You’re lying in bed, staring at the ceiling.
“Why can’t I just fall asleep?”, you think to yourself.
“I was tired before I got into bed, why can’t I shut my brain off now?”, you start to spiral.
“I am never going to fall asleep, and I am going to be so exhausted tomorrow.”, the anxiety begins to set in.
I don’t know about you, but this sounds terrible. We know how important sleep is, it’s where we recover and get primed to take on tomorrow. So if we don’t get enough or the quality of sleep we need to, then we’re useless the next day.
Listen, it doesn’t need to be this way.
Let’s go over a routine that you can do before you go to bed to help you not only fall asleep faster but get better, more restorative sleep, every night.
It Starts Before You Go to Bed
In a shocking turn of events, getting good sleep actually starts before you crawl into bed.
Realistically you should be starting your bedtime routine about an hour before you plan on going to bed.
And here’s the first piece of advice, plan when you’re going to go to bed. Don’t wait until you’re ready to fall over, schedule your bedtime.
By scheduling your bedtime you can get your body into the habit of falling asleep at a certain time, which means your body will begin to get in the habit of producing melatonin, the chemical that makes us sleepy, at the same time every night.
Stop Destroying Your Melatonin
Speaking of melatonin, stop watching TV or your phone or iPad before bed.
Electronic devices emit blue light, you know what else emits blue light? The rising sun. When the sun rises, it singles your body to stop producing melatonin and start pumping out cortisol to help you wake up.
Watching a screen before bed is really confusing to your body, it sees the blue light and thinks it's morning, so it won’t produce melatonin to help you fall asleep.
Ever check out the nighttime feature on your phone? What does it do? It turns your screen more orange. Any idea why? Orange light, like what you’d see in a setting sun, signals our bodies to produce melatonin.
Calm Your Mind
One of the biggest problems we have when trying to go to sleep is our minds, they race.
How do we stop that?
Sit in silence for about 10 minutes. Give your mind the time it needs to run through and process everything that happened that day.
Some people would benefit from a guided meditation, while others just need to sit in silence.
Find what works for you, but give your brain the time it needs to unwind.
So there you have it!
Schedule your bedtime.
Stop looking at screens.
Sit in silence.
Your three-step plan to getting to sleep faster.