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6/7/23 | Uncategorized

Habit Stacking For Better Sleep

Picture this: You create a rock solid sleep routine and feel a sense of ease whenever the evening hours draw near. You’ve eliminated the additional stress of figuring out what works for your brain and body. No more trial and error; instead, you rely on one proven path to deep relaxation and restoration. The result? You wake up *most* mornings (you’re human, after all) fully rested and ready to tackle the day ahead.

 

It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Today, we’re diving into the practice of habit stacking in an effort to turn this picture into your reality. Our goal is to help you create a powerful sleep routine that will transform the way you rest and rejuvenate. By combining small, impactful habits, you can supercharge your sleep quality and elevate your overall well-being. So, let’s explore the art of habit stacking and unlock the secrets to a truly restorative night’s sleep.

 

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Understanding Habit Stacking

 

Habit stacking is a simple yet powerful technique that allows us to anchor new habits onto existing ones, creating a chain of positive behaviors. Thanks to James Clear, this practice is a household phrase. But if you have yet to incorporate it into your own habit-forming or habit-breaking practice, we’re thrilled to be the ones to get you started. 

 

By taking advantage of our brain’s natural inclination towards familiarity and routine, stacking can make it easier to adopt and sustain new habits. The beauty of habit stacking lies in its efficiency and effectiveness, as it builds upon habits already deeply ingrained in our daily lives.

 

The Power of a Consistent Sleep Routine

 

A consistent sleep routine forms the backbone of a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep. Our bodies thrive on regularity and rhythms, and a consistent sleep schedule helps synchronize our internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. By going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, we reinforce our body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, allowing it to function optimally.

 

When we establish a consistent sleep routine, our bodies begin to anticipate and prepare for sleep during a designated wind-down time. This triggers the release of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. As a result, we fall asleep faster, experience deeper and more restorative sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

 

Consistency in our sleep routine also helps improve overall sleep quality and duration. It reduces the likelihood of fragmented sleep (i.e. waking up multiple times throughout the night…the worst, right?!) and promotes uninterrupted periods of deep and REM sleep — the two crucial stages of sleep responsible for physical restoration, memory consolidation, and cognitive processing.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Stacking Your Perfect Sleep Routine

Assess Your Current Sleep Habits:

  1. Begin by evaluating your existing sleep patterns and identifying areas for improvement. Reflect on your bedtime, wake-up time, and the quality of your sleep. This self-awareness will provide a baseline for building your new sleep routine.

 

Choose a Consistent Bedtime and Wake-Up Time:

  1. Select a bedtime and wake-up time that allow for adequate sleep duration and align with your lifestyle. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Consistency in these times will help regulate your body’s internal clock. Yes, weekends, too!

 

Identify Existing Habits to Stack:

  1. Look for daily routines or habits that naturally precede your desired bedtime. These can act as anchors for habit stacking. Common examples include turning off electronic devices, brushing your teeth, taking a warm shower, and changing into sleepwear.

 

Habit Stacking for an Effective Pre-Sleep Routine

 

To create a pre-sleep routine that promotes relaxation and signals to your body that it’s time to wind down, consider the following habit stack:

Habit 1: Turn Off All Electronics and Limit Artificial Light:

 

As bedtime approaches, it’s time to shut down the screens. Aim for one hour before you plan to slip beneath the sheets. Dim the lights in your living space. Use warm, soft lighting or opt for candles to create a soothing ambiance that helps your body transition into sleep mode. The following habit stacking formula will help you create a clear intention:

After I put away the dinner dishes, I will turn off my phone. After I turn off my phone, I will dim the lights.

 

Habit 2: Practice Relaxation Techniques:

Engage in relaxation practices to unwind before bed. Try deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, gentle stretching to release tension, or a warm shower to calm your mind.

The following habit stacking formula will help you create a clear intention:

After I brush my teeth, I will take a warm shower. After I take a warm shower, I will get into my pajamas.

 

Habit 3: Engage in a Wind-Down Activity:

Get comfortable in bed, and dedicate a short window of time to a calming activity. Read a book, journal, practice a meditation, or listen to soothing sounds. Choose something that resonates with you and brings you a sense of peace.

The following habit stacking formula will help you create a clear intention:

After I get into bed, I will use my bedside journal to reflect on my day. After I journal, I will turn off the lights.

 

Did you notice how each of these new habits was anchored onto an already existing (and probably automatic) habit? Yep, that’s the magic!

 

Maintaining Your Sleep Routine and Overcoming Challenges

 

To ensure the success of your sleep routine, consider the following strategies:

 

Stay Consistent and Motivated:

Keep a sleep journal to track your progress and hold yourself accountable. If you use a wearable device, set a clear, measurable goal for your sleep data. Celebrate small victories and remind yourself of the benefits you’re experiencing. Finally, surround yourself with a supportive community that shares your commitment to healthy sleep habits. This is a great time to enroll a friend or significant other into your wellness pursuits!

 

Address Common Challenges:

If you encounter difficulties falling asleep or experience evening disruptions, explore strategies to mitigate these challenges. Keep the following tips in mind: Create a sleep-friendly environment by optimizing your bedroom for comfort, reducing noise, and managing light exposure. The temperature should be set between 65-70 degrees fahrenheit and the room should be completely dark. The last meal of the day should be eaten at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Zen and Night Caps, your two favorite all-natural sleep supplements, should be taken 60-90 minutes before your desired sleep onset.

 

Embrace Self-Care and Stress Management:

Prioritize self-care practices throughout your day, such as exercise, mindfulness, and healthy nutrition. Make time for meaningful social connection on a regular basis. Managing stress and finding balance in your daily life can positively impact the quality of your sleep.

 

By harnessing the power of habit stacking, you can build a sleep routine that sets the stage for restful nights and energized days. Remember, consistency is key, and the small habits you cultivate can make a world of difference. Embrace the art of habit stacking, prioritize high-quality sleep, and watch as your physical and mental well-being thrive.

 

Get ready to wake up each morning feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to embrace life’s adventures with vitality and clarity. And when you need a little extra help getting to bed, we have you covered.

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