Having a bedtime routine can be essential to our wellbeing and sleep quality. So why do so many of us neglect a good nights sleep in favour of a late night Netflix binge? Quit the screen time and get yourself settled into a night time regime that sets you up for a blissful nights sleep. Perfect your bed time routine with these helpful ideas.
Low Level Lighting
Light disrupts our sleep. There’s a reason we are awake in the day and asleep when its dark. Light gives us energy to do and see, but we disrupt our natural rhythms by filling our homes with artificial light sources. Not to mention the sleep ruining blue light screens of our technology! Since Caveman times our bodies have naturally woke with the sun, and become tired when it's dark. Modern day living with busy schedules, noisy alarms, phones in bed and early work starts have all disrupted our natural pattern.
We can help to implement a wind down period before bed by altering the light in our space. This can be by using dimmer switches, small lamps, candles or a Himalayan salt lamp to provide a more subtle calming light source. Give big overhead lighting a miss and reduce light sources such as TV’s, laptops and phone usage before bed.
Avoid caffeine after 2pm
Caffeine can be great at giving us a boost in the morning, but if we continue to drink it throughout the day it can affect our sleep. Caffeine can stay in our body for up to 8 hours, so avoiding drinking it past 2pm ensures around bedtime its effects will definitely of worn off. It can cause us difficulty in falling asleep and also prevent us from falling into the deep REM state of sleep. This can cause us to feel more tired in the morning which leads us to drinking more coffee. It can become a vicious cycle!
Try swapping out your afternoon coffee hit for calming and soothing herbal teas such as; camomile or lemon balm. You can check out our favourite teas for bedtime bliss HERE.
Encourage a good night sleep by keeping bedding smelling clean and fresh. Opt for washing your sheets in soothing lavender scents to help promote sleep. Plus frequently washed bedding reduces chance of bed bugs and skin irritation! You can also use scented pillow sprays or room diffusers for creating a calming atmosphere. Associating a certain smell, such as lavender, into your bedtime routine, can help the body recognise when it's time to begin to start winding down. It can be calming and reassuring to the mind to have a familiar scent at hand.
Try a few drops of Lavender essential oil on the underside of your pillow to help you breath easy into a state of sleep and relaxation.
Doing high impact exercise late at night can actually make us less likely to sleep as the body is pumped up with adrenaline and energy. However a gentle stretch routine before bed can actually help us to relax, unwind and destress. Our bodies build up tension throughout the day, and if it isn’t released this can turn into tightness and stiffness, causing discomfort. A few stretches before bed help you to slow the mind and body down, helping you to feel calmer and relaxed.
Building a familiar stretch sequence into your nightly routine, helps our body to go into our rest or digest mode. Allowing us to feel calm and ready to sleep. Our stretches for a perfect sleep tutorial is the perfect wind down and short enough to do every night before you hit the hay.
Read, journal, meditate, listen to soothing music or take a long bath. Including a mindful practice into your evening routine helps you to go to bed feeling fulfilled, happy and calm. Take time to end your day doing something you enjoy that allows you to focus on yourself and reflect on your day. This helps you to let go of any worries before bed and gives you the opportunity to set yourself up for a better day tomorrow by boosting your mood.
Why not try an evening gratitude practice? End your day with a thankful heart, by writing a list of ten things before you go to sleep for which you are grateful for. Gratitude increases our positive outlook and allows us to focus on the good.