When we were little kids we always imagined what life would be like if we were able to stay up late at night, past our bedtimes. We had visions and preconceptions of all night parties, late-night snacking, watching movies until 3am, calling our friends and generally doing whatever we pleased. While we’ve all definitely had a few late nights that would make our school-aged selves proud, as we’ve grown up, we’ve learnt just how important sleep is to making sure we’re properly rested and ready to tackle the day.
As grown-ups we’re saddled with hectic schedules and living in a world that’s constantly finding new and terrifying ways to surprise us. Oftentimes, when it comes time to lay down at night, shut our minds off and put the day behind us we’re plagued by thoughts buzzing round our heads, anxieties and generally just stressful things that stop us from being able to switch off and go to sleep at night.
Beyond our anxieties often the things we get up to in the hours before bed can re-energise us and stop us from being able to get the sleep we so sorely need. Here are 5 activities to incorporate into your evening routine that won’t interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
We all agree that tea and coffee is delicious, there are few people in the world who would need to hear that twice. By and large we’re all addicted to our caffeinated crutches but, in order to get a good night’s sleep, we need to put down the coffee and take the kettle of the heat a few hours before bedtime. Instead, if having a cup of something is part of your nighttime routine, try replacing it with a cup of chamomile tea, known to promote tranquility and calmness and help relieve cramps, lavender tea which promotes a restful sleep or even a low-sugar hot chocolate as a little treat.
Settle In With Self Study
As counterintuitive as it may seem to keep your mind active right before going to bed, engaging in some self study is a great way to feel productive and active without doing much that would disturb your sleep pattern. Self study refers to the sort of work you do when you’re engaged in an online short course, autonomously working through materials and conducting your own research. If you’re enrolled in a course that you find truly interesting then you’ll be stimulated by the subject matter and it’s a great way to feel productive whilst resisting the temptation to get on with your own work and spike your stress levels so close to bedtime.
Now you know the benefits of self study and online short courses, all that’s left to do is to enrol in one! For that all you need to do is head over and check out Upskilled where you’ll also be able to read more about the benefits of self study.
Switch Off Screens
Sure, it’s the 21st century, but sometimes there’s nothing better than taking things analogue! Rather than winding down at the end of the night by laying in bed, binging Netflix whilst simultaneously scrolling through your phone like you’re a one person blue light buffet, take things old school by settling in with a good book. There are few things in life more satisfying than losing yourself in a really good book and to be able to travel to another world through the pages. If you find it hard to focus on reading at night try a podcast! Select your favourite podcast, luckily there are so many to choose from, and then lay back, close your eyes and listen. You can even set a timer to turn the podcast off after a set number of minutes so you don’t even have to pick up your phone to press pause before you drift off – it’s perfect!
They say you should do at least one thing you love every day. If you asked us we’d tell you we think you should be doing something you love every single minute of every single day, however, we know that that’s not always possible with the grind of a 9-5 and bills that need to be paid, bad hair days and the like. They also tell you that you should never go to bed angry which is why we know it’s an absolute must to incorporate something you love into your bedtime routine. Consider yoga or a 30 second dance party, watching an episode of a show you love (although remember you should be trying to stay away from screens at least 90 minutes before bed), having a few squares of chocolate. You made it through another day, it’s important to pat yourself on the back for that.
Stretch It Out
Low-intensity exercise can be the perfect way to wind down at the end of a day before going to bed. Yoga or static stretching done while listening to music or even in front of the TV can help you to settle down and stretch out the muscles that have been tightened by a busy day and get you ready to stretch out in bed for a pain free sleep. Here are some of the best before bed yoga stretches that will give you the release you need to have a good night’s sleep. This will help release all the tension you’ve been holding onto throughout the day, keeping your muscles flexible but also freeing your mind.
Engaging in these activities should leave you feeling zen, calm and well-rested and in the perfect headspace to have a solid night’s rest, however, even if you do everything right there are still some things that can absolutely annihilate your hopes of having a good night’s sleep. Snoring, be it your own or that of your partner, is something that can absolutely decimate your chances of getting a sound night’s sleep. Snoring can be caused by a variety of factors including lifestyle, weight, diet and medications or it could be a result of an underlying sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Luckily, if your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, medical technologies such as CPAP machines can offer the perfect solution. By taking part in these calming evening activities, cutting out blue light and putting an end to snoring once and for all, you’ll be ready to have a great night’s sleep every single night!