Are you struggling with sleep? Then, this blog is for you. Sleep is one of the most important functions of our body. A good quality sleep recharges the body, mind, and spirit. Quality of sleep depends on our lifestyle and, more importantly, on how we wind down before sleeping. How you spend your last 1 hour before sleeping plays a crucial role in sleep quality. This last hour is called power-down hour. When this time is properly planned and executed, you experience a deep sleep and feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning. In this blog, I will be sharing with you 4 tips to plan your power-down hour. When you follow these tips, your sleep quality is enhanced. So, let’s get started.
4 benefits of having a power-down hour:
Let’s first understand the benefits of having a power-down hour.
- The quality of your sleep is improved tremendously. Many of us sleep immediately after eating or we go to sleep without much preparation. This results in a disturbed sleep pattern. But when we have a power-down hour where we relax the body and mind, we can sleep like a baby.
- It becomes easy to fall asleep since the body and mind are prepared well. So, no more tossing in the bed.
- Your body and mind get nourished and healed because of the deep sleep.
- Your next morning starts with a fresh and relaxed state of mind.
4 tips on the power-down hour:
Now that we understood the benefits, here are some tips that will help you plan your power-down hour.
1. Create a routine: A routine makes it easy for the body to fall asleep. So, build a routine and have the same time for your power-down and sleep every day. This consistency prepares your body and mind better for sleep. Set an alarm clock for the start of your power down hour so that you don’t miss the time.
2. Two things to do once power-down hour starts:
1. Stop using all electronic devices. Yes, no mobile, no laptop, no TV. Some of us end our day by watching movies or engaging in social media or working late into the night. When we do this, we carry too many thoughts and stress of the day to our bed, which makes it difficult to sleep well. So, shut down all the devices once your power-down hour starts.
2. Start your power down hour by wearing blue-light blocking glasses for your eyes. These glasses protect your eyes from the blue light emitted from electronic devices and lights around. Blue-light exposure at night-time makes your body think that it is still daytime and prevents the body from feeling sleepy. Blocking blue light by wearing these glasses helps your body secrete the right hormones needed to fall asleep.
3.20-20-20 rule for the power-down hour:
Divide your power-down hour into 3 segments of 20 minutes each.
First segment – In this segment, complete all the small tasks that are important for the next day – like packing your gym bag or your children’s school bag, laying out your clothes for the next day, helping your children with their backpacks, etc. In this segment, complete all those small tasks, which, if not done, will make you anxious in the morning. When you take care of these small tasks before you sleep, you will get time in the morning to relax instead of rushing, and you can start your day with peace. This step will also give you the satisfaction of taking care of the next day and makes you feel relaxed.
Second segment– Take care of your hygiene in this segment. Brush your teeth and take a hot water bath. A hot water bath helps your body release melatonin hormone. Melatonin hormone plays a vital role in making you fall asleep.
Third segment – In this final segment, do nothing major. This is the time to relax your mind. De-stress yourself and calm down the racing thoughts in your mind using deep breathing and meditation. Try to be in a relaxed state with your eyes closed.
4. Evening ritual: In addition to the power-down hour, you can also practice the evening ritual, which helps you wind down your day smoothly. The evening ritual is a set of steps performed in the evening time to slow down and prepare ourselves for better sleep. The steps and time spent in the evening ritual vary from person to person. Below are some steps you can practice as part of your evening ritual.
- Watching Sunset – This is a beautiful way to end your day. It rejuvenates and de-stresses you.
- You can burn incense in your home and diffuse essential oils. These fragrances relax the body and mind and also make your home a joyful place.
- Lit the lamps and connect with the divine as an act of gratitude.
- Early dinner – Early dinner gives the body sufficient time to digest the food and makes it easy for the body. Also, this helps in enhancing sleep quality. When you have an early dinner, you go to bed with a light stomach, which makes a difference to your sleep quality. Try to have dinner around Sunset time. If it is not feasible, at least have dinner 2 hours before your sleep time.
- Put away all your gadgets.
- Wear blue-light blocking glasses 2 hours before going to sleep.
- Plan to spend your time in the sauna and a warm bath. These relax and de-stress you. It is important to de-stress oneself every day.
- You can do some light stretches, deep breathing, prayers, and a gratitude journal. These practices help you to end your day in a positive state of mind.
So, these are the 4 tips to power down smoothly for a good night’s sleep. You can create your own power-down hour, which relaxes your body and mind. You should plan in such a way that it helps you de-stress and wind down peacefully. Winding down your day in a systematic and planned way improves the quality of your life significantly. Take some time and plan your power-down hour.