Most people acknowledge the necessity of a strict bedtime for children and overlook the importance of bedtime routine in adults. Sleep is obviously vital to the growth and development of children, but at what age does a bedtime routine become obsolete? Trick question — you’re never too old for a bedtime routine!
An evening routine for adults prepares the body and mind for bed, which is the key to restorative, high-quality sleep. It’s more than just knowing how many hours of sleep are right for you, but also the calming bedtime habits you can adopt to add rhythm to your daily life and prioritize quality sleep each night.
The Importance of a Bedtime Routine in Adults
Just like children, adults need to prepare to mentally go to sleep with ritualized behaviors. An evening routine is particularly beneficial for individuals who stay up late feeling anxious about unfinished tasks. Our bodies link certain times of the day to activities and release hormones to prepare our body systems for these events.
An evening routine for adults triggers our bodies to release melatonin that makes us relax, which is why regularity in your bedtime is a huge part of a healthy circadian rhythm. To ensure you peacefully drift to sleep, add activities to your bedtime routine that don’t create stress or over-stimulate your mind. Avoid exercise, electronics, and caffeine close to bedtime. An evening routine for adults can reduce problems with falling asleep, such as insomnia, and can result in greater productivity and a stronger immune system.
Recommended Evening Routine for Adults
1. Stay on schedule.
- Bedtime: In order to set your body’s internal clock, it’s important to enforce a strict bedtime for yourself — even on weekends. Staying consistent in when you go to bed and wake up will help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed. This is especially important to remember as our schedules change. For example, daylight savings time, holidays, vacation and back-to-school are all moments in time where our routines get thrown for a loop.
2. Power off electronic devices.
- Read: Try reading a physical book until you become sleepy. Avoid any electronic devices that emit blue light, which will mess with your circadian rhythm.
- Color: Participating in a monotonous activity such as coloring can relax your brain and slow your breathing, preparing your body for sleep.
3. Take care of housekeeping.
- Clean your room: If you spend about 15 minutes each night tidying up your room and putting away items you used throughout the day, you’ll banish morning stress and avoid letting the mess get out of control. This will prevent you from going to bed anxious about the looming mayhem.
- Prepare for the morning: To guarantee a smooth, stress-free morning, pick out the clothes you’ll wear, prep breakfast, program the coffeemaker, and organize the work-related materials you need to take with you.
- Sleep environment: Your bedroom environment plays a big part in sleep quality. For example, it can be especially challenging to sleep in hot weather, or with light streaming in. Make your room as dark as possible, set the temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and think about growing some plants for your bedroom to help you sleep.
4. Take a warm shower or bath.
- Set the mood: Play some soft, instrumental music and light candles to relax.
- Epsom salt: If you’re indulging in a bath, add some Epsom salt to the water, which replenishes the body’s magnesium.
- Meditate: Mindfulness during this relaxing bedtime activity can prepare your mind for sleep.
5. Reflect on the day and prepare a list of goals for the following day.
- Journal: Write your thoughts in a notebook or journal to empty your mind. If you are involved in any conflict, you can get your frustrations out on paper and maybe even solve a problem.
- Goals: List your goals for the next day and plan out any tasks you might have to complete so you can sleep peacefully. Identifying your most pressing tasks allows you to prioritize your objectives for the following day. This is one of several unusual sleep hacks that work.
How long should an adult bedtime routine be?
Without a bedtime routine, it might be more difficult to enforce a strict bedtime for yourself, leading to fewer hours of sleep each night. But an evening routine for adultsdoesn’t have to be long in order to be effective. It is important to keep with your routine for a few weeks, if not a few months, to see if it’s having a positive impact on your sleep quality.
Setting aside anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes each night to wind down and prepare for the following day will reduce the risk of suffering from sleep disorders like insomnia or interrupted sleep. Your personal bedtime routine is completely dependent on how much time you have to set aside and how long each step takes you.
Make a new mattress part of your new bedtime routine.
If your routine isn't the source of your sleep woes, then it could be time to get a new mattress. But, when is it time to get a new mattress? If you are experiencing stiffness or pain after sleeping, your mattress is over seven years old, or you’re sneezing a lot in bed, then it might be time to start shopping for a new mattress. Sleeping on a mattress that is uniquely designed to complement your sleep routine can drastically improve your sleep quality and overall health.
At Mattress Warehouse, our sleep scientists use technology to analyze your unique sleep style and determine the perfect mattress for you. Through the bedMATCH process, Mattress Warehouse can identify the optimal postural support and pressure relief for your body and recommend the mattresses that are the best fit for you.