by Jessica Petrucci
Planning a nightly routine can be beneficial in many ways. I personally struggle with going to bed at a reasonable hour. Just when I am ready to lay down, I remember all of the things I still have to get to in the morning. In efforts to maximize my daily focus and function, I have adopted some new habits before bed. These new habits were developed from a combination of scientifically based recommendations and personal preference.
Our body needs rest on a cellular level to restore and regenerate. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep can positively improve your mood, your gastrointestinal function, and overall health.
Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day can improve sleep quality, insomnia, and sleep deprivation. Getting good quality sleep can even help with your immune system function and cognitive acuity.
Recently, I have adopted this as an alternative to mindlessly scrolling Instagram before bed. Ixcela recommends avoiding screen time 2hrs before bed. Screen time causes your brain activity to increase, which diverts you from calming down. Reading helps distract you from daily stresses, allows your muscles to relax, and slows down your breathing, which will leave you feeling calmer.
Having a warm beverage before bed can be calming and comforting. That being said, make sure your tea is decaffeinated. Consuming caffeine any time after 12PM can negatively impact sleep quality.
Taking a warm bath can be comforting and ease both mental and physical tension. Bathing in relaxing scents (such as lavender) can help lull you to sleep. Also, going to bed post-bath helps keep your sheets fresh.
Although you want to avoid eating a heavy meal before bed, foods that contain melatonin and tryptophan can help you get to sleep. Kiwis, bananas, honey, and almonds are all good snacks to have an hour or two before bed.
If your mind is still running wild after your book, tea, and bath, try making a list. It might be your list of things to do, the things that are worrying you, or just a list of your thoughts. Putting things down on paper can help get them off your mind and allow you to relax.
Hopefully these tips help you, like they have helped me. If you or your loved one struggles with sleep and wants to find out more about how your metabolites affect you, check out the key metabolites Ixcela tests for and why.Test Your Cognitive Function & Energetic Efficiency