Create a Bedtime Ritual
By Joe Holder
Make some simple changes for a restful night’s sleep.
We know the importance of creating a bedtime routine for kids when they’re young. We don’t simply expect them to hop in bed and instantly fall asleep - we provide a runway to relaxation.
Even though we know that having a bedtime ritual is effective, many adults fail to have one as part of their routine. It makes sense, then, why falling asleep can be elusive for many people.
“Making a bedtime ritual will help your body wind-down and transition into sleep.”
Cheri Mah, Nike Performance Council Member
It would be great to spend an hour winding down before bed, but even 10 minutes a night is enough to signal to your brain that it’s time to shut down.
Making a bedtime ritual will help your body wind-down and transition into sleep, according to sleep expert Cheri Mah, a Nike Performance Council Member and Research Fellow at the University of California San Francisco’s Human Performance Center and School of Medicine.
I like taking a hot shower, which has been proven to bring on sleep, and to unplug from screens, since they emit blue light that stimulates your brain. But honestly, your ritual can be anything that relaxes you: writing in a journal, doing a few minutes of deep breathing exercises, reading a book.
Following the same routine for a few minutes each night helps your body realize it’s time to go to sleep, as we are creatures of habit more than we realize.
So decide the most relaxing way for you to spend the 10 minutes before bed, and try to build it into your night as an important pre-bed ritual.