A bedtime routine for adults? Most people would scoff at such a thing. Possibly you work until late at night trying to catch up on general life admin. Then you suddenly see the clock and experience a moment of panic. How on earth are you going to get enough sleep? Ask yourself if you wake up refreshed? The answer is probably no. Creating a bedtime routine for adults helps you to combat this.
What bedtime is like now.
Spend a few moments thinking about what your bedtime routine is like currently. Do you come home from work, then hit the gym, perhaps eat dinner late at night? Or perhaps you like to watch TV to ‘wind down’? Or do you have a ritual of a couple of glasses of wine of an evening? Perhaps the time you go to bed varied greatly from night to night depending on work and socialising. Unfortunately, all of these habits can contribute to poor sleep.
Perhaps you think that bedtime routines are just for babies and children? There’s a reason why so many parents create and use them. They work!
Create a bedtime routine for adults.
The routine that you create doesn’t have to be similar to what works for small babies, but there are certain actions which work for everyone regardless of age. Having a consistent routine, with a consistent bedtime and wake time is crucial to getting good quality sleep. By getting on a schedule your body knows what to expect and will start the internal chemical cascades that help you drift off.
First of all, make sure your bedroom is a place you enjoy being in. Is your bed comfortable? Have you got good curtains? Is it a comfortable temperature? Because you want to feel relaxed and happy while you’re in your room, you might like to consider a revamp.
Another thing you might like to consider is how much ambient noise you can hear while you’re in your room. A white noise machine or earplugs could be an inexpensive solution to help you get to sleep.
Take time to wind down.
Before you head to bed, take some time to let your body and mind relax. Research has shown that spending as little as 5 minutes mentally reviewing what went well during the day, or what you’re grateful for leads to better sleep quality. Therefore, before bed is is an ideal time for a simple reflective practice like a short meditation or journalling. The act of writing your thoughts down can be very grounding for some people. It doesn’t need to be long, or amazing prose; just a note of your thoughts at the time.
Some people write down their ‘wins for the day’, others focus on gratitude or what went well. It really doesn’t matter what you decide to focus on. The simple act of putting pen to paper can help you gain clarity around unresolved situations. Furthermore, this removes worries from your mind, helping you sleep.
Make the bedroom a no-phone zone.
We’ve all become thoroughly attached to our smart phones, kindles and ipads. However, they are disruptive to sleep on a number of levels. Because the light they emit is blue light, your brain doesn’t start producing melatonin, a sleep hormone. More to the point, because we are always engaging with our phones, we struggle to switch off from socialising or work mode.
Help yourself make that switch by turning your phone off a few hours before you go to bed and leaving it outside of the bedroom. It can feel uncomfortable at first, but keeping current on social media happenings is less important than decent sleep.
Introduce a bedtime routine.
Spending a little time doing some gentle stretching, yoga or meditation is a fantastic way to help yourself wind down and switch off. Spending as little as 15 minutes stretching, being mindfully present will help you let go of the physical and emotional pains of the day.
There are a range of different meditation apps that you can download or you can search on YouTube to find a meditation which relaxes you and prepares you for sleep. Adding a short medication to your bedtime routine for adults will almost certainly help you get to sleep more easily, and it will also probably have the added benefit of improving your mood throughout the rest of the day.
A hypnosis recording designed for sleep may be even more helpful than a general meditation. There are a wide array of different sleep meditations and self hypnosis recordings that you can access on different platforms.
What if the routine isn’t working?
For some people creating a bedtime routine for adults simply isn’t enough. The National Council for Hypnotherapy guidelines state that people with insomnia respond well to hypnotherapy. Many clients report significant improvement in their sleep satisfaction after treatment.
Working with your hypnotherapist you will uncover the root causes of your insomnia and learn skills to overcome it. Sometimes it’s a habit we have got into. Other times it’s because something happened in our past which has lead us to believe that sleeping isn’t safe.
The causes of chronic insomia are many and varied. Because of this it’s important to find a therapist that you really click with. Working with someone you like and trust will make the process much more simple. Therefore I recommend having a chat with a few therapists before deciding who you’d like to work with.
If you need some help getting to sleep, contact me to have a chat about how I can help.