A good night’s sleep is a vital but often neglected part of maintaining good health. While most of us can make the connection between good sleep and better stress management, what we usually miss is that sleep also affects your physical health.

These physical benefits include a lower risk of weight gain because of better calorie regulation. A good night’s sleep also significantly lowers your risk of contracting heart disease.

In addition, adequate sleep helps with athletic performance, leads to higher creativity, and leaves you with more energy.

However even knowing these benefits, most of us still deprioritize sleep, and messing up our routines. Here’s how you can set an effective night-time routine so you consistently sleep better.

Make Sure You’re Always On Schedule

One of the best ways to set a habitual routine is to make sure you’re punctual. Training your internal body clock requires persistence.

So the first step set your timings and make sure you follow them—and your body clock will naturally follow.

Experts call this your circadian rhythm.

You Are What You Eat

Too many people drink strong coffee on exam nights because they have to stay up late and study.

This is because coffee, like other strong drinks, contains a stimulant called caffeine that triggers changes in the body that give you an energy boost, keeping your system awake for longer.

Knowing this, it’s generally a good idea to cut down on food and drinks containing caffeine around six to eight hours before bedtime. This will calm your body down and induce better sleep.

It also helps to go easy on fluids before bedtime to prevent waking up for bathroom trips in the middle of the night.

Make Your Room Sleep-Friendly At Bedtime

When you’re used to sleeping late, changing habits and sleeping early can be difficult, because you simply won’t feel sleepy enough to get into bed.

If this is the case for you, one of the best ways to trick your brain into wanting to sleep is to try and coax it into feeling relaxed.

Around an hour before it’s bedtime, dim the lights in your room, make your bed comfortable and put all screens away.

Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable enough to accommodate a good sleep, and in case you sleep with a partner, it’s also important to make sure the space isn’t cramped—there needs to be room for both of you.

Pre-Bedtime Hour Is Personal Hour

A brilliant addition to your bedtime routine, that is also sure to amplify its effects is dedicating one hour before bed to yourself.

So put away your laptop, worksheets, timelines and notes from class, and do something that’s whole-ly and sole-ly for yourself.

It could be reading a good book, finishing up your sketch, listening to your favorite melody, or even something that will help you improve as a person, like a personal development application.

NIKU is an easily accessible mobile application that is simple to use and functions as an online psychological counselor or a life coach to help you deal with your emotional needs.

The app is based on the principles of neuropsychology and can be used to improve at your own pace. To download the NIKU application, visit the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.