrangements for the next morning to stay organised for the next day, and avoid unnecessary delays or forgetting something important.
- Relax by taking time out for yourself. Enjoy some of your favorite activities, like watching a favorite TV show, etc. However, limit your time so that your nighttime routine does not get affected.
One hour before bedtime
- Cut off yourself from the harmful rays emitted by electronic screens at least 30 minutes prior to sleeping. These blue lights, from electronic gadgets, restrict the production of the hormone melatonin, which is essential for a restful night’s sleep.
- Read a book for at least six minutes before going to bed as it helps in easing the stress in your body and even calms down the nervous system.
- Introspection of your actions and decisions from the day, at night, gives you a clear picture of your accomplishments and helps you shape a better tomorrow for yourself. However, do not focus on the negatives alone, even if it was a bad day for you. A positive thought can keep your spirits going and prepare you for a better beginning the next morning.
- Always plan and plot for your day’s schedule in advance, so you already know what you need to do once you reach your workplace.
- Be grateful for what you have achieved over the day.
Just before sleeping
- Following a health-centric or hygiene ritual can impart a good night’s sleep. Your body temperature needs to be regulated well to ensure an undisturbed sleep pattern.
- Practice bedtime yoga. This enhances and activates the parasympathetic nervous system and triggers relaxation.
- A very important component to ensure you stick to your nighttime regime is to make sure you sleep at the same time every day. You can set an alarm an hour prior to your sleep to remind you to start with your bedtime rituals.
The endless connectivity of smartphones and packed schedules might make having a sound sleep at night an imaginary dream for you. Moreover, personal temptations can distract you further from sticking to a nighttime schedule, which, in turn, will reduce your quality of life drastically.
Where a random night routine can hamper your sleep cycle, a specific pre-set nighttime routine can impart greater challenge-facing capacities and even provide enough strength to deal with problems head-on.
Therefore, we recommend following the three M’s for a productive nighttime routine-
- a good mattress
- a sleep mask
- sleep meditation
Following the aforementioned on a regular basis and making it a part of your daily regimen can definitely allow you to follow your nighttime routine more fervently and stringently, without giving in to distractions.