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“Optimize Your Bedtime Routine with This Simple Hack to Make It the Highlight of Your Day.”

Embracing the TikTok trend of 'romanticizing' your life proves to be an excellent bedtime strategy.

“Optimize Your Bedtime Routine with This Simple Hack to Make It the Highlight of Your Day.”

Optimal sleep hygiene often revolves around restrictions: avoid using your phone in bed, steer clear of afternoon coffee, and refrain from late-night snacks. While these guidelines are beneficial, they may transform your bedtime routine into a tedious checklist. It’s time to shift this perspective. By reserving your favorite activities for the evening, preparing for sleep can become an enjoyable anticipation.

The trend of glamorizing daily life on social media emphasizes finding joy in routine activities. This extends to bedtime, transcending simply enhancing your mattress with plush cushions. The key is to designate your preferred activities exclusively for winding down, creating a positive incentive to stow away your phone and fully embrace the evening.

Feeling unsure about where to begin? I gleaned this insight from the Sleep Charity’s Sleep Conference, where experts shared valuable tips on crafting an evening routine that harmoniously blends sleep-friendliness with enjoyment.

Why save special activities for the evening?

How to Hack Your Bedtime Routine for Better Sleep | HUM Nutrition Blog

Opting for reading instead of doomscrolling may seem like a straightforward decision for a bedtime routine upgrade, but executing this change proves more challenging than it appears. Breaking away from the instant gratification of compulsively scrolling through social media can be incredibly difficult, even when we’re cognizant of the potential sleep-disrupting effects stemming from the blue light exposure and stimulating content.

By strategically reserving some of your cherished yet understated hobbies for the moments just before bedtime, the winding-down process transforms into an eagerly anticipated ritual. This designated time allows you to savor completing the next chapter of your favorite book, indulging in a recently acquired face mask, or immersing yourself in the captivating Lego set you snagged at a Black Friday bargain. In stark contrast, your phone begins to lose its allure. Rather than jeopardizing your sleep with mindless social media scrolling, you’ll find solace in preparing for bed while engaging in activities that bring you genuine joy.

How to choose your evening activities

woman waking up at the same time with set alarm

To begin with, it’s crucial to select activities that genuinely bring you joy, rather than opting for hobbies that merely sound relaxing. Although coloring books may be known for their calming effects, if you don’t eagerly anticipate engaging in them, you’re unlikely to set aside your phone in favor of colored pencils. While prioritizing sleep-friendliness is important, sacrificing enjoyment would undermine the effectiveness of this technique.

This doesn’t mean you can’t explore new pursuits. If you’ve harbored a curiosity about calligraphy, for instance, it could be an ideal activity to reserve for the evening. However, if, after a few weeks, you discover it doesn’t resonate with you, don’t hesitate to set aside the quill and embrace a different hobby. The key is to strike a balance between sleep-friendly choices and activities that genuinely captivate your interest.

And don’t shy away from incorporating physical activities into your routine. Gentle exercises like yoga or pilates before bedtime can contribute to better sleep. Pairing mindful meditation with light stretching helps both your body and mind wind down, fostering a sense of calm before sleep.

However, exercise or activities that overly stimulate or make you alert should be avoided, even if they seem relaxing in theory. While reading is often recommended as an ideal low-key activity, it loses its calming effect if you find yourself engrossed in a suspenseful thriller. If crosswords keep your mind active, opt for Sudoku to facilitate relaxation. Recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so carefully consider what truly works for you.

Get started with a bedtime box

Introducing a bedtime box can make these relaxing activities feel special and encourage you to set aside your phone. Originally designed for children to establish sleep routines, bedtime boxes are equally beneficial for anyone seeking to structure their evenings.

These boxes include all the essentials for your pre-bed wind-down, including the items necessary for your chosen hobbies. When you reach for the bedtime box, it serves as a signal that you’re preparing for sleep. Plus, it eliminates the hassle of searching the house for your yoga mat, sketchbook, or half-finished book—all you have to do is grab the box.

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