Do you love and embrace routine in your life? Are you the type of person who thrives within the structure of routine, or who prefers to fly by the seam of your pants? What about when it comes to sleep? Do you sleep better with a routine in place? It's important to understand the role routine plays when it comes to sleep. In order to have your best night sleep you need to adopt a whole day and night approach to sleep and routine.
This month at The Goodnight Co. we are looking at the importance of routine and the role it plays in relation to your sleep habits. We will spend the month breaking down the idea behind the importance of routine and give you should practical tips and small steps you can take to implement better routine in your life.
Why are routines important when it comes to sleep?
Establishing a regular routine is important for sleep because it helps regulate our body's natural circadian rhythm, which is the internal "clock" that governs our sleep-wake cycle. When we keep a consistent sleep schedule, our bodies learn to anticipate when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling rested.
Routine doesn't just play a role in your sleep practices at night time. It starts in the morning and throughout your day. A bedtime routine helps your brain distinguish the day from night, clear your mind from daily stress and fall asleep peacefully. But your morning routine plays an important role in gaining optimal sleep.
Tips for your morning routine
Everyone's morning routine is different. Some things you can incorporate into a morning routine include:
- Waking at the same time every day (even on the weekend)
- Getting 10 – 20 mins of sunlight within the hour of waking
- Connect your bare feet with the earth
- Drink a glass of water
- Practice some form of gratitude, mindfulness and/or meditation
- Avoiding reaching for your phone for a set period of time.
By creating a morning routine and setting your circadian rhythm, you will help your body clock throughout the day. By getting a bit of sunlight in the morning, you help the sleep hormone melatonin to turn off and allow for cortisol to kick in to help you get out of bed and get moving.
Tips throughout the day
Once your day has started, you want to implement a routine that can be weaved into your day. Here are some tips that can help support your cortisol levels and nervous system during the day:
- Manage your stress levels with meditation, deep breathing or spending time in nature
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a balanced diet
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
- Schedule breaks throughout the day to stretch your legs, get outside and get some fresh air
- Stay hydrated
Your night time routine sets you up for the best night sleep
What does a simple and effective night time routine look like for you? You want to choose some practices that you enjoy and that you don't consider hard work. Some things we suggest to incorporate include:
- Having a warm shower
- Reducing the amount of light about an hour before sleep
- Reading a real book with a book lamp
- Listening to a guided sleep meditation
- Using a ‘sleep’ essential oil
- Practicing a breathing technique
Your routine doesn’t have to take hours, start with what feels like a good amount of time for you, it is all about sending consistent cues to your body and brain that you are in wind down mode and entering sleep time.
Routine doesn't have to be scary or difficult
Whether it's your morning routine, day time habits or night time routine, if it's something difficult to implement or too time consuming the chances are you won't stick to it. Over this month we will show you simple habits you can implement to create an easy, simple to follow routine that helps you sleep your best.