Start a Bedtime Routine: Save Time and Get More Sleep

Start a Bedtime Routine: Save Time and Get More Sleep

Use these quick tips to make sure you get all the sleep you can every night.


By: Andrea Updyke

At the end of an exhausting day, fight the urge to fall into bed without taking the time to prepare for sleep. While it may seem like torture when all you want to do is get some shuteye, just spending a few minutes each night to organize your thoughts can lead to better sleep — and more of it.

Many parents know that bedtime routines help their children mentally prepare for and transition into bedtime. It’s no different for adults. No matter what their age, people need time to switch gears and prepare for sleep. With a few small changes and about 20 minutes each night, you can set the stage for your own great night’s sleep and make your mornings a little bit brighter.

Check the Calendar
In the evening, check your schedule for the following day and start to mentally plan ahead. Will you need to get up early or make any stops on the way to work? Will you need a jacket or gym clothes? If you can, gather any extra items you need to bring with you and place them near the door so you aren’t scrambling to find them at the last minute or (gasp!) before you’ve had your coffee in the morning.

Don’t forget to check your kids’ calendars as well to see if they have extra activities. You can also include this step as part of their bedtime routine so they can get organized. Your mornings will thank you.

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Take Care of Yourself
Don’t skimp on a nightly beauty routine. You will feel better when you spend a few minutes on yourself. It’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is taking care of anyone else in the house. Do this by creating a simple routine that gives you the chance to wipe away the stress of the day. Even if it’s simply taking a few minutes to wash your face, you will feel fresh and ready to enjoy your sleep. Finish by slathering on some lavender lotion right before bed to clear your mind and relax your senses.

Get Comfortable
Make sure your sheets fit the bed, your pyjamas are not too loose or too tight and you have removed your jewellery. Even something as small as an earring or a bracelet can cause enough discomfort to wake you up. If there are any steps you can take to avoid being woken up in the middle of the night — nothing is worse than being disrupted by something that would have taken a second to avoid.

Put Your Thoughts on Paper
Great ideas always seem to come at the worst times, like in the shower or the middle of the night. Many times they either keep you awake or are forgotten, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Keep a journal and a pen on your nightstand to jot down those last-minute thoughts or ideas and get them out of your brain. As you review your calendar, make sure you write down anything relevant that pops into your mind. Getting it down on paper takes the pressure off your brain to recall it later. Think of it as a filing system for your thoughts. Then, take a few minutes to clear your mind and focus on sleep. Stretch, take a few deep breaths and relax your muscles so you can enjoy your rest.

Once you have your routine in place, these steps shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes each night. And those are 20 minutes well spent when you are fast asleep and recharging for another full day.

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