Sleep Soundly with These Ways to Wind Down Before Bed

Sleep Soundly with These Ways to Wind Down Before Bed

You wouldn’t try to bake a cake without preheating the oven or jump into an intense workout without a warmup, so why go to bed without taking steps to adequately prepare yourself for restful, productive sleep? If you want to drift off to dreamland and get the most out of those (hopefully) eight blissful hours– try incorporating these ways to wind down before bed into your bedtime rituals.

Establish a Nightly Routine

Did you know that disruptions to your daily routine can affect the quality and duration of your sleep at night? What does getting ready for bed entail for you? Maybe you run through your skincare routine, read a little bit, or go through a guided meditation. Establishing a routine with patterns that help signal to the brain that it’s bedtime, can go a long way. Another great tip is to set a bedtime for yourself, and do your best to stick to it. We are creatures of habit, and our bodies respond well to healthy patterns we set for ourselves.

Really, the importance of a bedtime routine goes all the way back to childhood. Parents can attest that consistent bedtime routines have the power to relieve cranky infants, often helping children to fall asleep faster and wake up less often throughout the night.

Don’t Stare at the Clock

Believe it or not, obsessing about the time is not going to be a productive catalyst for great sleep. It’s best to turn your alarm clock away from you, or turn the brightness way down on your phone when you’re in bed, so you aren’t tempted to watch the time tick by.

Sleep Soundly with These Ways to Wind Down Before Bed

Focus on Your Breath

If you’re trying to get to sleep, but you’re feeling anxious or having a hard time relaxing, try some simple breathing exercises. Just a few minutes of slow, intentional breathing can work wonders for calming the mind and body. This is a great technique to employ in all sorts of scenarios, but can also be particularly helpful in winding down for bed. Ready to try it? Check out these simple breathing techniques for sleep.

Take a Warm Bath

Your body begins to produce melatonin in the evening to help prepare you for sleep. This is a part of the body’s hormonal changes that work with your sleep-wake cycle, and as the melatonin production begins, your core body temperature begins to drop. For this reason, sometimes mimicking a nighttime drop in body temp with a warm soak in the tub can trigger the brain’s message that signals it’s time for sleep. Baths are also notoriously relaxing, and an excellent way to unwind before bed.

Prep Your Bedroom

If you want to achieve restful and productive sleep, it helps to set yourself up for success. Prepare your bedroom to be the best possible environment for great sleep by removing clutter that can cause stress, keep it cool and dark, and ensure your bedding is comfortable and supportive.

Having the right setup is an imperative component of getting great sleep. Do you have the best possible bed and mattress combo for you? Great bedding? The right pillows? Check out our customizable adjustable beds by Flexabed if it’s time for an upgrade in that department.

These ways to wind down before bed can help you find a good nighttime rhythm that promotes better sleep on an ongoing basis. Figuring out a routine that works best for you, and tailoring it to your personal needs and preferences can make all the difference. We know once you get into the right bedtime habits, you’ll be so glad you did. Cheers to consistency, great sleep, and sweet dreams– especially in a Flexabed!

Sleep Health 101– The Importance of Sleep

Sleep, great sleep, is one of the best things we can do for our minds and bodies. That said, even though we understand the importance of sleep, actually achieving it isn’t always easy for everyone. In fact, if you’re an adult human, you’ve more than likely had at least the occasional night of tossing and turning while sleep evades you. For some folks, sleep disturbance is minor and rare, but for others it can be quite life altering. That said, learning about the basics of sleep, and some suggestions for how you might improve your sleep patterns is a good idea regardless of which end of the spectrum you’re on.

Understanding Sleep Stages

Sleep can be broken down into two main stages known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. About 75-80% of our sleep is categorized as non-REM sleep, and is broken down into four additional stages called N1, N2, N3, and N4.

N1– This stage is characterized by very light sleep, and it typically serves as a bridge to the deeper sleep stages that should follow.

N2– Deeper than N1, this sleep stage is harder to wake from, and makes up about 40 to 50% of a night’s sleep in healthy adults.

N3 and N4– This is the sleep stage in which sleep is the deepest, and is thought to be the stage in which the body restores and rebuilds itself.

Then there is REM sleep, which is characterized by rapid eye movements and the stage in which most dreaming occurs. The heart rate and breathing become less regular, and there is also increased blood flow to the brain. Also interesting fact, our bodies go into a sort of state of relative paralysis which prevents us from trying to physically act out our dreams as they occur. We may also notice during this stage of sleep that our faces, fingers, and legs twitch from time to time, which is totally normal.

The Adult Sleep Cycle

When it comes to adults and healthy sleep, the non-REM and REM sleep stages occur in consistent cycles that are predictable and even. Sleep generally begins with non-REM sleep in which our bodies transition from wakefulness to the N1 stage outlined above. This generally takes 30 minutes or less. Then we pass through a longer period of N2 stage sleep, then into stage N3. Generally about 70 to 90 minutes into sleep is when the first REM sleep period occurs. Then for the rest of the night, REM sleep alternates between the various stages of non-REM sleep, usually in approximately 90 minute cycles.

The positive thing to take away from this is that even folks who have trouble sleeping can still get access to the most restorative stage of sleep. The deepest sleep, N3, typically occurs early in the sleep cycle, so even if you are getting less sleep than is ideal, you are still able to tap into that beneficial stage in which your body recoups.

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep Health 101– The Importance of Sleep

We all know that sleep is vital to our health, but when it comes to the importance of sleep, have we really taken time to delve into the whys? Good sleep supports our brains. Sleep boosts our ability to learn, memorize things, and make logical choices in our everyday lives. It also helps to recalibrate the emotional brain circuits which are crucial to helping us navigate and manage future social and psychological scenarios with the necessary composure.

Sleep is also critical for repairing our immune systems, which in turn helps us ward off sickness and infection. Sleep helps regulate appetite, control body weight, lowers blood pressure, and even impacts cardiovascular health.

So now that we better understand sleep cycles, REM sleep, and why this restorative act is so vital to our wellbeing, what do we do with that? Prioritize great sleep. Set a goal to sleep well and get enough sleep each night. And in the meantime, try these tips for falling asleep faster to make the most of those nighttime hours. It’s also important to invest in the best as far as bedding goes. Is it time to upgrade your sleep set up? Check out our full line of custom Flexabed adjustable beds, and start sleeping better now.

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