5 Steps To Creating a Sleep Routine that Actually Works for You

5 Steps To Creating a Sleep Routine that Actually Works for You

Struggling to get a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone. Insomnia is one of the most common conditions in the western world.

So, what can you do about it?

Everyone has their own ideas. Some people swear by chamomile and lavender teas, while others use natural supplements like melatonin. But, one of the easiest ways to get a good night’s sleep is to change your routine!

Your body and brain naturally work better when following a routine. Creating a sleep schedule is an essential part of good sleep hygiene, and it could allow you to get better sleep long-term.

Let’s see how you can create the right routine for you.

Quote from the CDC - lack of sleep contributes to the development and management of chronic diseases

1. Choose Your Times

The first step in setting up a solid sleep schedule is deciding when you want to wake up and fall asleep each day. Generally, the recommended amount of sleep falls somewhere between 6 and 8 hours.

To figure out your best times, it's usually a good idea to start from when you want/need to wake up and work backwards to see when you should fall asleep.

Choosing a set time to go to bed can be difficult when you’re first getting started, but it’s an excellent way to get your body and mind into the habit of relaxing at a certain time. Even if you can’t fall asleep, go to bed according to your schedule every night.

Unfortunately, following a routine also means you'll wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends and days off. No sleeping in!


2. Avoid Disruptions

Now that you know your sleeping times, it’s important to remove anything from your schedule that might disrupt that pattern. For example, it’s not a good idea to drink a cup of coffee at 9pm if you’re planning to go to sleep at 10.

Remove anything from your routine that might cause you to stay awake longer than you expected.

This includes ensuring that you don’t rely too heavily on naps. While a twenty-minute nap in the early to mid-afternoon can be a good way to refresh, anything longer can make it harder to fall asleep come bedtime.

If you notice that you’re still tired after following your schedule for a while, try going to bed a little earlier. You can adjust your schedule a small amount at a time until you feel great.


3. Plan the following day(s)

It can be really frustrating trying to sleep while you're still thinking about all your to-do's. Planning your days in advance can help you get to bed with an unclouded mind and a clear vision of what you need to accomplish the next day.

What are you and/or your family going to eat? What are you going to wear? Are there any important things you need to do or appointments/events you need to prepare for or leave extra time for?

No matter when you do this throughout the day, it's important to get it done. You can use a planner, a notebook or journal, your phone or whatever works best to help your get a handle on what's coming up next so you can focus on preparing for sleep.


4. Craft a Pre-Bed Routine

Being able to fall asleep at your scheduled time each night isn’t just about deciding on a good sleeping time and reducing the time you spend napping. It can also help to do a few things each night that relax your body and your mind in time for sleep (we all know this is essential for children, but did you know it's great for you too?).

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for creating a pre-bed routine. Generally, you should avoid things like alcohol and electronics, which can reduce your sleep quality and make it tougher for you to get the restful night you need.

Your pre-bed pattern should be all about relaxation.

Maybe you could put the children to bed early, make yourself a cup of relaxing lavender tea and have a hot bath or shower before bed.

During this time, it's also a good idea to disconnect from all devices - try adjusting your device's setting so it turns on the do-not-disturb and/or bedtime modes automatically at the same time each night or if you're really tempted, try placing devices in a different room.

You could even try a few other relaxation techniques like stretching, lighting candles (be sure to put them out before going to bed), journaling or listening to calming music to clear your mind and bring it into a state that supports sleep.

Of course, every pre-bed routine should also include prayer, worship/devotion and meditation. This is an incredible way to end your day with God, give Him your burdens/worries and cleanse your soul of the day's messes.

Follow the same routine each night, and eventually, your brain will begin recognizing the things you do as signals that it’s time to fall asleep.



5. Know How to Deal with Problems

Finally, creating a sleep routine is great for your body and your mind in the long-term, but it takes time, dedication and patience for everything to fall into place.

Ultimately, you’re going to have a few difficult nights, bleary-eyed mornings and problematic experiences when you’re first implementing your routine.

Don’t expect to fall asleep straight away every night - especially at the beginning. If you can’t fall asleep, get up and do something relaxing for a bit in low light. This will help to avoid creating a feeling of frustration in your mind when you go to bed.

If your routine of choice doesn’t seem to be helping you relax, after a couple of weeks, try something new.

Experiment with a sleep diary so you can track your sleeping habits and find out what works best.

The key to proper sleep hygiene is commitment and persistence.

If you continue working on your sleeping schedule, and you feel like you’re not seeing any improvements, you may want to speak to a doctor. A professional can conduct a sleep study to determine whether there are any underlying issues that are keeping you from sleeping.



Creating a sleep routine that works for you can enhance your life in many ways. Your productivity, physical and mental health, metabolism, energy levels, and even relationships can all benefit when you’re regularly getting a good night’s sleep.

 So, try out these steps and let us know how it goes!

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