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I had a very strict bedtime when I was a kid, and I did not like it to say the least. Especially in the summer, it was like torture! I’d be brushing my teeth, putting on PJs and climbing into bed as the sun was setting. It wasn’t even totally dark yet and I had to go to sleep? 5-year-old me did my fair share of protesting about this unfair rule. Looking back now, I can understand why my parents did it, but at the time it felt like they were just being mean.
Chances are, you had some kind of evening routine when you were a kid, too. There was a good reason for it, trust me! Taking time to wind down at night helps your body prepare for sleep, so you can peacefully doze off as soon as the lights go out.
A good night’s sleep can…
- improve your memory and concentration in school or at work
- increase your energy levels and improve your mood
- help you maintain a healthy weight
- reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety
- boost your immune system and help you fight off colds
If you’re a teen, you need about 8-10 hours of sleep, and once you’re into your twenties, you probably need about 7-8 hours, depending on your body. How much or little you get on any given night can have a huge impact on how you feel and function the next day.
Along with the amount of sleep you get, the quality of your sleep is also important. Cutting out caffeine and sugar a few hours before bed, turning off electronic devices at least one hour before (or at least using an app that cuts out the blue light), and doing relaxing activities like reading a book, taking a bath, writing, or listening to music can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll be feeling well- rested and ready to go!
What are your favorite ways to wind down before bed?
Meet the Author: Nancy Sidnam, MS, RDN
Nancy is a registered dietitian nutritionist and wellness coach who is dedicated to bringing wellness to today’s generation of girls. She created The Wellie Project with the hope of empowering girls to take charge of their health through a journey of self-discovery. Nancy believes in a total mind, body and soul approach, and she loves experimenting with everything wellness-related. You can usually find her trying new workouts, browsing farmers’ markets, reading inspirational books, and spending time in the great outdoors. Follow her on Instagram at @nancysidnam!
ABOUT THE WELLIE PROJECT
We’re on a mission to spread health and wellness to teen girls everywhere. We believe in nourishing the mind, body and soul through our twelve Wellie Principles. We’re a community of girls who are empowering each other to live the Wellie life. Learn more about our story here, and show everyone how you're taking charge of your health with #welliegirl on Instagram and Twitter!