Adults Need a Bedtime, Too
Any parent will tell you that sticking to a routine is crucial for any kid. Children who have a regular routine have better cognitive performance and fewer behavior problems. This becomes even more important for bedtime. Preparing children mentally and physically for bedtime allows for more restorative sleep. This is also true for adults.
Our bodies crave consistency. Keeping to the same schedule helps our bodies and minds thrive. And while consistency doesn’t equal boring and mundane, any disruption to our normal routine, like a fun night out, does result in physical consequences. A daily routine is important as we age, too. And ironically, those who are retirement-age tend to stick to a daily schedule better than their counterparts who are middle-age. Maybe it’s a wisdom thing?
A nighttime routine
I don’t know about you, but one thing I looked forward to once I was a “grown up” was not having a bed time. But now in my 30’s, I find myself sticking to a bedtime, even on the weekends. But a bedtime should be just one part of your nighttime routine. Just like kids, adults can’t go from high energy activities to drifting off to dreamland at the drop of a hat. Our bodies need to mentally and physically unwind from the day, and going through the same steps each night achieves just that. Brushing your teeth, taking out your contacts, a little yoga in bed, listening to music, whatever it is for you, these steps prepare you for sleep.
A morning routine
As much as I hate to say it, waking up at the same time every day is the best practice for maintaining your routine. I love sleeping in as much as the next person, but I am more sluggish throughout the rest of the day when I do. Use the time that you normally would for getting dressed and commuting to your job to yourself on the weekends if possible.
If you are having a hard time falling asleep, staying awake during the day, or just generally feel “off”, try sticking to a similar routine each day. Staying on schedule for even just a few days can physically and mentally get you back on track, or on the track for the first time!