5 Tested Bedtime Rituals To
Replace TV Watching
With the ability to watch content on tablets and smartphones as well as on TV, more people are ingesting entertainment before bed than ever before. Watching TV before bed, scrolling through social media posts, or even reading the news on those bright, high-resolution screens can have a negative effect on how much sleep you're getting and how refreshing that sleep can be. In recent years there's been a push to keep technology out of the bedroom to prevent it from perpetuating bad habits and chipping away at our health over time. If you're ready to keep those screens out of your sleeping sanctuary, check out these five tested bedtime rituals to serve as a replacement.
Read, Write, & Organize
Some of us just aren't readers and forcing the habit doesn't seem tempting, especially when you're trying to satisfyingly replace something much more visually stimulating. But you might just be looking in the wrong genre. There are millions of books out there, so the probability that you will find something you'll really enjoy is high. And if you just can't make the transition, try writing instead. No, you don't have to start writing short stories to guarantee a good night's sleep, but you can start a journal, fill it with daily accomplishments or your plans for the next day. Sometimes we have trouble falling asleep because we haven't properly organized our thoughts.
Chat Like It's 1995
With the majority of conversations taking place through texts and social media, fewer and fewer people will be able to relate to the "old school" phone call. Instead of opting into one-on-one or group text conversations that stretch into the early morning and have the potential to wake you up every 12 minutes, try shifting that conversation to the built-in speaker. It's better than staring at your screen too much before going to bed. Plus, it has the ability to shorten that long conversation while helping you connect in a more satisfying way with another human being. Try it out if you're not in favor of completely barring your smartphone from the bedroom just yet.
Stretch, Sweat …
How tired you are at the end of the day depends on how busy, stressful, or active your day was. If you have trouble falling asleep or sticking to that ideal bedtime, stretching and exercising near the end of the day can expend leftover energy and get your body ready for some rest, translating into better sleep and your body feeling more refreshed over time. The crucial thing is not to get discouraged if you're just starting this routine. The physical exercise will make you feel more tired when you wake up, and you may believe it is keeping you getting the quality rest you need. However, if you stick with it, the routine will lead to that refreshing sleep you seek.
… And Then Shower
Taking a hot shower before crawling into bed is one of the best ways to relax. It's also a perfect ritual to start to trigger your mind into realizing it's almost time to shut down for the night. The shower is also the most common place for people to organize their thoughts, recap the day and get ready for the next morning. Showering closer to when you're ready to go to sleep also helps keep your sheets cleaner for longer, which will make your bed feel more comfortable. If you're good with one shower per day, switching your shower routine to night might also save you some time in the morning or give you a few more minutes before your busy morning to hit the snooze.
Puzzles, Games, & Puzzle-Games
Much like exercising your body will expend all the leftover energy you have at the end of the day, puzzles and games can do the same for your mind. For those who don't see the necessity to rid their bedroom of their smartphone, it might be an easier transition to replace scrolling endlessly through Facebook or Twitter with a challenging puzzle game. Or you could put your phone on the charger early and invest in classic puzzle books like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, mazes, or even an adult coloring book. Find something you like and test out if it leads to a more satisfying sleep.