Nighttime Routine for Adults – How to fall asleep faster
August 26, 2022
In life, consistency is the key to getting results with almost everything: working out, eating healthy, or getting to work on time so your boss doesn’t fire you.
But if you want to consistently get to work on time, you need to consistently get a good night’s sleep. To get enough sleep, you need to go to bed at a reasonable time. Do you see where we’re going here? But what if you go to bed early enough only to sometimes lie awake for hours unable to fall asleep?
It’s time for some tips on how to fall asleep faster. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should aim for a solid seven hours of sleep or more per night. However, the reality is that more than a third of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of sleep. The reasons are plentiful: parenting responsibilities, work schedules, sleep disorders, medical conditions or a poor nighttime routine.
Some of these, like sleep disorders or medical conditions, are beyond your control and should be managed with your doctor. But for many of us who occasionally have trouble winding down and want to know how to fall asleep faster, we have tips! Here are five things you can do to get some z’s more quickly.
Prioritizing your sleep like you prioritize your daily activities will set you up for success when it’s time to go to bed. This means planning your day accordingly to include healthy habits that will help you fall asleep faster, like regular exercise and a nutritious diet.
There is a strong relationship between exercise and sleep, but timing can matter. For some, exercising later in the day can have a negative effect on cortisol and melatonin levels as well as body temperature—some of the most important factors that contribute to your sleep. On the other hand, some studies have shown that working out before you go to bed can help some people fall asleep faster, get an adequate amount of deep sleep, and feel well-rested when they wake up. You might have to do some personal research to see which group you fall in.
Like exercise, planning when and what you eat is also important to your efforts to get enough shuteye. A healthy diet throughout the day that includes fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients is a part of setting your body up for a good night’s sleep. A daily multivitamin can help fill any nutritional gaps, too.
But what about those late-night snacks? This is where you should be careful, said Katie Throop, a researcher and registered dietitian working on Nutrilite™ products.
“Heavy meals or excessive alcohol right before bed can lead to discomfort or indigestion as well as negatively affecting your body’s natural circadian rhythm,” she said.
Instead, if you feel like you need a little something before you hit the hay, Throop recommends skipping the leftovers from your heavy dinner and trying foods that can help you sleep like salmon or turkey, fruits like tart cherries, kiwi, bananas or strawberries and nuts, especially pistachios. A bowl of whole grain cereal with milk is also a good choice.
“These foods are either natural sources of melatonin or may help trigger your body to produce melatonin, and that is key to your body’s internal clock,” Throop said.
There’s a reason so many people talk about their nighttime routines online—it’s a time to wind down, reflect on the day and transition to night mode (it’s not just a feature on your phone). They’re also one of the most important habits you can adopt to fall asleep faster.
The term nighttime routine can be a little intimidating at first. Put simply, it’s a series of things you do to prep for the night. Depending on what you need to do before bed, a nighttime routine can take 5-30 minutes. It can consist of self-care activities like a face mask, a shower or bath, moisturizing and prepping for the next day, or relaxing activities like reading or meditation, putting on soft music or stretching.
At the very least, the basics of a bedtime routine for adults typically include brushing your teeth, washing your face and getting into pajamas. When done consistently, these simple steps, no matter how many there are, tell your brain it’s time for bed and start you down the path to slumber.
We’re sad to be the bearers of bad news, but caffeine is not your friend if you’re having trouble falling asleep, and we’re not just talking about caffeine before bed. Even the caffeine you consume to perk you up during your long afternoon can have an impact on your sleep later. That’s because caffeine has a half-life of up to six hours, meaning that six hours after you’ve had that mocha latte or boba tea, half of that caffeine is still in your system.
The same goes for too much screen time before bed. Using your phone or tablet before bed can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which is the way your body responds to light. The blue light from electronic devices at night can confuse our biological clocks and contribute to preventable sleep difficulties.
Many devices help fight this with a night mode that filters out the harmful blue light, but it can’t hurt to put the phone or tablet down as part of your nighttime routine and pick up some analog reading options instead.
The place you sleep should be a sanctuary of comfort—a stress-free zone of solace. By intentionally crafting a comfortable space, you’ve inherently created a bedroom for better sleep, which is a great way to help you fall asleep faster.
Your room should be cool, dark and quiet. If outside noise is a problem, consider some white noise options, like a fan or air purifier. (Bonus: An air purifier can also help filter out allergens to provide the best air quality for sleeping!)
Sleep supplements are another thing to consider adding to your nighttime routine. They can help you unwind, which is the first step to being able to fall asleep faster. Melatonin is very popular because it’s found naturally in the body and promotes good sleep. Valerian is also a favorite among sleep supplements as it may ease occasional sleeplessness.
Nutrilite Sleep Health features a proprietary blend of valerian, hops and lemon balm. The hops extract helps support normal sleep and relaxation, and lemon balm has a mild calming effect.† They work together to help you relax so you can fall asleep.
Remember consistency is key when it comes to good sleep. If you embrace more habits like exercise, healthy eating and a nighttime routine of self-care, you’re sure to fall asleep faster. Need some more ideas for your nighttime routine? Check out this Sweet Dreams Bundle!
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