One of the most important things you can do for good physical health and your overall well-being, is to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends that school aged children get at least 10 hours of sleep daily, teens between 9 and 10 hours daily, and adults between 7 and 8 hours daily. Establishing a healthy bedtime routine will help you to accomplish this adequate sleep goal.\r\n\r\n\r\nBenefits of a Healthy Bedtime Routine\r\nWork performance, productivity and mental clarity decline with inadequate sleep. Then, over time, your mental and physical health begin to suffer as well. Poor sleep quality is associated with a wide variety of important health concerns including:\r\n\r\n \tObesity\r\n \tHigh Blood Pressure\r\n \tHeart Disease\r\n \tInflammation\r\n \tSeizures\r\n \tAsthma Attacks\r\n \tStroke\r\n \tType 2 Diabetes\r\n \tKidney Disease\r\n\r\nThis list doesn\u2019t even include mental health aspects or the results and risks related to decreased performance (such as lack of advancement at work, increased risk of accidents, memory impairments, lack of judgment, depression, anxiety, and more).\r\n\r\nIn children, inadequate amounts of sleep and poor sleep quality can lead to weakened immune systems, slow growth, and lower muscle mass. Now that you understand how important good quality sleep is, it\u2019s time to focus on the things you can do that will promote quality sleep, night after night.\r\n\r\nThe first place to look is your nightly wind-down routine. The key here is routine. In order to experience the health benefits that a good night\u2019s sleep has to offer, you must establish a healthy bedtime routine and boost it from time to time. Here are some things to try:\r\n\r\n1) Transform Your Bedroom into an Oasis of Sleep\r\n\r\nThere are two things your bedroom should be used for, according to some experts. Sleep and intimacy. Anything that distracts from those two things, including sleeping with electronics, should be removed, first and foremost. This includes televisions, laptops, exercise equipment, mobile phones, etc.\r\n\r\nOnce you\u2019ve removed those things, it\u2019s time to create an atmosphere that is conducive to sleep. Eliminate loud colors, bright lights, and visual clutter from your bedroom, as these things distract you from quality sleep.\r\n\r\nKeep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature (cooler is better for promoting good sleep) and choose soothing colors for walls, bedding, etc. Also, keep your bedroom clean, and consider using alarm clocks that do not emit bright lights which may interfere with sleep.\r\n\r\nIf you\u2019ve been using your mobile phone as an alarm clock, it\u2019s time to kick the habit. Remove the temptation that your cell phone provides for things like checking email, sending messages, playing games, or engaging in activities that keep your brain active long after you should have been asleep for the evening.\r\n\r\n2) Sleep on a Natural Latex Mattress\r\n\r\nAnother focus of your good night\u2019s sleep is a healthy night\u2019s sleep. One way to give your sleep a healthy boost is by making the move to a\u00a0Natural Latex Mattress. Natural Latex Mattresses are made with 100% organic and natural materials and they contain no chemicals. You can rest comfortably on a natural latex mattress, knowing that you and your family are not breathing in harmful VOCs from:\r\n\r\n \tDangerous Flame Retardants\r\n \tProhibited Phthalates\r\n \tHeavy Metals\r\n \tFormaldehyde\r\n \tChlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)\r\n \tVolatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)\r\n\r\nYou also won\u2019t find other chemicals that are common in mattresses made with synthetic materials or those made with materials sourced from environments that use pesticides and other harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process.\r\n\r\nYou will enjoy all of these important health benefits by making the switch to a Natural Latex Mattress. This is before you even get to the comfort benefits that come with choosing a Natural Latex Mattress - luxurious comfort, cushioned support and soothing pressure point relief. You will sleep comfortably through the night, and wake up feeling rested and refreshed, every morning.\r\n\r\n3) Make Wiser Food and Fitness Choices\r\n\r\nYour diet and exercise habits have a greater impact on your ability to rest well at night, than you might realize. Not only the foods you eat and the amount of exercise you get impact you, but the timing of these things as well.\r\n\r\nFood and Sleep\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ve probably heard that you should avoid eating heavy meals right before you go to sleep at night. Unfortunately, the average American household considers the evening meal to be the largest meal of the day.\r\n\r\nYou should eat larger meals earlier in the day, while sticking to lighter meals in the evening.\u00a0 This will help you avoid food-related problems that can keep you up at night, like acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, and simply being uncomfortably full and bloated.\r\n\r\nExercise and Sleep\r\n\r\nIt is important that you exercise every day. However, the timing of your exercises is important to consider. Exercise excites and energizes both your body and brain.\u00a0 You want this boost of energy and excitement early in the day rather than later. Exercise also increases your core body temperature; raises your heart rate; and it signals your system to release stimulating adrenaline, or epinephrine. Normally, this is a good thing, but when it occurs too close to bedtime, it can interrupt your sleep.\r\n\r\nAvoid exercising too close to bedtime, or you will find yourself energized and unable to sleep. An exception to this is relaxation exercises or meditation, which helps you relax your mind and body, and enter into a restful state that is conducive to sleep.\r\n\r\n4) Create a Bedtime Ritual\r\n\r\nThe importance of this step is often understated and underrated. However, when you create a consistent bedtime routine, you will find that your brain adapts to these activities and accepts that it's time to begin shutting down for the night. This way, you can rest and fall asleep, without your brain keeping you awake. Your ritual may include a variety of things, but you will need to do the same things every night, in order to enjoy the full benefits of this ritual.\r\n\r\nSome excellent suggestions include:\r\n\r\n \tSoothing Bath\r\n \tReading (use low lights or blackout features if you use a tablet for reading)\r\n \tRelaxing Music\r\n \tMeditation\r\n \tGentle Stretching Exercises\r\n \tDrinking Decaffeinated Tea\r\n \tBrushing Your Teeth\r\n \tWashing Your Face\r\n \tRelaxing Conversation\/Massage with Your Partner\r\n\r\nAny combination of these things, when done consistently, help signal your brain that it's time to rest and relax so you can sleep.\r\n\r\n5) Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule\r\n\r\nThis can be one of the most important things you can do to add a healthy boost to your bedtime routine. Go to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each morning. It's important to maintain a consistent routine on the weekends too, so that your mind and body can enjoy deep, good quality sleep and overall feelings of well-being.\r\n\r\nEven slight deviations of an hour or less can take your body days or weeks to recover. This is why so many people have a difficult time adjusting to daylight saving time changes each year.\r\n\r\nWhen you keep your bedtime consistent, your internal clock adjusts to this and helps you find the sleep that may otherwise prove elusive. It may take a few weeks for your body to adjust to this schedule, but if you are consistent, you will notice a substantial improvement in the quality of your sleep and your overall feelings of well-being.\r\n\r\nYou don\u2019t have to move mountains to create a better environment for sleep in your home or to give your bedtime routine a healthy boost. Try these five changes and experience the impact it delivers in helping you sleep more soundly, night after night.\r\nLink to Us!\r\nIf you found this article useful, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog: Learn More About Going Green at the <a href"https:\/\/www.plushbeds.com\/blog\/sleep-science\/5-ways-to-boost-your-nightly-wind-down-routine-for-better-health\/">PlushBeds Green Living Blog<\/a>.