Let’s face it. Many of us probably aren’t getting enough sleep. And, good sleep hygiene is key to better health. But, get this. The CDC states that one-third of US adults aren’t getting the sleep they need each night (the golden 7-8 hours). And, if you feel like you’ve tried everything in the book to improve your sleep habits, but are still tossing and turning each night, know that you obviously aren’t alone.
So, stop counting sheep and tossing and turning every night. We’re letting you in on our top favorite hacks for better sleep we all could use in our life.
7 Bedtime Routine Hacks For Better Sleep
#1 Get in Bed by 10 PM:
Having a set bedtime for yourself may seem unrealistic, but if you can really strive to make this the number one hack you work at, it’s going to help tremendously. Not only does getting to bed earlier mean that you’ll increase your sleeping hours, but there’s a science behind the 10 PM thing. According to a study, those who got to bed by 10:10 PM had the best eating and fitness habits.
And, let’s not forget about the fact that if you’re getting into bed later than 10 PM, you run the risk of an evening cortisol spike. You know, that pesky stress hormone that’s notorious for becoming out of whack and causing a late-night energy boost that keeps us tossing and turning all night. If your cortisol spikes at night, you may find it almost impossible to get to sleep, and it may take you hours to finally drift off.
A solution to the problem? Do something to calm the sympathetic nervous system during the day, like yoga, Pilates, meditation, and brisk walking. Also, get to bed by 10 PM to prevent an evening spike from keeping you up all night.
#2 Sleep Masks:
Turns out sleep masks may actually help boost our quality of sleep, especially if you find yourself needing a completely dark room to sleep. They’re an inexpensive, simple sleep hack for better sleep that can be used anywhere and at any time.
Traveling? Bring your sleep mask, so you can shut out the light and what’s going on around you and catch some sleep on your flight.
All hail the almighty lavender. There’s simply no denying the fact that lavender brings some serious calming benefits to our evening routine. It makes the perfect hack for better sleep and can be implemented into your nighttime routine in more than one way.
Essential oils your thing? Try diffusing some lavender while you do your evening meditation. Want to revamp your skincare routine? Get crunchy and make your own moisturizer. All you need is coconut oil and a few drops of therapeutic grade lavender essential oil. Voila, you have an all-natural moisturizer that will bring some zen into your evening routine all at the same time.
#4 Evening Wind Down Routine:
Heads up-evening routines aren’t just for kids. Us adults could benefit from some consistent routines when it comes to winding down our day. Try to come up with a little routine you can stick to, even if it’s just 20 minutes before you go to bed. Whatever your routine is, it will signal that it’s time to go to bed and will get your body ready for sleep.
Here’s an example of a quick and simple evening routine for better sleep.
8:30 PM: PJ’s and evening skincare routine.
9 PM: 20-minute stretch and meditation.
9:20 PM: Herbal tea and reading.
10 PM: Lights out!
#5 Take Evening Snacking to the Next Level:
Who says you can’t have an evening snack and still stay on track with your healthy eating goals? So long as you are snacking on healthy foods, an evening snack may actually help you sleep better. It can be especially helpful if you find yourself waking up hungry in the middle of the night. Plus, there are some foods that can help promote better sleep like almonds, which are a natural source of melatonin to help support sleep regulation. Bananas are also great as they are rich in magnesium, to help calm the mind and the body before bed.
Try a sliced banana with a tablespoon of almond butter and a sprinkle of hemp seeds for the ultimate evening snack for better sleep.
#6 Sip on Herbal Tea:
Ditch all the sugary drinks and stick to water and herbal tea. Things like chamomile tea are excellent for calming the mind and the body to help you wind down for the day. If you find yourself feeling anxious and jittery at night, ditch the afternoon cup of joe, and choose decaffeinated herbal tea as well. Sometimes it’s as simple as reducing our afternoon caffeine intake to help us sleep better at night.
#7 Wake up at the Same Time Every Day:
While this may not seem directly related to sleep, waking up at the same time each day is actually a powerful hack for better sleep. Our bodies have an internal clock (aka circadian rhythm) that lets us know when we’re tired, and when it’s time to be awake. But, here’s the thing. Due to stressful lives and poor sleep habits, our circadian rhythm is often out of whack.
When you have a regular evening routine and wake up at the same time each day, you can help get your circadian rhythm back in balance. And with balance comes more restful sleep.
Improve Sleep Hygiene Improve Your Health
We all need sleep, and the truth is that so many of us just aren’t getting enough. If you are struggling to even get five hours of sleep each night, or find yourself waking up throughout the night, it’s time to make your sleep hygiene a priority.
Try implementing these seven hacks for better sleep. They may be exactly what you need to transform your sleep habits and ultimately transform your health.