5 Nighttime Habits That Actually Help You Live Longer
For a long time, the top scientists of the world have been trying to nail down immortality. While becoming immortal is still quite out of reach, increasing your longevity is entirely up for grabs – based on what you do and your daily habits. In fact, your nighttime routine plays a major role here.
After all, setting yourself up for quality sleep each and every night can help your body repair and rejuvenate that much more efficiently and effectively. And when your body is able to do this better on the regular, you, inevitably, age slower and with more grace.
So, if you’re wondering how to live longer and struggling with creating the best nighttime routine, you’re in luck. In this article, we’re going to examine five nighttime habits that can help you achieve a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.
5 Habits for the Best Nighttime Routine
1. Practice Nasal Breathing
If you already breathe through your nose, this one might not apply as much. Although, deep breathing is known to have various de-stressing effects. Thus, practicing some deep inhales and exhales through your nose still has benefits.
But for you mouth-breathers out there (guilty!), consciously breathing in and out through your nose has many benefits. In fact, nasal breathing is associated with increased parasympathetic activity (which means it helps you relax!), decreased viral loads, improved oxygen consumption, and more efficient respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Interestingly, there’s also some evidence showing how breathing through your mouth can actually be stressful on the body, and thus, your mind! For instance, when you’re stressed or anxious, it’s actually a completely normal reaction to breathe through your mouth.
And then there’s the fact that mouth breathing can lead to various health problems, such as bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, and infections.
Thus, if you’re pondering how to live longer and healthier, switching your breathing style should be a priority.
And practice makes perfect!
As part of your nighttime routine (even if you’re a pro at breathing through your nose), close your mouth and take a deep and full belly breath through your nose. Pause, then exhale out your nose. Continue to do this for 5-10 breaths. Chances are, you feel way more relaxed after this exercise, helping you get that much-needed snooze each night.
2. Brush & Floss Your Teeth
Alright, if you aren’t already doing this, it’s time to commit.
Make sure you aren’t only brushing and flossing in the morning or during your day. Ideally, you want to brush and floss 2-3 times a day. And nighttime offers the perfect time (and hey, if you sleep with your partner, we’re sure they’ll thank you too!).
Many experts claim that your oral health is a window to your overall health. Why? Well, your mouth is one of the main entry points of your body, which is where bacteria and other foreign substances can easily dive into your digestive tract or respiratory system.
There are even associations between poor dental or oral health and cardiovascular disease, birth complications, diabetes, and more.
So, the moral of the story: make brushing and flossing a key part of your nighttime routine. We are sure you won’t regret it.
Make sure to check out: Why Dental Hygiene Matters
3. Stick to a Set Bedtime
It’s so simple and so easy, especially as time goes on and your body gets used to the same ol’ bedtime. At first, it might be difficult, especially if you’ve been going to bed at varying times or staying up late.
So, why is this so important? Why is it part of the best nighttime routine?
Your body works in rhythm. And one of these rhythms is known as the sleep-wake cycle or the circadian rhythm. When you go to bed at a set time each night, you keep this rhythm in sync, and sleep comes easily.
Working with your internal clock ensures you get to sleep and stay asleep. It keeps your hormones in the same cycle and prevents everything from going off track.
In addition to a set bedtime, waking up at the same time also works similarly, ensuring your body stays within that hormonal cycle so that you can feel your very best (and potentially live longer!).
4. Digitally Detox
An hour or two before bed, take some time away from your digital devices. Read a book, meditate, do a puzzle, draw up a warm bath, or do whatever makes you feel good and relaxed.
In fact, there are many reasons why screen time right before bed is harmful. For instance, blue light actually suppresses melatonin which means you might not feel tired or sleep enough to head to bed.
This can seriously impact your sleep-wake cycle! And as we know, sleep is crucial for longevity and overall health.
According to research, about 25-35% of Americans are inactive. This is a huge problem when it comes to obtaining optimal health and increasing longevity.
Adding a few stretches into your nighttime routine is never a bad idea. At the same time, too much vigorous exercise too close to bedtime can increase stress in the body, making it more difficult to get to sleep. In other words, stick to some gentle stretching, such as yoga, and you can help your body ease into a restful night.
Try child’s pose, forward fold, pigeon pose, corpse pose, and other mindful and peaceful stretches. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be an hour of stretching either. Take a couple of minutes to simply work out any tension points that have built up throughout the day.
In turn, this can actually help you sleep better by avoiding cramps or pain in the middle of the night.
Start That Nightime Anti-Aging Routine Tonight!
A long happy and healthy life begins when you start looking after yourself, your body, and your mind. And it can all begin with a simple and easy-to-follow nighttime routine.
Remember, you don’t need to overcomplicate it. Fill your evening with things you love and self-care tactics that you know work for you. When you do, you might be surprised by how much you can get done throughout your day and even where your life can take you.
Related article: The Consequences of Sleep Loss on Your Mind & Body