Everyone has their own little routine each night before they climb under the covers. We brush our teeth, wash the makeup off (you do that, right?!), and change into PJs. You might be making some mistakes while getting ready for bed, though, and you don’t even know it. Your bedtime ritual is just as important as your morning one, and what you do before your head hits the pillows will greatly affect your sleep.
Whether it’s browsing through Facebook for just a few minutes too long or bringing your work to bed, there are probably a few small things in your nighttime routine that you may want to adjust, especially considering the fact that a third of all Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. Ouch. Every little bit counts, so let’s see if we can make the best of your bedtime routine.
Try to shut off your electronics well before you climb into bed. Instead of scrolling through Instagram incessantly, pick up a book to read or chat with your partner before you drift off into dream land.
2You don’t shut all the blinds and curtains
The darker your room is, the better sleep you’re going to get. If you live in a city where there are streetlights or car headlights passing by constantly, all that light could mess with your sleep cycle. Shutting down all the blinds and curtains also comes in handy when the early morning sun blares through your windows and robs you of an extra half hour or hour of sleep.
3You leave the thermostat too high
The temperature of your sleeping cave should sit at a cozy 65 degrees. Your body’s internal temperature naturally drops when you fall into a deep sleep, so if you set up the room to be a cooler temperature, it will be easier for you to slip into a comfy REM cycle. Anything under 54 or above 75 will make it difficult for you to get your shut-eye.
4You eat a really big snack
Having a really big meal right before you hit the hay isn’t a great idea, since your digestion is going to have to work overtime to get everything processed. That will keep your body awake for much longer than you want it to be and you might experience indigestion or heartburn. Try to eat your dinner at least a few hours before you go to bed, and don’t stuff yourself too much. Your body is meant to rest, after all.
5You toss back all the wine
Having a few drinks right before bed may sound like something that will wind you down and relax you, but it’s only going to wreck your sleep cycle. Studies have shown that alcohol decreases the amount of time you spend in that deliciously deep REM cycle, so even though you think drinking lots of wine will help you fall asleep faster, in the long run it will rob you of your much needed beauty sleep because you’ll likely be tossing and turning all night long.
6You take a multivitamin
Don’t get us wrong. Multivitamins are great to take if you want to keep up your energy and get all your nutrients, but doing it on an empty stomach right before you sleep is a bad idea. This could cause nausea or indigestion or just a general discomfort—and none of those things mix well with a good night’s sleep.
7You take your work into bed
This is a huge no-no. Your bed should only exist for sleeping and sexing (not necessarily in that order). If you’re the kind of person who brings their paperwork or laptop into bed to get some business done before you go to sleep, you might be inadvertently disrupting your healthy sleep patterns. If you get yourself in the habit of doing things in bed that aren’t associated with sleeping, your body won’t let you fall asleep when the time comes.
If you have any recurring problems falling asleep, chat with your doctor and see if there’s any underlying problems you don’t know about. Because you need your beauty sleep to run the world.