Looking to get a better night’s sleep? Check out these 5 easy, healthy things to do before bed, plus quick notes from a healthcare provider on the science and medical studies behind them.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find some simple healthy things to do before bed that you know would help you sleep better?
Stuff that could take 10 minutes or less and help you fall asleep faster?
I’m an integrative medicine physician assistant turned stay at home mom, and I need a great night’s sleep to keep up with my busy life. How about you?
After a busy day of taking care of your family and home, sometimes all you want to do is crawl into bed and quickly drift off into restful sleep. I hate when I can finally get to bed and then I end up tossing and turning for forever until I eventually sleep restlessly.
Let’s stop that crazy tired-and-wired cycle, and get you some amazing beauty rest with natural and healthy things to do before bed to sleep better quickly and easily.
Want to learn 5 easy ways to naturally improve your health every day? As a holistic healthcare provider, these are the 5 things that I personally do to support my health.
They’re cheap and easy to start, but super awesome for you!
5 Healthy Things To Do Before Bed
1. Bone Broth Before Bed To Make You Sleepy
Does bone broth make you sleepy? Science (and some fun medical studies) says yes!
Bone broth is an amazing, traditional food that’s packed with lots of healthy things, including glycine.
Glycine is considered a “novel and safe approach… for improving sleep quality” in this 2015 study from Neuropsychopharmacology (that’s a mouthful, huh?!).
We don’t totally understand how glycine works, but it seems to improve sleep quality (ie, better, deeper sleep). It appears to lower the core body temperature a bit while you’re sleeping to help you sleep deeper.
When your body falls asleep, it naturally lowers your core body temperature. So, taking glycine may also make it easier to fall asleep.
Added bonus– taking glycine at bedtime can also reduce feelings of fatigue or tiredness the next day! Yay! More energy for the following day.
How much bone broth should you take at bedtime? One to two cups should be enough for most people. It would be counter productive to have to wake up all night needing to go to the bathroom. 😉
One cup is probably fine for most people. If you know that you have leaky gut or suspect that you might, it’s better to get 2 cups of bone broth every day. Not sure? Check out all these details on leaky gut.
Here’s my favorite recipe for delicious homemade bone broth that’s better than botox.
Is it easier to buy it? Kettle and Fire makes amazing, organic bone broth that you can just heat and eat.
2. Reduce Screen Time Before Bed
Most electronic screens (flat screen TVs, tablets, smart phones, and sometimes even LED lights) emit blue light, a high energy, short wavelength light.
This blue light has been linked to several issues for your eyes, impaired adrenal gland function (controls stress response, reproductive hormones, and plays a role in your sleep/wake cycle), and reduced melatonin production.
Melatonin is your body’s hormone that says it’s time to get sleepy and fall asleep.
Reducing your screen time before bed can help you to make more melatonin, to help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Old recommendations were to stop using screens one hour before bed. Newer recommendations advise that you stop screen time 2-3 hours before bedtime.
If you’re not able to prevent blue light exposure before bed (like if you work around it… or if you want to keep binge watching Nexflix before bed like we do), consider using blue light blocking glasses to reduce your exposure and risk.
3. Take a Bath or Shower
Taking a hot shower or bath 1-2 hours before bed relaxes your muscles, which makes you more relaxed for sleeping.
After you get out of the warm water, it also lowers your core body temperature. This signals to your body that it’s time to go to sleep.
To level up your amazing evening bath, consider add aromatherapy bath salts to the water. The essential oils and magnesium can help you achieve even deeper sleep.
Bonus Tip: Don’t have time for a bath or shower? Even a warm foot bath can do the trick! One study in Taiwan found that a warm foot bath before bed significantly improved improved insomnia symptoms.
4. Protein-Based, Healthy Carb Snack
Carbohydrates (grains, fruits, milk, legumes, etc) break down into serotonin (one of the feel-good brain chemicals), and serotonin breaks down into melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep in your body.
Have you ever noticed when you or your kiddos eat something full of sugar that you get a sugar rush of crazy energy and then a crash not too long afterwards?
It’s this same principle… but we’re going to make it work for us in a healthier way.
Pick a low-glycemic index carb, or complex carbohydrate, and pair it with some protein.
The complex carbohydrate breaks down more slowly in your system than a simple one does, so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar and gives you a more steady release of serotonin and then melatonin for better sleep.
The protein also helps to blunt the raise in blood sugar and will keep you feeling full longer, so you don’t wake up with the midnight munchies.
The jury is out on if you eat a carb-based snack before bed or a dinner with healthy carbs. I’ll drop links to the medical studies on it below.
5. Yoga (or deep breathing and meditation)
Yoga for sleep has fantastic benefits and medical studies.
The gentle stretches can relax you to make it easier to fall asleep, and the deep breathing can help to lower stress levels to promote more restful sleep.
Related Post: Mindfulness For Sleep: Think Your Way To a Better Night’s Sleep
5 Healthy Things To Do Before Bed
With these 5 healthy things to do before bed, you’ll be ready to drift off to dreamland in no time!
Check out the other days in this series on 5 Days To A Better Night’s Sleep:
- What Is the Best Time to Go to Sleep?
- The 5 Easy, Healthy Things that You NEED to Start Doing Just Before Bed (you’re here now 🙂
- The Best Thing to Do During the Day to Sleep Better at Night
- My Favorite Supplement to Help You Sleep (and two ways to take it to help your sleep needs)
- The Best Mineral for Amazing Sleep
Or if you want the cheat sheet, see my System For the Ultimate Night’s Sleep.
Have you tried these things before? What works best for you? Let me know in the comments!
- The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus
- New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep.
- Research progress about the effect and prevention of blue light on eyes
- A Warm Footbath before Bedtime and Sleep in Older Taiwanese with Sleep Disturbance
- When’s the best time to take a warm bath for better sleep?
- Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality
- Impact of long term Yoga practice on sleep quality and quality of life in the elderly
Healthy Living Resources…
that make it easy to make the healthy choice
- Struggle to Stay On Plan?- Check out this easy way that I stay on plan with Trim Healthy Mama every day! I struggled to stay on plan for almost 3 years, and this easy thing changed everything!
- Save on Healthy Meat– ButcherBox is my new favorite way to buy antibiotic free, grass fed beef, pork, and chicken! It’s cheaper than I can get it in the local stores, and it comes right to my door! Use the code AP10 to get $10 off your first box and FREE nitrate-free bacon!!
- Get Healthy Foods for Less- Thrive Market is like the online Costco for healthy groceries, and they even have healthy meat and seafood! We love saving money with wholesale prices on healthy groceries and products that get sent right to our home! Get an extra 25% OFF your first order when you sign up at Thrive Market HERE!
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