Sleep professionals suggest unplugging at least 30 minutes before bed to provide your body and brain ample time to relax. This means no phones, tablets, TV, or computers. Most people know by now that the light from many electronics is confusing to our brain because they suppress the sleep-inducing melatonin — which then disrupts the natural circadian rhythm essential to healthy, regular sleep. But it also eliminates the time to relax your brain and prepare for sleep. Having your brain filled with the to-do lists and worries from the day usually leads to delayed and restless sleep.
Other things you can do before bed to unwind and relax are read a book, take a warm bath, yoga or write down your thoughts from the day in a journal. The bonus to creating a routine that works is your brain and body could begin to recognize the “before-bed” actions and induce the feeling of sleepiness.
Personally, I choose to read. There’s the occasional night where I read much later than I prefer because I’m so engrossed in the story, but most nights I only get a page or two in before I’m asleep. My brain and body have for certain become accustomed to the routine of reading before bed — I just don’t feel right if I don’t read for at least a minute or two and it helps me get right to sleep without thinking about the day.
So set the phone down, turn off the TV and pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. And sweet dreams.
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