Sleep schedules are referenced when discussing babies, toddlers, and children. It seems as if the older you get, the fewer sleep schedules are discussed. However, as adults, we need the energy to keep us going through work, school, or other life activities. Getting a plan going for bed can be difficult, especially when you have kids, pets, or other things going on. With that said, everyone should strive to have a healthy relationship with sleep and our routines. Sleep is especially essential for those that work long hours, exercise regularly, or want to lead healthier lives. The following are the five things everyone should be doing to fix their sleep schedule

  1. Tidy your room/space before your bedtime routine: Many of us get home and are tired from a long day of work, commuting, doing chores, etc. The last thing we want to do is clean or tidy up. However, the prolonged time we spend on technology can overstimulate us and make us forget how tired we feel. Soon enough, you check the time, and you’ve been on your phone for over an hour. We might be in bed, but technically we’re not ready to sleep yet. Our advice would be for you to get up and do small chores around the house. Maybe wash a few dishes, pick up some toys, pack a lunch for the next day. Waking up the following day with no dishes or a tidier room can also lift your mood and make you less stressed. Making this a part of your nighttime routine can get your body in motion. Reminding you that you need to rest for the next day. It’s a lot easier to want to go to bed when we force ourselves to do a little work before bed rather than spend two hours in our bed watching tv or youtube. Research also shows that the blue light from technology can disrupt our sleep schedules. Therefore it’s recommended that we stop using technology 30 minutes before bed. This is where the small cleaning task comes in. Make this routine part of your bedtime preparation. There are also new features in certain phones that change the light color on the screen around nighttime to remind users that it might be close to bedtime. Features like these are important reminders to put down those phones and get started with our bedtime routine. 
  2. Have a consistent bedtime: Having a constant time to sleep is something that we are taught to do from an early age, yet it’s mostly abandoned when we get older. This habit depends on what time you work, and how much time you need in the morning to shower, eat, and commute. Everyone has a schedule and needs to work backward to see how much time they need from the moment they wake up to the moment they start work. 
For example: If Bridgette works at 8 am, she’s going to wake up at 6:30 am. She needs 30 minutes to wake up and get dressed for work. She makes and eats breakfast for about 30 minutes and is out the door heading to work around 7:30. If Bridgette needs 8 hours of sleep to prepare her for the day, she’s going to have to go to sleep around 10:30 pm consistently. 

Having a consistent time for bed gets your body accustomed to when you should be getting ready for bed, and can also lead to better mornings. Sleep calculators calculate how much sleep someone should be getting based on when they wake up. Overall, having a set sleep schedule helps your body maintain a healthy routine that will benefit you in the long run.  

3. Create a body/face nighttime routine: Many people get so tired they fall asleep in their beds and never took the time to wash their face or brush their teeth. Aside from hygienic reasons, having a nighttime routine will also help get your body ready for bed. Within those 30 minutes, doing small chores, and your nighttime routine can create the method your body needs to start settling down and relaxing. This is also why many people prefer to shower at night before bed. Creating a routine can calm your body, senses, and also prepare your skin for the next day. If you stop to think about it, our skin has been through a lot that day. Taking some time for yourself can be just what you need to wind down and also mentally prepare yourself for sleep. 

4. Choose your outfit for the next day: If we’re honest, it takes some people a very long time to choose an outfit for the day. Having this step done before bed can give you peace of mind that tomorrow is already going to have one less step. In the morning, you will be much more confident and ready for your day if your clothes are laid out and ready to go. Adding this step to your nighttime routine will help you mentally prepare for the next day and actively think about what needs to be done the next day. 

5. Placing your phone away from your bed: According to one study, 71% of people sleep with their phones in bed with them or within reach. Not only does this interrupt sleep patterns, but it also creates a lousy routine. When the alarm goes off in the morning, most people grab their phones and stay in bed for another few minutes. Some people snooze their alarms over and over again. Snoozing is not good for our overall health and also interrupts schedules. Snoozing too much can backtrack a day and cause someone to run late consistently. A good tip is to place your phone away from your bed, somewhere where you’ll be forced to wake up and walk to turn off your alarm. Hopefully, this will force you to start your day since you’re already up. Doing this will also force you to go to bed with no distractions and fall asleep faster.

Adults have so many tasks and things to juggle every day; sleep should be a number one priority. Too often, young adults and adults do not think about how their nighttime routine can be making or breaking their sleep schedules. After a long day, creating a calm relaxing routine can be an excellent foundation for getting great sleep. How we end our day affects how we start the next day. If you want to start a sleep schedule or find what works for you, these tips can help you begin. Sleep is vital for our bodies and can help lead to a healthier, happier life.