Sleeping habits and rituals have come to the forefront of conversation as the importance of self-care becomes more widely recognized. The benefits of a good night’s rest have been proclaimed by physicians, researchers, entrepreneurs and well-known authors alike. Restful sleep makes us wake up happier, leads to better health, productivity and decreased anxiety. Still, many find themselves awake too late, having trouble falling asleep and waking up feeling groggy and tired. The fix? Create a nighttime ritual that promotes relaxation and rest. These rituals will support you in achieving a deep, consistent sleep that will leave you feeling happy, energetic and motivated through your day. We’ve put together our personal favourite bedtime rituals - we hope they inspire you to create your own!
Set a Consistent Bedtime
The ideal amount of sleep is 7-8 hours. Considering what time you need to be awake in the morning, count backwards to find the time when you should be curling into your bed. Our bodies love routine and consistency, after a few days training your body to a bedtime schedule, you will notice that drifting off to sleep will come with ease. An hour before your bedtime, begin to unwind and set yourself up for immediate sleep by doing the following:
Establish a Mood
It’s difficult to unwind when one is surrounded by a bright, loud or chaotic environment. As the evening progresses, begin to create an ambiance that promotes relaxation. Some of our favourites are to turn off overhead lights and turn on softer table or floor lamps. Lighting a candle, playing music you love or making yourself a cup of hot tea are all lovely options to encourage tranquility. Furthermore, a quick tidy of the main areas of your house will give you space to enjoy your evening without the urge to constantly do more.
Find Your Calm
What activity calms you down and leaves you feeling content? Try a few different activities and notice how your body reacts during and after. Our favourites include a warm, epsom salt bath, reading a captivating novel in our favourite nook, a board game or puzzle, a short yoga practice, journaling or even something as simple as sipping on your favourite beverage while listening to music. Take long, full breaths and relax your shoulders; there are many small things you can do to create a space of self-care.
We know - it’s hard to purposefully turn off your devices. Our phones, computers and TV’s are intrinsic in our lives now, and while they can provide unparalleled connection and entertainment, they also can over-load us with information and distraction. May we suggest putting them on silent half an hour before bed? Even turning down the brightness of your screen so that the blue light omitted from our phones doesn’t affect our melatonin production before bed. Most phones now have a setting called ‘Night Shift’ that adjusts the temperature and hue of your screen to help combat the blue light to help ease your eyes.
Sleeping in a slightly cooler room helps promote better sleep. Turn your thermostat down a degree or two from how your normally heat your house. Having the right mattress also greatly helps with heat regulation. Look for a mattress made of natural, environmentally-friendly materials with moisture controlling properties that breathe to create a perfect sleep climate at the right temperature so you can fall asleep faster and deeper.