According to research, around 164 million Americans have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep at least one night per week.
If you've grown accustomed to tossing and turning every time your head hits the pillow, you know that the repercussions can be brutal. A poor night's sleep leaves you feeling groggy, disoriented, and short-fused the next morning.
Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take before bed that will help you reverse this trend. By creating a tranquil nighttime routine, you'll set the stage for a more peaceful, restful night.
Today, we're sharing how to create and stick to these steps so you can wake up feeling better than ever before.
Set a Wind-Down Reminder
Did you know that your brain starts preparing for bed about two hours before your actual bedtime? This helps explain why you might start feeling sleepy as soon as you tuck in the kids and clean up dinner.
Yet, it's in our fast-paced nature to push past these natural nudges and squeeze as much as possible out of our day. However, it doesn't have to be this way.
By now, we've added so many notifications and reminders to our phones and smartwatches, so why not add this one, too?
Set your alarm to go off two hours before you're ready to turn in, as a gentle reminder not to engage in any activity that's too stimulating. When it rings, put away the devices, stow away the to-do list and begin to get ready for bed. It's also smart to cut any kind of caffeine at least four hours before your bedtime.
Eat a Light Snack
It's true that late at night isn't the best time to eat a heavy meal. It might leave you crashing a few hours later.
However, if you have a hard time falling asleep, hunger could be to blame. Especially if you eat an early dinner to accommodate your family's schedule, hours could pass between mealtime and bedtime.
Before you head into your bedroom and start really winding down, eat a light snack if you're feeling hungry. Stick to simple carbohydrates or protein and avoid fat, as it can trigger acid reflux. Good choices include yogurt, an apple, or a few slices of turkey.
Take a Warm Bath
If you've ever spent a balmy night sweating under the covers, you know that a lower core body temperature can help you fall asleep and stay that way.
Yet, you don't have to turn the ceiling fan on high to help yours dip naturally. Instead, try taking a warm (not hot) bath about two to three hours before bed.
The warm water will raise your core body temperature almost immediately, and your body will react in response. To release heat and help you cool off, your blood vessels will dilate and your blood flow will direct toward your skin. In turn, this creates that desired "cooling effect" that you need to drift into slumber.
Want to make your bath even more relaxing? Apply our Chamomile Calming Mask before your soak!
To stay cool all night long, you can also try adding a specialized mattress topper to your bed, such as our Alexander Signature Cooling Topper. This luxurious foam topper maximizes the comfort and airflow of your existing mattress and helps eliminate those uncomfortable night sweats.
Create a Peaceful Scene
Are you stepping over piles of clutter to get to the bed? If so, take the time to clean up your room.
This simple task can help you feel more peaceful as soon as you enter. Studies show that people who sleep in messy bedrooms are more likely to have sleep disturbances than those who don't.
Once you've picked up anything that doesn't belong and put everything back in its place, you can really transform this space into a refuge and retreat.
Start by upgrading your bedding with natural, organic linens designed to help you reach the best sleep of your life. Check out our collections of comforters and pillows to get started!
Then, every night, turn the lights down in your bedroom, along with the thermostat. Keeping your bedroom a little on the cooler side can help induce shut-eye and encourage deeper, REM sleep.
If outside lights are keeping you awake, invest in a quality pair of room-darkening shades or curtains. Or, slip on our Luxury Sleep Mask and really feel like royalty.
Diffuse Calming Oils
Still feeling a little restless? You can also diffuse some soothing essential oils to create an even greater sense of calm. A few favorite ones include:
There are even some diffusers that project relaxing light patterns and sounds to help your room look and sound as serene as it feels. You can diffuse these oils during your bath or in your bedroom as you wind down.
Wear Comfortable Pajamas
No one can sleep well in scratchy pajama pants or an ill-fitting t-shirt. If you're still slipping into the same PJ set you wore in college, it's time for an upgrade.
We offer a wide selection of luxury sleep apparel designed to cocoon you in soft, cozy fabrics that are lightweight, breathable and a dream to wear. There's also a plush, water-absorbent robe that's perfect for early morning coffee.
When you're ready to go to bed, put on your softest clothes and pull up the covers. You'll be dozing off in no time!
Help Your Nighttime Routine Work For You
Lying awake at night can feel like the most isolating situation in the world. Yet, it's more common than you might think.
Creating a nighttime routine you love takes minimal work but can have significant benefits. Feel free to add any soothing steps to this list that you want, but be sure to keep the focus on tranquility.
In time, you'll discover that it's easier than ever to get the much-needed rest you deserve! Along the way, feel free to browse our full selection of luxury bedding products, including our kids and baby collection!