Your Sleep Routine Checklist
Keeping to the same routine helps prepare your body and brain for sleep and supports the production of the hormones and circadian rhythm that controls your sleep. The checklist below provides strategies to help improve your sleep by establishing and sticking to your own routine.
In the morning
- Set a time to wake.
If you wake up early, stay in bed with your eyes closed to help you fall back to sleep.
- Expose your eyes to direct sunlight for at least 15 minutes in the morning.
- Try to be physically active during your day rather than leaving this to after work.
If you can, try to move during your morning rather than later in the day to help avoid stimulating the stress response from physical activity, which may impact your sleep.
- Limit your caffeine intake as much as possible.
Be aware of your tolerance and try to drink your last cup before 12 pm.
In the afternoon
- Reduce your stress levels throughout the day.
Practice stress management techniques that work for you such as mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing.
- Take a short nap.
If you are feeling extremely sleepy during the day and need to nap, keep it shorter than 20 minutes to avoid slipping into a deep sleep and disrupting your circadian rhythm.
In the evening
- Set a consistent bedtime and stick to it.
Ideally before 10 pm and aiming to drift off to sleep by 10.30 pm.
- Try to limit your total sugar intake, especially in the evening.
- Limit alcohol to small amounts and stick to the early evening.
- Don’t drink large volumes of fluid at least 2-3 hours before bed.
- Eat a balanced dinner at least two hours before bed.
Include a portion of protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fats to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels throughout the night.
- Dim the lights after dinner.
This will help to signal to your brain to start producing the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
- Switch off from all screens, including TV, computer, and other devices at least one hour before bed.
Refrain from looking at your devices by doing an alternative activity to help relax you such as having a bath, reading a book, listening or playing music, gentle yoga, or spending time with your household.
Remove your phone from your bedroom and use an old fashioned alarm if you need to.
Your sleeping environment
- Make your space ideal for sleep.
Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool with the optimal temperature being 18 degrees Celcius. Invest in earplugs or an eye mask if you need to.
- Be aware that some Medications may interfere with your sleep, take as directed by your doctor.
- Don’t allow your children or animals in bed with you.
- Put a notepad beside your bed so you can jot down anything on your mind.
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