If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not alone. According to the Sleep Foundation, at least a third of us aren’t getting enough sleep on the regular! And fear of insomnia, idea of lying in bed for hours unable to fall asleep, can make things worse. Luckily, great bedtime routines for sleep anxiety can help you sleep better, and it’s pretty easy to start.
Since humans are creatures of habit, bedtime routines can make such a difference in our sleep quality. Doing the same thing, at the same time before bed, helps your brain recognize when it’s time to “turn off” and go to sleep. A great bedtime routine can also reduce that pesky late-night mind racing, anxious thoughts, and stress that often keeps us up at night. With a bedtime routine, you’re forcing your brain to focus on tasks that help you unwind, rather than reliving your day or stressing about tomorrow.
Bedtime Routines to Ease Your Mind
- Pick a bedtime and stick to it, no matter what. Whether you know it or not, you have a natural sleep-wake cycle. Following a consistent sleep routine, even when it’s hard on the weekends, helps train your brain to recognize when it’s time to “be tired”. Once you decide on a bedtime, you can start planning your routine around it.
- Turn off the blue light. Right now, your bedtime routine probably includes scrolling through Instagram or catching up on your favorite TV shows. Try trading in the blue light from electronics for a book, and watch your sleep quality transform! Putting away electronics in the evening or using blue-light filtering glasses or software will help your brain recognize that it’s time for bed. This is especially important for older adults who already face sleep challenges and eye-health issues.
- Heat things up with hot tea or a warm bath. Eating a big meal before bed or overdoing it with alcohol is a great way to ruin your sleep pattern. Fortunately, a cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea, like chamomile, can help you relax before bed. Pair it with a light snack, like a piece of fruit, to avoid going to bed hungry, and you’ll be golden. If you’re not hungry, try drawing a hot bath, which can lower your core temperature, helping you to fall asleep.
- Meditate, breathe, and listen to music on the Abide app. When you download Abide, you get instant access to a library of more than 2,000 biblical meditations, guided breathing exercises, bedtime stories, and relaxing music to help you fall asleep fast. With regular meditation, you’ll learn how to manage racing thoughts, so you can say goodnight to stress and drift off to sleep in peace. Check out these snippets from some of our favorite meditations for sleep below.
Bedtime Stories That Really Work!
Below are samples from 4 of Abide’s proven bedtime stories. To hear the full versions each night as you fall asleep, download the Abide app. (Spoiler alert: there’s a 25% off link at the end of this article!)
This bedtime story will help you let go of the baggage of your past and start the journey toward a new beginning. Many of us are ready for new beginnings. As you travel into unknown days, what an amazing resolution to have God’s words light your path. Even though you may not have let him lead in years past, it’s OK. Because of God’s abundance of love and grace, his mercies are new every morning. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. Great is his faithfulness.
I Am Forgiven
This bedtime story is designed to comfort and soothe your soul, as you drift off into a deep sleep. As you listen, allow God to speak to your heart about any wounds from the day. Invite the Holy Spirit to enter into this time of restorative sleep. Rest peacefully these words remind you that God always forgives you.
God’s Great Love for You
Because you are made in God’s image, you are precious. Meditate on that encouraging truth as you wind down. You are a child of God and he loves you endlessly. As you let these thoughts permeate your mind feel your body switch off and tension dissolve as you relax in God’s great love.
Often, when you lie down to sleep, your mind kicks into high gear and it can be hard to slow it down. While there are many things that fight for your attention, bedtime is a time for rest. Choose to say “goodnight” to stress, and to the things that beg you to notice them, as you rest in the peace of God. This story is fashioned after the classic children’s story, Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
In the Abide app, there are more than 350 sleep stories just like these! Download the app now using this 25% off link to find the perfect story to add to your bedtime routines for sleep anxiety.