*This post is in partnership with Listerine®
As parents, we spend a LOT of time talking about the importance of a good bedtime routine for our children. But what about for us? It turns out that maintaining a bedtime routine is also important for us adults too. So is it time we all invested in creating a better bedtime routine?
As someone who has grappled with sleep issues for the best part of a decade, I have come to realise just how importance a bedtime routine is. Having a better bedtime routine can make all the difference when it comes to drifting off easily. But what does a better bedtime routine look like? I’ve teamed up with LISTERINE® Nightly Reset to share my top tips for creating a better bedtime routine, and why oral hygiene is such an important part of that.
Wind down at least an hour before, more if you can!
When you’re a tired, frazzled parent who has been operating at a million miles an hour for the best part of the day, it’s truly important to allow yourself time to decompress. We really do need the time to wind down – that is if we want to be able to get to sleep! Did you know that our brains prepare for bedtime around two hours before we actually hit the hay?
Imagine, our brain cells have been busy at it, firing on all cylinders for hours on end. We can’t expect them to go from hero to zero in ten minutes now can we? So if you have a 10pm bedtime, that means winding down from around 8pm. I know a tall order when you have kids! But in my case, I usually start winding down from 8.30pm.
The wind down will look different for everyone. For me, it’s some gentle yoga, I love to do a bit of reflexology on my feet, some reading in bed, a quick gratitude practice and a short meditation right before I turn out the light. I find the last bit is the piece de resistance in signalling to your brain than it’s time to shut down for the night.
I know this sounds like a lot but it’s something I’ve cultivated over the past couple of years, as someone who has battled with insomnia it’s a small price to pay for sleep!
Lock down your nighttime hygiene routine
There are two other self care rituals which can help you form a better bedtime routine. The first is your nighttime skincare routine which is important to cleanse and set up your skin for repairing itself during the night ahead. The second is your oral hygiene routine. The bottom line is, having a good oral hygiene routine helps to keep your mouth healthy.
As tempting as it may seem to fall asleep without taking care of your teeth, this is a major no-no! Unless you want to go to sleep with a hotbed of bacteria partying in your mouth. Normal eating and drinking can expose your teeth to sugar acids throughout the day that can leave your teeth vulnerable to cavities – especially overnight.
That’s why it’s so important to create time to brush and floss your teeth at bedtime. I’ve recently added another level of oral hygiene to my nightly routine with LISTERINE® Nightly Reset – a formula that works while you sleep to fight the effects of the day.
It works by remineralizing enamel to strengthen teeth thanks to its high level of fluoride, whilst cleaning deeply reaching where brushing can’t. All of this helps to reduce plaque build up, germ accumulation, and acid production caused by food and drinks which can weaken your teeth and cause cavities.
It’s got a lovely mild taste – Midnight Mint – which is perfect for setting the mellow mood before bed, and is an absolute pleasure to use. I have to say my mouth feels incredibly fresh and ready for the night of downtime ahead every night. But the real difference I’ve noticed has been in the morning. I think we’d all agree that our mouths don’t usually taste their finest on waking up in the morning. But what I’ve been wowed about is just how neutral my mouth tastes on waking. I’m pretty confident this is down to using LISTERINE® Nightly Reset . It’s a really nice feeling to start the day with every day. One night when I didn’t use it I really noticed the difference in the morning!
Keep regular hours
Earlier I talked about very specific bedtime and winding down hours. That was for good reason! As part of a better bedtime routine, it’s so important that we keep our sleep cycles regular…even at weekends! So as much as it may be tempting to see and binge watch Netflix until the wee hours at the weekend, this will wreak havoc on your internal body clock. You have been warned!
Ace your sleep hygeine
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Tech and sleep do not bed fellows maketh. As tempting as it might be to wind down with your gadgets, we all know by now that the blue light they omit impacts on our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is because blue-light can interfere with our melatonin production. I put my phone to bed at 8.30pm, which is when the beginning of my bedtime wind down starts. Physically put it in a drawer if you need to. Although much of the advice given is to not be on a device for an hour before lights out, I would say that even better is two hours before!
Creating a better bedtime routine has so many benefits. Although making these changes may sound a little intimidating at first – remember – you don’t have to start them all at once but can introduce them one by one. If you make small and gradual changes, before you know it they will have already become a habit, and there’ll be no looking back.
What does your current bedtime routine look like? Would you like to create a better bedtime routine? And what do you think of the suggestions above? Do leave a comment and share.
Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Listerine®.Please note that LISTERINE® Nightly Reset is not suitable for children under the age of 12 and cannot be used if you are pregnant or currently breastfeeding. Product is not suitable for children under the age of 12