A change in routine can wreak havoc on our sleep schedules. If you feel like your sleep schedule could use some work, now is the perfect time to recharge, reset and develop habits that will help you have a more restful sleep.

Create a routine
One of the most important ways to create better sleep habits is by ensuring consistency. Many of us have a consistent morning alarm on weekdays, but our nightly bedtimes can fluctuate. And on weekends, our schedules can often go out the window. As creatures of habit, our body’s crave routine, and developing a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule can help create a night of more restful sleep.

Set the mood
It’s important to create an environment conducive to the best sleep possible. Your circadian rhythm, which controls when you feel tired, and when you feel energized, can be influenced by factors like light and temperature. Making your room as dark as possible makes it easier for your body to release melatonin—the sleep hormone—which will help you fall asleep more quickly. Keeping your room at a cooler-than-normal temperature (15 – 18 Celsius) can help your body reach an internal temperature that is optimal for a restful sleep.

Make an investment
The appropriate pillow and bed can also make a significant difference to your sleeping environment. Just like walking or completing an exercise, good posture is essential to proper sleep, and your pillow and mattress can help to create that. There are different pillow and mattress combinations for every type of sleeper, so if you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest, investing in the proper pillow or mattress might do the trick.

Finally, there are things you can do to prepare you for a night of consistent, restful sleep. Exercising during the day means that your body will be more likely to enter deep sleep to recover the energy burned during your workout.

Limiting your amount of screen time (phone, computer, television, etc.) before bed can also help you fall asleep quicker. The blue light emitted from screens can affect your circadian rhythm by tricking your brain into thinking there is daylight, making you feel more awake.

Practising breathing techniques to aid relaxation immediately before bedtime can help increase the level of oxygen in your body, improve circulation and regulate temperature, all making you more likely to fall into a deep sleep.

Sleep is essential for all of us. It can affect our energy and our temperament, and that can have an impact on how you experience the world around you. If you employ some of these tips, you’ll be able to create a consistent sleep routine that will help you feel more rested and alert throughout the day.