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How to create a sleep routine that works for you

Are you having trouble sleeping well at night?

You're not alone. Insomnia is one of the most common conditions in the Western world.

So, what can you do about it?

Everyone has their own solution. Some people rely on certain teas made with chamomile and lavender, while others use natural supplements like tryptophan or melatonin.

However, one of the easiest ways to sleep well at night is simply to change your routine. Your body and brain naturally function better when you follow a routine.

Creating a sleep schedule is an essential part of good sleep hygiene and may allow you to sleep better in the long run.

Let's see how you can create a suitable routine for yourself

Choose your times wisely: The first step in establishing a solid sleep schedule is deciding when you want to go to bed and when you want to wake up each day. Typically, the recommended amount of sleep to aim for ranges between 6 and 8 hours per night.

To determine your optimal times, it usually works well to start from the time you want to wake up and work backward to see when you should go to bed. Choosing a fixed bedtime may be challenging at first, but it's an excellent way to train your body to relax at a specific time every day.

Even if you can't fall asleep right away, lie down according to your established schedule every night.

Unfortunately, following a routine means you'll also wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends and days off. Don't oversleep!

Avoid disruptions: Now that you know your sleep hours, it's important to eliminate anything from your schedule that can disrupt this pattern. For example, it's not a good idea to have a cup of coffee at 9 PM if you intend to go to bed at 10 PM.

Eliminate anything from your routine that can keep you awake longer than expected: This includes ensuring that you don't rely too much on napping.

While an occasional 20-minute nap can be a good way to refresh yourself, the reality is that these nap sessions make it harder to fall asleep later. If you find that you're still tired after following your schedule for a while, try going to bed a little earlier.

You can gradually adjust your schedule until you feel good.

Develop a bedtime routine: Being able to fall asleep at the scheduled time each night is not just about deciding on a good sleep schedule and eliminating naps from your schedule. It can also help to do some things every night that relax you in time for sleep.

There isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy for everyone when creating a bedtime routine. Generally, you should avoid things like alcohol and electronic devices, which can harm the quality of your sleep and make it harder for you to have the restful night you need.

Your pre-bedtime pattern should be relaxation-oriented: Perhaps you could prepare yourself a relaxing cup of tea and take a warm bath with a few drops of lavender before bed. During this time, you can disconnect from all devices and even try some other relaxation techniques to get your mind into a sleep-friendly state.

Follow the same routine every night, and eventually, your brain will start to recognize the things you do as signals that it's time to fall asleep.

• Learn to deal with issues: Lastly, creating a sleep routine is excellent for the body and mind in the long run, but it takes time and dedication for everything to fall into place. In the end, you'll have some difficult nights and problematic experiences when implementing your routine for the first time, so don't expect to fall asleep immediately every night.

If you can't fall asleep, get up and do something relaxing with dim lighting. This will help avoid creating a sense of frustration in your mind every time you go to bed.

If your chosen routine doesn't seem to help you relax, after a couple of weeks, try something new.

Experiment with a sleep diary so you can track your sleep habits and figure out what works best for you.

The key to proper sleep hygiene is commitment and perseverance. If you continue working on your sleep schedule and feel like you're not seeing any improvement, you may want to try one of the courses on Sleep Tips or consider speaking with a doctor.

A professional can conduct a sleep study to determine if there's an underlying issue preventing you from sleeping.

Creating a sleep routine that works for you can improve your life in many ways. Your productivity, physical health, mental health, metabolism, energy levels, and even relationships can benefit when you consistently sleep well at night.

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