Whether the reasons are psychological (stress is running rampant), practical (working from home can wreck our schedules), or family-related (are you sure the kids are in bed and not playing on their phones?) if ever there was a time to begin a nighttime routine for better sleep, it’s NOW.
Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and free of anything which may be distracting enough to keep you up. (Throw out that freaky cardboard cutout clown your friend gave you as a joke, for cryin’ out loud!) Keep your room nice and cool (not freezing) and make sure you’ve got super-comfy pillows, blankets, sheets, whatever is your preference. We happen to love weighted blankets!
We need natural light during the day to regulate our circadian rhythms. Still, if we expose ourselves to the kind of light our electronic devices usually emit right before we go to bed, it throws all that carefully-balanced circadian magic off. Your brain is tricked into thinking it’s still daytime. This contributes to reducing melatonin- a key hormone that helps you relax and get some decent sleep.
So turn off your phone, tablet, laptop, TV, whatever a couple of hours before you hit the rack. If you absolutely can’t live without them (no judgment), you can usually adjust the filters on your devices. There are also apps out there for both smartphones and laptops/computers that will do the trick as well. If none of that is an option, you can always don some blue-light blocking glasses.
Again, we’d like to reiterate that the best thing to do would be to wrap it up and put away your screen at least 2 hours before bedtime. This will free you up to do something way more sleep-inducing. Something like…
Reading is so relaxing; there’s just something about the smell of the pages of a book that soothes the nerves. Here are a few of our faves!
There are so many great podcasts out there with guided meditations meant just to help you pass out and sleep better. Check out Stin Hansen’s Meditation Station and Meditation Oasis for plenty of guided meditations for sleep and lots of other stuff, too!
Melatonin supplements are becoming increasingly popular as a safe solution for those who have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. It’s recommended to begin with a lower dose and gradually increase depending on your tolerance and needs. Like with anything that can mess with your brain chemistry, you should run it by your doctor before you give it a try.
This signals to everyone that it’s time to start to chill and wind down. If someone’s still watching their show, ask them to turn down the TV a bit, and begin turning off all the lights but a few lamps to set the mood.
Scents like Sandalwood, Lavender, Chamomile, Jasmine, Rose, and Bergamot are all known sleep-inducers. Just don’t forget to blow it out before putting down that book and shutting out the lights!
Take your time and give yourself a mini facial massage while you’re washing up. This is another time scents are a great accessory. A small dab of scented oil on a warm washcloth is soooo soothing. And it’ll make you smell good!
Record the positive things that happened to you over the day. Nothing will keep you up at night like stuff to worry about. Writing down your daily successes, no matter how small, is a great way to tell those worries you’re not interested in thinking about them right now. You’ve got sleepin’ to do.
Nothing’s more frustrating than tossing and turning at night, so if you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, it may be time to let your doctor know. He or she may want to check it out further with a sleep specialist.
Getting some good sleep is such an important way to take care of yourself. We hope these little nuggets of information have helped motivate you to start your own nighttime routine of rest and relaxation.