What is routine? It is following the same steps or actions in the same order. An evening routine signals to the body that it is time to prepare for sleep. This gives the mind time to decompress and ease the body into sleep mode. Routines are not just for kids! Kids can not jump into bed and instantly fall asleep and neither can adults. Resting and decompressing before sleep is an important step to getting good, consistent sleep. Some ideas to consider for a routine are reading a fun book, taking a bath, meditation or journaling, drinking a non-caffeinated herbal tea like chamomile or mint, or playing a board game with family before laying down to sleep. Going for a walk or a stroll with a companion is also a good activity to wind down before bedtime. Some activities that are regularly enjoyed are counterproductive during the evening. Such activities include folding laundry, watching the news, cleaning your kitchen, screens of any kind, or anything that causes stress or anxiety. Aim to put your screens away at least an hour before bedtime to take your mind away from work and playtime to prepare for bed. Even better, keep your phones and other devices on do not disturb and out of your bedroom.
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Meaghan Massella, M.Ac, L.Ac, Dipl. Ac (NCCAOM) is an acupuncturist, business owner and mother of 2.