While you may not get tucked in with your favourite teddy bear anymore, you’re never too old for a bedtime routine. Today, we’ll explore why it’s important for adults to have a bedtime routine, the importance of sleep, and ideas for designing a bedtime routine that works for you.
Why is a bedtime routine important?
The primary function of a bedtime routine is to support your sleep. It’s a practice that helps you wind down so you can drift into dreamland within 15 minutes of turning out the lights.
The importance of sleep
Research shows that sleep keeps wrinkles and fine lines at bay—it’s called beauty sleep for a reason! But sleep goes beyond healthy skin; not sleeping enough is associated with increased risk for diabetes, weight gain, cancer, coronary heart disease, and forgetfulness.
How much sleep is enough?
Though some people believe they can get by or even thrive on a few hours of sleep per night, that’s not enough for most people.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults from 26 to 64-years-old sleep for seven to nine hours per night. Seniors can knock an hour off the top; once you’re 65-years-old, you only need between seven and eight hours per night.
What’s the best time to go to bed?
There are four stages of sleep—N1, N2, N3, and REM—and it takes about 90 minutes to go through the stages. When we wake up at the end of a cycle, we feel more refreshed than when we wake up in the middle of a cycle.
This means the best time to go to bed depends on when your wake-up time is, and how many sleep cycles you want to go through each night. If you sleep for 7.5 hours, you’ll go through five sleep cycles and nine hours gets you through six cycles.
Fortunately, we found a tool that shows you what time to go to bed and get up, so you wake up after a sleep cycle is complete, instead of in the middle. For example, if you want to sleep for 7.5 hours and get up at 7 am, your bedtime is 11:15 pm.
Find your ideal bedtime with the Healthline sleep calculator.
Ideas for your bedtime routine
The ideal bedtime routine is one that works for you. Use the steps below and design an enjoyable routine that puts you at ease.
5 steps to a restful bedtime routine:
- Dim the lights and turn off screens – Avoid the blue light of devices at least one hour before lights out.
- Tuck your phone in for the night – Create a bedtime spot for your phone, and put it there at the same time every night. Don’t keep your phone in your bedroom as it sabotages a good night’s sleep.
- Enjoy your beauty routine – Brush your teeth, and wash and moisturize your face in the same sequence every night to cue your body that relaxation is on the way. Use products that smell great to boost the pleasure of your beauty routine.
- Do your favourite wind-down activity – Read, meditate, write in your gratitude journal, or do some gentle yoga to decompress and transition from your busy day to a peaceful evening. Do this activity somewhere relaxing but not in your bed.
- Get into bed and turn out the lights – Train your brain so it associates your bedroom with sleeping and sex only. If you spend time awake in bed (reading for example), your brain associates your bedroom with being awake—and that makes it harder to fall asleep.
To reap the rewards of restful sleep, it helps to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day—including the weekends. But even the National Sleep Foundation knows this isn’t always possible; instead they suggest you limit sleeping in to one to two hours of your normal wake-up time.
We’re here to help you look and feel your best. If you’d like to ease into your bedtime routine with some relaxation, give us a call to book a Hot Stone or Swedish massage and a heavenly foot treatment.
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