The right bedtime routine is among the most convenient and rewarding ways to enjoy more and better sleep. But what you do during the day also impacts your sleep quality. Sure, how you spend your afternoon dictates how well you'll sleep at night.
As with other routines, bedtime routines create habits that help your brain know when it's time to catch some sleep. By repeating the same activities in the exact order each night, your brain learns to associate those activities with sleep onset. And as a result, you'll relax into sleep quickly.
This guide touches on the best activities to incorporate into your afternoon routine for better sleep and waking up feeling energetic. Read along!
An afternoon Routine for Better Sleep
Did you know you can keep your mind focused and avoid late-night stress by adhering to the right bedtime routine? From drinking green tea to taking a power nap, discover essential tips to maximize your afternoon routine and enhance your quality of sleep.
- Drink Green Tea
Drink a cup of green tea each afternoon rather than opting for a post-lunch coffee. While coffee may increase your energy and help you feel more resourceful, it has an extended half-life of nearly eight hours. If you sip a huge cup of coffee in the afternoon (1 p.m.), you'll still be energized for the next eight hours, when you should be preparing to sleep.
Therefore, it's advisable to take green tea in the afternoon because it contains less caffeine than coffee. It will help boost your energy if you're tired in the afternoon, but it will abandon your system by bedtime.
- Eat a Magnesium-rich Snack
Choose magnesium-rich foods for an afternoon snack to promote healthy sleep. Magnesium has been proven to improve sleep quality and duration and help people suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia and restless leg syndrome. Here's a list of magnesium-rich foods that should be at your disposal in the afternoon:
- Dark chocolate
- Pumpkin seeds
- Avocado toast
- Chia pudding
- Roasted chickpeas
- Yoghourt parfait
- Whole-grain cereal and milk
So, how does magnesium impact sleep?
Magnesium is incorporated into various nutritional supplements and natural sleep aids. Researchers believe this essential nutrient can relax your central nervous system, causing chemical reactions that result in sleepiness.
- Take a Power Nap
Nearly all instances of sleeping during the day can compromise nighttime sleep, except for a power nap in the afternoon. If you are sleep-deprived, taking a 20-30 minute nap at the onset of the afternoon will improve your memory, increase your cognitive function and boost your alertness for a couple of hours.
Ensure you power nap carefully. Keep your power nap short and take it early in the afternoon so you can still fall asleep at your usual bedtime.
- Do a Low-impact Workout
Exercising regularly has plenty of benefits for your overall health and well-being. As per research, workouts can lower the risk of cancer and diabetes while also enhancing sleep for many individuals. Specifically, a low-impact workout can enhance sleep quality by reducing the time it takes to catch sleep at night. In addition, exercising can help minimize daytime sleepiness and eliminate the need for sleep medications.
Try going for an afternoon walk or just stretching your body. Such activities help you to unwind and prepare for sleep. However, you should avoid engaging in high-density workouts in the afternoon. Anything strenuous releases adrenaline and endorphin and raises your body temperature and heart rate. All these can keep you awake and make it challenging to fall asleep.
- Practice Meditation
Like exercise, meditation can help you sleep better. How? Mindfulness meditation allows you to use your thoughts and manage emotions, enhancing sleep onset instead of worrying about not falling asleep.
You can exercise mindfulness meditation by closing your eyes, then deeply concentrating on your thoughts and feelings. Examine your thoughts without passing judgment on them.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques
Stress can encroach on you in the afternoon, making it difficult to fall asleep at night. Various activities, including meditation and journaling, may assist you with falling asleep quicker when it comes to bedtime. Schedule some time in your calendar to write in a journal. This should help to clear your mind and enhance your sleep at night. If this idea overwhelms you, consider beginning with a basic to-do list of tasks you'll do the following day to boost sleep onset.
Meditation has also been shown in studies to promote better sleep. Therefore, switch your lights off, shut down your computer, and breathe deeply to relax your mind. You can implement plenty of other relaxation techniques in your bedtime routine. So, decide on one that works for you and incorporate it into your bedtime routine.
- Prep Your Bedroom
Make transforming your sleeping area into a sleep sanctuary part of your bedtime routine. Ensure you keep things cool, dark, and quiet so you can fall asleep easily when the time comes. Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, preferably 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Switch off loud electronic gadgets, reduce the lighting, and draw the blackout curtains. Lastly, clear the clutter and keep things organized.
- Try a Futon Mattress for Better Sleep
You definitely won't enjoy a great night's sleep if you spend the night on an uncomfortable mattress. Comfort matters when it comes to mattresses, as it determines whether you'll keep tossing and turning all night or sleep soundly. That said, why not try a futon mattress for better sleep?
A futon mattress, such as the MAXYOYO Japanese futon, is a comfortable option for sleepers enduring back pain as it keeps their spine aligned. Its cooling abilities rank it high among other competitive mattresses on the market as it hardly retains heat during hot weather. Another major strength is its price. If you fancy a minimalist lifestyle, you're a prime candidate for this quality futon from MAXYOYO.
Despite the premium features, this mattress is reasonably priced, making it a better pick for those with budget constraints. Mind you, the mattress doesn't sacrifice quality as the materials used in the construction are destined to serve you for years. Lastly, you can choose from the multiple colors and sizes available based on your preference.