The habits that make us: Dream big with these 5 healthy habits for a restful sleep routine


by Baylor Scott & White Health

Nov 6, 2023

Sleep is one of the pillars of wellness. But in our fast-paced world, we often neglect this area of our self-care routine. In fact, more than a third of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of quality sleep to refresh them for the next day.

Implementing healthy habits for your sleep isn't just a choice you make each day; it’s a path forward to restore your body to its optimal function. You can wake up feeling ready to go—not hitting snooze several times or immediately needing a caffeine hit. Restful sleep is within your reach. And we’re here to get you there.

In this final installment of The habits that make us series, discover five healthy habits for sleep to reset your body, restore your mind and thrive each day.

1. Get in tune with your sleep-wake rhythm

Our bodies are designed with an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm. Understanding and respecting this rhythm is the first step toward a healthier sleep routine.

By maintaining a consistent sleep schedule—going to bed and waking up at the same time each day—your body can synchronize with its natural cycle, promoting better sleep quality and a sense of order. This knowledge allows you to work in harmony with your body's needs.

2. Create a sleep sanctuary

Design your bedroom as a serene sanctuary, free from distractions and disturbances. Soft lighting, cozy bedding and a comfortable mattress create an environment that encourages you to relax and wind down after your busy day.

Consider experimenting with a white noise machine or soothing music playlist to calm your mind and block out any distractions. By transforming your sleeping space, you can create the tranquil environment necessary for quality sleep.

3. Embrace mindful pre-sleep rituals

Prepare your body and mind for a peaceful night's rest with some simple pre-sleep rituals. Just like young children have a bedtime routine to get them ready each night, people of all ages can benefit from some mindful pre-sleep rituals.

Turn off any bright lights in your room and spend some time meditating, doing some gentle stretches or reading a book to let your body know it’s time to rest for the day. Let go of the day's stress and allow yourself to unwind. Your mind will thank you.

4. Nourish your body with the right choices

Healthy sleep isn't just about your bedtime routine; it's also about your lifestyle choices throughout the day. Using energy in the daylight hours will encourage your body to refuel with rest at night. Try to hit your step goal, head to the gym for a workout or go for a run with your dog—you’ll soon see how your body will want to sleep and recover more.

A balanced diet and making sure you finish eating a few hours before bed can significantly enhance your sleep quality. Plus, limiting caffeine and alcohol, particularly in the evening, can significantly improve your night’s sleep.

5. The power of digital detox

In our digital age, it can be difficult to unplug from our devices. Sleep is not merely about resting; it's about revitalizing, rejuvenating and recharging your mind after a busy day. The blue light from our phones, tablets and computers can affect our circadian rhythm, so try to power down your devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Changing habits takes time and practice. If you find yourself tossing and turning, don't give up. The more consistent you are, the more powerful the transformation will be. With patience and perseverance, you can achieve optimal sleep wellness and discover how much it positively impacts your daily life. You’ll soon see your productivity, creativity and overall sense of well-being improve.

Start your journey to a revitalized life today. It all begins with a good night's sleep.

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