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Having a Pre-Sleep Routine Helps With Insomnia

written by / March 16, 2022
Having a Pre-Sleep Routine Helps With Insomnia

Science has proven the power of habit time and time again. Still, the latest sleep study raises some eyebrows, especially of those who swear by the pharmaceutical approach to insomnia.

The findings of the University of Michigan study, published in the journal Current Biology, shed light on the importance of pre-sleep routines for insomnia sufferers and all those who have trouble falling and staying asleep.

The study in question showed that regular pre-sleep routines were crucial in winding down the brain and the ease of falling asleep, as well as staying asleep in lab mice.

In fact, repetitive bedtime behaviors were found to be as efficient in facilitating sleep as some medications.

Two pre-sleep behaviors were identified in mice — nesting (prepping the place for sleeping) and grooming (engaging in personal hygiene). But, it’s not just mice who engage in such pre-sleeping rituals. Many other animals and humans do it too.

When deprived of these habits, mice displayed longer sleep latency (time needed to fall asleep), and their sleep quality decreased (fragmented sleep).

The study showed that these sleep disturbances weren’t a consequence of stress but something more profound.

Scientists proved that these behaviors are a part of the neuronal mechanism that aids the transition between wakefulness and sleep. They managed to identify neurons that facilitate this transition in the hypothalamus and that are responsible for pre-sleep nesting and sleep intensity.

Even though human trials have yet to be conducted, hopefully, these findings will provide an alternative to synthetic medications for insomniacs in the future, the way quality natural sleep aids do to some sleep disorder patients.

Marija Kovachevska is a content writer at, Biochemist and Activist. After obtaining her BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology she changed her microscope for content research tools and continued researching in the fields of Medicine, Biology, and Communication. Her insatiable curiosity flare drove her to become a “content scientist writer” as she likes to say. Reality fascinates her and facts and statistics are a must-have feature in her articles. Fluent in English and French, she is a volunteer and communication associate for several non-profit organizations. French culture and handcrafting are her passion, but in her free time, she indulges in long walks and traveling, or as she likes to say “experiencing the inexperienced.”

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