Bedtime routines – critical to getting your best nights sleep. You’ve probably noticed when you have enough time to unwind pre-bed, you fall asleep easier and sleep deeper. Conversely, if you’re out for dinner, perhaps enjoying a wine or two, under bright lights and around loud music, you come home and you’re still buzzing for hours – and sleep terribly. Right?!.
If that sounds familiar, this article is for you. As a sleep expert with over 9 years of academics, I’m going to share my Signature Bedtime Routine – something that has seen 100% of my private clients see improvements in their sleep in less than 7 days.
Before I do though, know that it’s imperative to do all the steps each night to see the results you want: falling asleep easier, staying asleep through the night and waking up refreshed. But also know that the steps are quick and easy to follow – so you spend less time doing them and more time doing what I want you to do: sleep.
Olivia’s Signature Bedtime Routine:
- Block out light: as you may recall from our recent blog, light is one of the biggest factors to limit sleep: it inhibits melatonin, the hormone to help you fall and stay asleep. Even just one hour of exposure to light before bed lowers the sleepiness hormone by 23%! Using minimal light and wearing blue light glasses are helpful tools here.
- Diffuse lavender: especially if you’re anxious, clinical trials show lavender can reduce anxiety by 45% – which may otherwise keep you awake.
- Have a ‘Goodnight Phone Alarm’: trigger yourself to get off your phone with an alarm labelled “sleep better” – this also acts as a psychological cue, reminding you of your sleep goals.
- Have a shower: as melatonin is produced when you have a cool core body temperature, emerging from your shower to the bathroom – encourages the body to do exactly this – as noted in academic research. This helps you fall and stay asleep
- Have a sleep supplement. As a natural relaxant, magnesium is one of the best ingredients you can have in your sleep supplement – and it’s been found in academic studies to reduce anxiety by 31%.
- Listen to white noise: helping synchronise your brain into a slower pattern, a recent study found white noise such as a fan can reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep by 38%.
- Practice deep breathing: Once you’re ready to close your eyes, pop on an eye mask, like the Dreamlight or Dreamlight Ease, and practice deep breathing – evidence shows this activates the parasympathetic nervous system to help you feel calm.
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Expert.
Her qualifications include: Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Cert Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Cert 3+4 Fitness; giving her underpinnings of psychology, fitness and nutrition; which are then integrated into sleep.