Creating the perfect before-bed routine

According to a 2019 report commissioned by the Sleep Health Foundation, more than half of Aussie adults are struggling with at least one chronic sleeping symptom. Not only is this keeping them awake at night – it’s impacting their ability to lead happy, healthy lives. Given the last two years and the stress of the pandemic, getting to sleep and staying asleep each night feels more out of reach than ever before. But it doesn’t have to be that way. To help you create your own bedtime routine, catch some precious Zzz’s and sleep more soundly, we’ve compiled some useful tips below. Next stop? Snoozville.

  • Keep it light

    Our bodies tend to sleep better when we eat lighter and earlier dinners, so try to keep it lean at night and steer clear of alcohol or other stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine. Even though a few glasses of wine might make you feel sleepy, the effects are sadly short-lived and can lead to reduced levels of melatonin, which can cause insomnia. If you’ve had a light dinner but are still feeling peckish later in the evening, try grabbing a snack that will actually help boost your melatonin levels, like nuts or yogurt.

  • Get the gist of a list

    The stress of tomorrow keeping you awake? Write it down! There’s nothing more therapeutic than getting worrying thoughts or obligations out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Not only will this help you feel like you’ve planned for tomorrow and have a handle on what’s to come, it means you can hit the ground running in the morning once you’ve awoken from your perfect slumber. If you don’t have a to-do list to compile but you’ve still got plenty of noise up there, try journaling instead.

  • Stick to a schedule

    We know, we know – sometimes life just feels like one big scheduled meeting but sticking to a regular wind-down routine will help prepare your body for sleep long before your head hits the pillow. Once you’ve decided on a set time, pop an alarm or notification on your phone. This will help remind you that from your chosen hour onwards, it’s time to unplug and step away from your devices. Yep, that means the phone, the TV, the laptop and even your smart watch.

  • Tunes and beats

    A bedtime playlist will help get you in the mood for sleep and while detaching you from the stress of the day. Whether it’s classical music, nature sounds, binaural beats or even your favourite tracks, pop your headphones on and let the day melt away. Not only can listening to music lessen stress, it can improve your sleep quality. Not feeling the tunes? Why not consider a colour noise app instead? It can help with relaxing your tense muscles and removing any lingering anxiety.

  • Flick the switch

    Got plenty of light keeping you up? It’s time to turn the overheads and lamps off – or at the very least turn them down. Just like screen time – being exposed to bright light before bed can impact your delicate circadian rhythm. Keep it dark where possible, and you’ll thank yourself in the morning.

  • Weigh up the benefits

    Who knew feeling weighed down could help reduce the weight of the world late at night when our minds can’t stop racing, or we feel a little anxious? Weighted blankets have been all the rage of the last few years and with good reason. Not only can they have a calming effect when you sleep but they help reduce stress and anxiety. Consider adding a weighted blanket to your bedding routine. Designed to hug your body and provide that calm, cosy sensation we’ve all been craving – it’s the perfect antidote to the daily grind and feels extra lovely during the cooler months. Pregnant mama’s, we’re sorry to say, weighted blankets might have to wait until after bub has arrived.

  • This article is not intended to be perceived or used as medical advice. If you struggle with insomnia, sleeping issues or your mental wellbeing, please speak to your GP. 

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