Rest me: noggin the brain people

How do you wind down for bed?

Bedtime Routine

Most of us have a morning routine, but what about a bedtime one?

Having a good evening routine is so important if you want to get a good night’s sleep and there are few things more important than a good night’s sleep. 

We’ve blogged a lot about the power of sleep.

In order for us to feel properly rested and adequately set up for the day ahead, the NHS advises that we try and get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.

Sleep is essential for rest and repair of our bodies and minds. It is also vital for our immune system and broken non restful sleep and impact on our bodies ability to deal with disease. 

When we sleep our brain takes on a life of its own. Moving between the different stages of sleep including non REM and REM sleep our brain is processing what has happened in the previous day, or days. Our brain is managing memories and moving them into long term storage and also processing ‘a deep clean’, a benefit of sleep that is becoming increasingly of interest regarding risk for Alzheimers Disease. 

When it comes to getting our brain and our bodies ready for sleep we need time to settle down and relax after the overstimulation of the day on our nervous system, so that we can access the deep healing sleep that we all need. If we don’t wind down our sleep quality is more likely to be shallow, fitful, and even noisy; filled with fitful dreams, thoughts and worries from the day.

Establishing a bedtime routine should be enjoyable and something that you do with consistency, here are some of the things Team Noggin do as part of our winding down routine:

  • A warm bath helps relax muscles and calm the mind, one of our favourites is relaxing in an Epsom salt bath for 20 minutes 
  • Avoid screens where possible, the suppress your body’s production of melatonin and make it more difficult to relax
  • Dim the lights or introduce candles an hour before bed to encourage the increase in melatonin levels
  • Keep a gratitude journal and reflect on three things from the day which you’re grateful for, doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, little things can bring the most joy
  • Reading is one of our favourite hobbies and it’s also great for brain health and the science proves that reading an actual book is beneficial for our wellbeing.
  • Leave your phone in another room and use an alarm clock to rise
  • Have a milky drink, it’s old fashioned but we love it, especially if its hot chocolate  which has brain benefits according to Harvard
  • Think good thoughts and leave your worries at the door

Sleep well, Dr Clara Russell