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Learn how to create a relaxing night routine that will help you fall (and stay) asleep tonight!
Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? I definitely do.
Over the past few years, falling asleep has become more and more difficult for me. I was constantly tossing and turning throughout the night, then waking up exhausted the next morning. After a while, I just decided that I was a bad sleeper.
Finally, I had enough and decided to make some changes ... and you know what? It worked!
The best part? I didn't do anything drastic. I simply established a nightly bedtime routine that I follow before going to bed. It helps me relax and sleep better so that I wake up refreshed in the morning.
I'm sharing my favorite tips and tricks below, so that you can create your own evening routine!
How to Create a Night Routine
So, what exactly is a night routine?
It's all the things you do every night before going to bed ... like washing your face, putting on your pajamas, or reading a book. Everyone's routine is different, and what works for me, might not work for you.
The important thing is that you do that same things each night before trying to fall asleep. If you're consistent, you'll get in the habit of winding down at the same time every evening, and you will start training your body to know that it's time to go to sleep.
I'm sharing ten things below that I used to create my bedtime schedule. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire create your own routine!
Of course, I still have those nights when I just can't fall asleep, or when I have trouble sleeping through the night. And that's when I turn to ZzzQuil™ PURE Zzzs™ All Night, a melatonin sleep aid that helps you stay asleep longer (through the night).
If you're someone who has trouble falling asleep or consistently wakes up at 2:00 or 3:00 AM and can't fall back asleep, then ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs All Night is for you ... but more on that below!
Choose a Realistic Bedtime
The first—and most important—thing you should do when creating an evening ritual is to figure out what time you need to go to sleep.
Sounds obvious, right? And it is, but going to bed at a set time (rather than whenever you feel tired) is the key to a successful sleep routine.
I love staying up late. So I've found that if I don't set a strict bedtime, then I'm almost guaranteed to get distracted by a movie, game, or something else. The next thing I know, it's the middle of the night, and I'm still wide awake ... and of course, I'm super sleep deprived the next morning.
If you're like most people, you probably need between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. So choose a time you can stick with, then plan to go to bed at the same time every night.
Avoid Late Night Snacks
The temptation to snack late at night is hard to resist!
I don't know about you, but once I start snacking in the evening, I can't stop. But sugar and carbs can perk you up just when you're trying to wind down. Plus, there's nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach or indigestion!
If you're truly hungry, have something simple and satisfying, like a couple pieces cheese and crackers, a small bowl of oatmeal, or plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. Otherwise, try reaching for a glass of water (or tea) when you feel a craving coming on instead.
Turn Off Your Electronics
My phone and laptop are probably the two worst culprits of my insomnia. I'm a night owl, so I have no problem staying up way too late with my eyes glued to the screen.
It's just so hard to put that phone down, but setting a shut off time definitely helps!
Since I usually try to be in bed by midnight, my goal is to turn off my phone by 10:00 PM every night. That gives me plenty of time to get ready for bed, watch a TV show, and read a couple chapters of a great book.
Try it yourself! I think it will make a huge difference for you, too.
Take Care of Your Skin
After turning off my phone, I head to the bathroom for my nightly beauty routine. The simple act of washing my face starts my mind thinking, "It's time for bed soon."
My routine has quite a few steps, but yours doesn't have to be anything fancy. Wash your face, put on a little moisturizer, then call it a day. If you're in the mood for little self care, try a sheet mask. Masks only take a few minutes, but they're so relaxing!
After I've washed my face, I immediately put on my pajamas ... another cue to my body that bedtime is coming!
Wind Down with a Cup of Tea
I'm someone who can't just fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow. So adding little rituals—like a nightly cup of tea—into my daily routine really helps me settle down!
There is something so relaxing about sipping hot tea. I like to brew a cup while I'm doing my skin care routine. That way, I can start enjoying it as soon as I'm done.
If you're a tea lover, too, make sure to select something without caffeine. That green or black tea will keep you up all night! Choose herbal teas like chamomile, lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, or a special bedtime blend instead.
Stretch to Release Tension
Stretching is another helpful thing I look forward to doing before bed.
I tend to carry a lot of tension in my shoulders and neck. Doing a few simple stretches not only feels good, it's also a great way to get the kinks out before my head hits the pillow.
If you're a yoga fan, you could also add a few simple bedtime yoga poses to your night time routine.
Clear Your Head
My body might be telling me I'm tired, but oftentimes my mind starts wandering the minute I lay down. Which makes falling asleep challenging!
If you have a similar problem, try putting everything that's racing through your head down on paper. It's a great way to get clear your mind so you can sleep.
When I'm worried I'll forget something overnight, writing a to do list for the next day helps so much! You could also start a journal to rehash your day, or simply write down what's worrying you.
I also find it helpful to set out my clothes for the next day before going to bed, and I might even make breakfast (something simple like overnight oats). That way, I have one or two less things to worry about in the morning!
Relax with a Good Book
Reading is another excellent habit to pick up before bed.
I find that it's a great way to relax and distract my mind. Often times, I'll drift off naturally after reading just a few pages. Plus, it's something fun to look forward to each night.
Pick a book that you're able to put down though. Otherwise, you might be up all night with that juicy page turner!
Make Your Bedroom As Cozy As Possible
Creating a comfortable atmosphere for sleep is another thing that really helps. I love my cozy bed so much that I actually look forward to getting into it every night.
Start by making sure your bedroom is the right temperature. Cooler is better ... for most people, it's almost impossible to sleep when it's too hot. So turn down the heat at night, or try adding a fan or cracking a window if it's too warm.
Then there's bedding! I like mine as cushy as possible. Create a great foundation with a comfortable mattress, then add supportive pillows, smooth, soft sheets, and a fluffy comforter that you'll look forward to curling up under.
Ensuring your bedroom is as dark as possible is another thing that helps. So make sure you have adequate window coverings (blackout drapes or shades are great). If your work schedule means you need to sleep during the day, try wearing a comfortable eye mask if the light makes it hard to sleep.
Are you a light sleeper? Consider wearing earplugs if loud sounds or a partner's snoring is keeping you up at night. It is amazing how well they work ... I'm never without mine!
When All Else Fails, Stop Trying to Force It
Still can't sleep? Instead of laying in bed getting frustrated, stop trying to make it happen.
It never works, so try getting up and reading a chapter of book or listening to music. Count backward from 1000. Do a breathing exercise. Repeat a simple, calming phrase (like "I am sleepy" or "don't think") to clear your mind. Picture yourself in a calm setting, such as on a beach with a warm breeze blowing over you.
These kind of nights are also when I reach for ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs All Night, a melatonin sleep aid which can help you fall asleep naturally.* I love how it helps me fall asleep and stay asleep the whole night.
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Having a tool like this is invaluable, especially if you're the type of sleeper who usually wakes up in the middle of the night! I also find it helpful in situations where I always have trouble sleeping (like when I need to go to bed, or wake up, earlier than usual).
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I hope you found these ideas helpful. It is amazing what a difference a few small changes to your night routine can make!
What is something you do every night before going to bed that helps you sleep better?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.