This article has been adapted from 14 Best Night Routines to Help You Get a Goods Night's Sleep.
Many people have a morning routine... we get out of bed, have a shower, brush our teeth...make breakfast. But this isn't always the case in the evenings, plans get in the way and we tend to be so tired by the end of the day we just want to jump into bed.
But, you might be surprised to learn that having a good nighttime routine can be a key way to getting a healthier night's sleep. And there are various habits which can have a significant effect on not just the quantity of our sleep - but also the quality.
Take an hour to wind down before bedtime
It's important to be consistent when it comes to your nighttime routine, and allowing yourself at least an hour to set out a routine can really help in doing so. Dr. Britney Blair states, "The golden rule is to do something that's relaxing for the body and calming for the mind".
By setting aside an hour to relax, you're telling your body and mind to start switching off, which is going to make falling asleep a whole lot easier.
Turn down the lights!
You might already be familiar with the fact that light affects our melatonin production (for those of you that don't know - melatonin is a chemical our body releases when it gets dark - which makes us feel drowsy).
Dr. Britney Blair says; "the best thing you can do to increase melatonin production is to get as much light as you can during the day, and then after dusk, keeping your lights as dim as possible".
It's difficult - but that also means reducing the amount of time spent on your phone in the evenings!
Avoid taking a hot bath
You might be surprised to hear this, but you should in fact avoid taking a hot bath or shower, Dr. Blair says, as this can actually prevent your body from falling to sleep.
"If we think about evolution, the core body temperature being elevated was a sign of two things in the wild — one, you have an infection, or two, you're laying too close to the fire," Blair adds.
That doesn't mean you can't have a nice warm bath though!
You can even watch some TV
At the risk of contradicting what we just said, watching TV before bedtime can actually be a great way to get relaxed before bedtime. The light emitted by TV screens is actually OK as they typically won't be bright enough to impact on the body's melatonin production.
Dr. Britney Blair adds - just be sure it's nothing too stimulating! Choosing something more calming is going to be better for setting you in the mood for going to sleep.
Set An Alarm!
Dr. Britney Blair says, "The single best thing anyone can do for healthy sleep, is choose a time in the morning and get up at that time every single day." In the long-run, this helps improve sleep and also ensures you get consistent sleep. And when we say every single day, we mean weekends too - sorry!
So, there you have it, just a few tips to help you get a better night's sleep.