10 Science-Backed Effective Bedtime Routines to Give You More Productive Days ( part 1)
Bedtime routines are not just for the kids. Numerous studies and even personal experiences have shown both bedtime rituals and routines are beneficial to adults as well. Consistent poor sleep is shown to decrease overall health and result in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is vital to experiencing quality sleep and staying healthy.
Taking the time to relax before bed helps you get into the mindset that it is time to sleep and will lead to better sleep overall. Keeping a routine is psychological-the cues from your bedtime routine actions will help you get the sleep you need. Getting the sleep you need will allow you to be more productive during the day. If you want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start marking off items on your to-do list, here are a few bedtime routines that will help you sleep and give you more productive days.
We are constantly surrounded by electronic devices. Whether it’s our phones, computers, or other devices, tech is a must-have to survive in the modern world. However, our lifeline devices can also wreck our sleep and eventually our overall health.
A survey from the National Sleep Foundation found 95% of respondents reported using a computer, playing video games, or using a cell phone at least a few nights a week within an hour before bed which research indicates this is the worst time to catch up on emails or beat the next level in your latest game. The blue light emitted from screens decreases melatonin levels in the brain that tells us it’s time to go to sleep and stimulates your brain.
Tip: Experts recommend unplugging at least an hour before bedtime for improved sleep.
2. Step away from work
With many of us working remotely and more companies making the switch from a traditional office to working in our sweatpants, it’s getting more difficult to separate home from work. Not creating boundaries between work and home has negatively impacted the sleep habits and sleep quality of remote workers.
As of April 2020, up to 70% of remote workers have experienced sleep disturbances. To get our sleep back, it’s best to stop working at a set time every weekday to get the feel of a more traditional schedule and work/home life balance.
Tip: Set designated rooms or areas of your home for work. For example, don’t work in your bed or living room. This helps keep the lines between work and home more manageable.
3. Avoid strenuous exercise
While exercise is proven to help improve sleep, strenuous exercise too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect. Performing exercises like HITT training, intense cardio, CrossFit, or other intense exercise can leave you tossing and turning. These calorie-blasting exercises increase your heart rate, raise body temperature, and stimulate the nervous system causing alertness and wrecking your sleep.
At night, your blood pressure naturally drops around 20% and exercise can disrupt this process, leaving you in a cycle of exercise-induced insomnia. However, some studies have shown that strenuous exercise only disrupts sleep if it is performed within one hour of bedtime. Other studies show that evening exercise has no impact on sleep, and in fact, can improve sleep.
Tip: Exercise affects everyone’s sleep differently depending on the type of exercise, health, when you exercise, and more. If working out too close to bedtime causes you to have trouble sleeping, try different exercises at different times of the day and see how your body responds.