You may have heard that having a bedtime routine can help you get the quality rest you need, but a new experiment tells us what that routine should include. For the study, participants were told to spend a half hour to an hour doing a range of activities they might normally do, like watching a true crime show and scrolling through social media.
Researchers then analyzed participants’ sleep, scoring them based on how long they slept, sleep quality and restfulness. They also noted how many minutes people spent awake in the night after doing an activity. The 10 best activities for a pre-bedtime routine that leads to restful sleep are:
10) Doing a home workout - Spending 30 minutes exercising before bed led to people spending an average of 27 minutes awake during the night and earns a 73% score for sleep quality.
9) Scrolling social media - A lot of us do this while lying in bed and those who did it for half an hour in the study ended up spending an average of 24 minutes awake during the night. But they still got a 71% sleep quality score.
8) Gaming - Those who did this screen-time activity for half an hour before bed also scored a 71% for sleep quality, but they only spent 20 minutes awake throughout the night.
7) Having a bedtime snack - Those who had a small snack before bed were awake for an average of 20 minutes during the night and got a sleep quality score of 78%.
6) Reading a book - Staying off screens before sleep is helpful as those who read before snoozing scored a 76% for sleep quality and were awake an average of 17 minutes throughout the night.
5) Cleaning your bedroom - It may be a task you put off, but those who spent time tidying up before hitting the sack got an 80% sleep quality score and were also awake just 17 minutes in the night.
4) Listening to music - Another screen-free activity, this one led to the longest sleep time, an average of eight hours and 18 minutes, with an impressive 87% for sleep quality and being awake an average of 17 minutes during the night.
3) Watching a comedy - Laughing at a funny film before bed was good for sleep quality, as those who did scored an 87% and were awake for only 14 minutes on average through the night.
2) Doing a facemask - Self-care can ease stress and anxiety, and help you sleep better, too, with this pre-bedtime activity earning a sleep quality score of 90% - the highest of all activities. Participants who did were awake for an average of 14 minutes during the night.
1) Meditation - Earning the very best sleep quality score at 88%, those who meditated were only awake an average of 12 minutes during the night, the least of all activities tested.