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How to Establish a Bedtime Routine for Better Sleep

Learn how to establish a bedtime routine from sleep specialist Janet Kennedy. Ph.D. in this Howcast video.


"How to Sleep: Establishing a Bedtime Routine

Hi, I'm Janet Kennedy. I'm a licensed clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. You can find out more about me and my work on my website, Bedtime routines are important because they help us to unwind before bed. They also signal to the body that it's time to sleep and that can help you actually physically relax along the way. You start to respond to the different elements of your routine with relaxation and fatigue. You might realize that when you get into bed, you start to yawn. That's because you associate your bed with sleep. Try to incorporate things into your routine that are relaxing. Leave all work and stress aside and give yourself that time to really unwind. It's best to stop watching T.V. and having any screen contact about an hour before sleep so that your mind can really quiet down. Those screens are really over stimulating. Using music can help, or reading is a favorite of mine because what it does is allows you to focus on something other than the thoughts bouncing around in your head. It creates a buffer between your day and your night and it shuts down that thought process. White noise can really be helpful especially if you have a lot of distractions around you. What it does is it creates a buffer so that you can trust that you're not going to be jolted awake by different things going on around you. It also becomes a cue for sleep and it helps you relax once you get used to it. And those are some helpful ways to start the bedtime routine.

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