After discovering that half of Americans (51%) are sacrificing nightly sleep to complete their daily tasks, a sleep brand consulted sleep experts to create the ‘bedtimeline’. 1 in 5 Americans are working more than 40 hours every week, while half (48%) said that there is not enough time in the day to complete all of their daily tasks.
Of those that do not have enough time to complete their daily tasks, nearly all (96%) said they felt at least moderately stressed and fatigued, while one fifth (20%) were experiencing extreme stress and fatigue.
4 hours before bed – Exercise
High intensity exercise shortly before bed can increase the heart rate and core body temperature. Although morning is generally regarded as the best time to exercise, exercising a few hours before bed can help improve sleep quality, while also giving the body time to readjust before bed.
3 hours before bed – Eat dinner
This allows the stomach to properly digest food and focus on preparing for sleep. Eating too early before bed can mean going to bed hungry and if the body lacks the calories it needs to recharge, it will hold on to carbs and fats instead of using them as fuel.
2 hours before bed – Drink caffeine-free herbal tea or warm milk
A herbal tea such as chamomile contains Apigenin, a therapeutic antioxidant which can help reduce anxiety and initiate drowsiness. Whereas milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid which increases serotonin and melatonin levels that help to induce sleep.
Drinking two hours before bed reduces the risk of going to bed with a full bladder, and therefore should lead to avoiding night time wake up bathroom trips.
1.5 hours before bed – Take a bath or shower
Bathing in a lukewarm bath or shower before bed can improve your rest – as the body cools down after bathing, this is a signal for the brain that it is time to sleep, it also means going to bed clean.
1 hour before bed – Put down the devices & set alarm based on sleep cycle
Electronic screens emit blue light, which stimulates and alerts the brain, while preventing the release of melatonin. High smartphone use before bed has also been linked to impaired sleep, depression and anxiety.
When sleeping, people cycle through two types of sleep REM & non-REM. Where in the cycle people wake up, depends on how refreshed they feel. Therefore, it’s a good idea to calculate the sleep cycle and work backwards to figure out the best time to go to sleep and wake up.
0.5 hours before bed – Light static stretching & get into bed
Five minutes of light stretching and slow deep breathing will help the mind and body relax before bed.
It’s important not to get into bed too early, and only when ready to sleep. This ensures the brain associates the bed with sleeping only.