Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep

Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep

Many people struggle to get a good night’s rest. It’s estimated that 50–70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders. You might have difficulties sleeping for many reasons; stress, anxiety and mental health conditions like ADHD impact sleep. But whatever the reason, it’s vital to address sleep problems as soon as possible. Luckily, fixing your sleep might be easier than you realize. Here are some easy steps to incorporate into your new bedtime routine to improve your sleep and help you feel well-rested.

Importance of Sleep

Your body and mind need sleep to recharge and recover from the day. Sleep is critical to our overall physical, mental and emotional well-being. People who don’t get enough restful sleep are at a higher risk for health conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity and depression. Additionally, lack of sleep can make it more challenging to think clearly and regulate emotions and can increase the severity of mental health symptoms.

Taking care of your sleep needs is a form of self-care that can’t be overlooked. Adults should aim to get around 8 hours of restful sleep.

Five Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep

Try any of the following five tips to improve your sleep:

Have a Consistent Bedtime

Many people who work a 9–5 job fall into the trap of having a consistent bedtime during the week but staying up late and sleeping in on weekends. While falling off your schedule on weekends can be very tempting, it’s detrimental to your sleep. You need a consistent bedtime to signal to your body when it’s time to go to sleep.

Try to see the value in going to bed at a reasonable hour on weekends. It means you can get up early and get more out of your day.

Cut Out Screen Time 1 Hour Before Bed

The bright blue light that shines off most devices (laptops, phones, television screens, iPads, etc.) tricks the body into thinking it’s still daytime. This stops the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produced in response to darkness that makes us sleepy.

So, that scrolling you love to do before bed might be why you have trouble falling asleep.

To avoid this problem, set an alarm 1 hour before bedtime to remind you to stop using screens. Instead, use this hour to journal, read a book, take a long bath, go for a walk or do something relaxing before bed.

Make Your Bedroom an Oasis

A large part of getting a good night’s rest is tricking the brain into being ready for sleep. One way you can do this is by making your bedroom a relaxing oasis. If your bedroom is primed and ready for sleep, you will be too.

Some easy tips to turn your bedroom into a restful haven are:

  • Invest in some blackout curtains so light doesn’t keep you up or wake you too early.
  • Try using a sound machine to block out noise.
  • Invest in soft sheets and a supportive pillow.
  • Make sure you’re sleeping on a quality, comfortable mattress.

Exercise Daily

Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and get a better quality of sleep. Aim to get some form of exercise every day. Even going outside for a leisurely walk counts as exercise! Physical activity will improve your mood, release endorphins and increase the likelihood that you go to sleep in a good mental space ready for rest.

Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and Substances Before Bed

Most of us know not to drink caffeine too late in the day, as it can affect us and cause us to stay up. As a general rule, limit your caffeine intake throughout the day and stop drinking any caffeine-heavy drinks by noon.

However, another part of this tip is avoiding substances and alcohol before bed. Some people think smoking marijuana or drinking alcohol before bedtime can help make you drowsy. However, these substances can trigger anxiety. Additionally, both alcohol and marijuana can act as stimulants, so they can keep you up.

If you want to drink before bed, swap that glass of red wine for some herbal tea or a warm lemon and honey water.

Are Your Mental Health Conditions, Like ADHD, Impacting Sleep?

Understanding the link between sleep and trauma is important to getting a better night’s sleep. Individuals with existing sleep conditions, such as anxiety, ADHD and PTSD, often have sleeping problems.

  • It’s not uncommon for PTSD to cause sleeping problems. Anxiety and sleep don’t go hand in hand.
  • Your anxiety prevents sleep as you deal with nonstop thoughts, a rapid heart rate and other symptoms.
  • The same can be said for depression, ADHD, PTSD and other conditions.

If your sleep is suffering, know that your preexisting mental health conditions might play a role. Consider seeking professional help to manage symptoms and potentially improve your sleep simultaneously.

What to Do If None of These Options Work

If none of the above tips are helping improve your sleep, it might be time for professional intervention. You might be dealing with a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are common and often impact people already struggling with other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Professional treatment can help you identify:

  • If you have a sleep disorder
  • If you have another mental health condition you might not be aware of

Many treatment options are available for sleep disorders, ranging from therapy to medication and devices.

You can’t continue to ignore your sleep issues. Getting quality sleep is an essential need, as much as eating a healthy diet, drinking water and exercising. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel when you start to improve your rest again. You’ll think more clearly, feel happier, perform better at work or school and have more energy to give to friends and loved ones.

Seek Help for Better Sleep at Restore Mental Health

If you suspect you have a sleeping disorder or a mental health condition impacting your sleep, don’t delay getting help. At Restore Mental Health, we know a better life is within reach when you seek treatment. You don’t have to go through life tired and drained anymore. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.