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Having a healthy bedtime routine will set you up for success

By Tori Taylor, September 23 2019 —

As a student, it’s very important that you are getting the right amount of sleep. Going to bed can be hard to do if you don’t have a regular routine because your body’s rhythm is off. Having morning and evening rituals that signify the beginning and end of your day will help your mind and body know when to turn on and when to turn off. A bedtime routine allows you to create evening habits for relaxation that makes it easier to fall asleep on a schedule.

Stay on a schedule:

It doesn’t seem like something that should matter but going to bed and waking up around the same time is quite important for your mind and body. We all have internal clocks and when we mess them up or deprive them of what they need it becomes harder to sleep.  When we don’t get enough sleep then we have rough days and set up a negative cycle that is difficult to correct. Sticking to your routine will let your body set into its’ natural rhythm and you will have an easier time putting yourself to bed.

Pay attention to what you eat or drink close to bedtime:

For most of us, it’s hard to sleep if you have caffeine or any type of stimulant before bed. Some people are even more sensitive and should avoid caffeine any time in the later afternoon. Listening to your body is important as you wind down for the evening. Every one is different and reacts different to eating before bed. For some people it helps to have a light snack before bed. Healthy snacks like fruit, almonds, vegetables can be part of a nightly routine. Drinking a big glass of water before bed is a great way to stay hydrated and may help your sleep quality. Kombucha or fermented foods can also be good evening snacks as they are full of probiotics and regulate your body’s gut flora.

Have a peaceful bedroom:

The mood in your bedroom is a huge deal when it comes to setting healthy sleeping habits. If you do a lot of activities in your that are not sleeping then your bedroom can become a place that is no longer linked to sleep. Making your bedroom a sleep-only or relaxation-only zone will go a very long way. If your brain links your bedroom to a quiet area for sleeping then you will find it much easier to fall asleep just by being in your room. You can make your bedroom a peaceful place with dim lighting or candles. You might start a rule where you have no electronics after a certain hour. Perhaps you like a relaxing type of music that you can play as you prepare for bed. Keeping your area tidy and clean may also play a role in the ambience. If your bed is covered in dirty clothes and food wrappers then you may find it hard to get a good night sleep — unless you go by Oscar and have an overgrowth of long green body hair.

Pick a bedtime ritual:

A bedtime ritual can be a number of different activities. Finding what suits you best can be a fun experiment to try out over the next while. Trying to shut down electronics before bed is a good idea. Replacing the bedtime-scroll with a book or journaling is a great place to start. Reading a book for 10–20 minutes may be the perfect routine to close your eyes and quiet down your mind. Likewise, journaling about your day or the day-to-come may be an opportunity for peaceful reflection and goal-setting. Perhaps you like to take baths or an evening shower. Putting on a face mask or taking time for self-care is another great route to explore.
At the end of the day we all need time to wind down and release stress. The specific routine that you choose to set for yourselves depends on your own needs. It is important to take time and set up the best possible nightly schedule so that you can be well rested and prepared for the next day.

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