More than Just a Workout

Snooze News: Cut the Lights & Pass the Pillow!

The end of summer is a good time to reevaluate your bedtime routine and get back on track with winding down each evening for quality sleep. Many of us veer off our normal sleep schedules during the summer months. Late sunsets, vacations, and loose daily structures can all contribute to later bedtimes.

As we transition back to school routines in the autumn, it’s important to reinstate healthy bedtime habits, especially with school and work schedules resuming. Getting adequate sleep is crucial for both children and adults’ health, development, and daily performance. Here are some tips for winding down properly in the evenings and setting yourself up for better sleep:

  • Implement a “digital sunset”: Shut off all screens and devices at least one hour before your target bedtime. The blue light and mental stimulation from electronics inhibits the body’s natural production of melatonin for sleep. Enjoy quieter activities before bed.
  • Establish a calming nightly routine: Engage in relaxing rituals like taking a bath, reading, light stretches, or drinking herbal tea as part of your wind-down. Your brain will begin associating these with sleep.
  • Dim the lights: Bright overhead and artificial lighting in the evening can disrupt your circadian rhythms. Switch to lamps, salt lamps or smart lights and start dimming them in the 1-2 hours before bed.
  • Set the temperature: Cooler bedroom temperatures of around 65°F help facilitate sleep. Shut off electronics and devices that emit heat and open windows or adjust air conditioning before bed.
  • Write thoughts and to-dos down: If your mind is racing about the day’s events or plans for tomorrow, put them in a journal or to-do list so you can sleep peacefully without worrying you’ll forget.

TLDR – Making sleep a priority by carving out time for unwinding evening routines will help you feel well-rested, focused and ready to take on each day. For children, those bedtime rituals signal to their minds and bodies that sleep will follow. Getting enough sleep is vital for adults’ brain function and kids’ growth, immunity and development.