If sleep is a challenge - falling asleep, staying asleep, waking at a reasonable time, etc. - it's time to consider a routine. We get the idea behind routine because we know it is so important for our babies, but why is that? For people who do not do so well with words just yet, consistency tells society's tiniest members just what is coming next, like when it is time to go to sleep. The same goes for our adult bodies. But wait, I use words! Yes, adults do tend to communicate much better than infants, but our bodies still need those consistent cues to settle in for the night.
Consider melatonin, a commonly suggested sleep aid. This is a hormone our bodies naturally produce; however, without consistent bedtime cues, your body may not know that it is producing an inadequate amount of melatonin to induce sleep. So, what does your routine look like?
Regular bed time?
Consistent wake time?
Preparing for bed (i.e. changing, brushing teeth, washing face, etc.)
Wind down activity? (i.e. reading, prayer, Mindfulness exercise, etc.)
Rinse & Repeat!