From regulating your mood to increasing alertness and productivity, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial. By developing the right bedtime habits to help you fall and stay asleep, you’re setting yourself up for success in both work and life. And these habits can be as simple as taking a shower or turning down the thermostat.
To learn how, here are six habits you should cultivate to boost your daytime productivity.
1. Turn off your phone
It is no surprise that one of the most effective things you can do before bed is shut down electronics, especially your smartphone. While it can be tempting to check your phone before bed and even throughout the night, it’s important not to give into the temptation. And not just because it can become a distraction but science has found that screens can have a negative effect on a person’s health. According to research, the blue and white light of screens prevents a person’s brain from releasing melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. Thus, turning off your devices all together will not only help you disconnect socially but also improve your brain’s ability to put your body into sleep mode.
2. Write out a to-do list
To improve your sleep and mood the following day, it’s important not to carry stress with you into the bedroom. And when you feel like a million things are weighing you down, your body can become tense, your mind begins to race and there’s little to no chance of falling asleep anytime soon. One way to leave your worries behind is to draft out a to-do list before going to bed. A recent study reveals that “offloading” your responsibilities by writing them down helps to significantly reduce stress and fall asleep quicker.
3. Practice yoga
Yoga and the stretching that goes with it is recognized as an effective relaxation tool. And by adding some light stretching and yoga to your bedtime routine, you will set yourself up for a better night’s sleep and overall, a boost in productivity the next day. In fact, a simple five minutes will do. According to research, some 55 percent of people who practice yoga say their sleep is improved and 85 percent say they are less stressed.
4. Shower before bed
If you typically take your showers in the morning, it might be time to rethink this habit. While showers are known to wake you up, it turns out they can also be used for an opposite effect too. However, that depends on exactly what time you’re taking them as well. A recent study finds that a 20-minute warm shower taken an hour and a half before bed helps to induce sleep and help you to fall asleep quicker.
5. Cool down
Rather than turning the heat on before bed, try turning the thermostat down instead. In fact, one study finds that anywhere between 60 to 67 degrees is the optimal room temperature for a good night’s sleep. That’s because our bodies’ temperatures naturally rise and fall throughout the day, however they reach their lowest thermal points during when we sleep as a way to cool off and reset. In order to speed up the cooling process and encourage a deeper sleep, create the right environment by turning down the temp.
6. Wear socks to sleep
One out-there bedtime habit to cultivate is putting on socks before going to bed. Turns out, by slipping on socks, you are indicating to your body that it’s time to go to bed, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleeping in socks also helps to keep a person’s feet warm throughout the night, which can often be a major cause of sleep disruption.