How’s your nighttime routine? Do you have one you follow religiously? You’d be surprised how calming it is to get in a routine after a long day at work. Learning how to unwind and giving your body enough sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle and makes a huge impact on both your mental and physical state.
I’ve made a list of my 8 favorite tips to follow in order to better my sleep + feel relaxed at night. If you have more tips, leave them in the comments below 🙂
- Candles & lights to set the mood
Dim the lights, light some yummy smelling candles, and allow your body to slowly adjust and transition into evening. Humans are far more sensitive to light at night vs during the day (it’s true!), which is why it’s important to set the tone and signal your body into thinking bedtime is coming soon.
- Diffuser and Essential oils
I love diffusing essential oils in my bedroom before I go to bed. The best essential oils for promoting sleep and calming the nervous system are lavender, chamomile, sandalwood and rose. Truly, any type of relaxing blend to help calm your spirit before bed is great. I use a Vitruvi diffuser and love it.
- Drink a cozy cup of herbal tea
There’s something so cozy about getting in your PJs and curling up on the couch with a warm cup of tea, am I right? My favorites for sleep include chamomile, honey lavender, and peppermint (Traditional Medicinals is what I typically use).
- Airplane & away mode
The type of light that’s emitted from electronics is called blue light. Blue light can be extremely stimulating for the brain and can disrupt your sleep patterns. Try shutting off your phone/computer/tv at least an hour before bed (bonus points for 2-3 hours). Set your phone on do not disturb mode so you won’t be awaken by any notifications. Tip: if you have an iPhone, you can set your phone to automatically turn on do not disturb at the same time every night.
Having a hard time putting it away? Designate a charging station for your phone outside your bedroom, or at least away from your bed/on the other side of the room. *also try keeping “True Tone” on at all times on your iPhone to reduce your exposure to blue light. (Settings–>display & brightness–>true tone)
- Take a bath and chill
Warm/hot baths can help relax your muscles from your day and release physical stress from the body. The rise and fall of your body’s temperature also promotes drowsiness. Epsom salts and essential oils take the benefits of your bath one step further by promoting detoxification. Try lavender oil in your bath to promote sleep or epsom salts to soothe your muscles and detoxify your body.
- Stick to a sleep schedule
Try to fall asleep and wake up around the same time everyday, it’ll have your biological clock functioning at its best. Sticking to a schedule allows your body to easily regulate your sleep and allow you to fall asleep and stay asleep for the entirety of the night. If it helps, try jotting down the time you go to sleep/wake up each day during the week, or better yet, set reminders for when to fall asleep.
So much happens during sleep. Detoxing, repairing, relaxation. If you’re getting less than adequate levels of sleep during the week, it’s known to negatively impact hormonal rhythms & metabolism and is associated with obesity, insulin sensitivity, diabetes, hormonal imbalance and appetite dysregulation (it’s true!). It tends to highly affect two hunger hormones- ghrelin, a peptide that stimulates appetite, and leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite.
- Calm the mind through reading or meditation
Catching up on reading before bed is one of the best ways to wind down. There’s something about curling up in bed with a good book that really settles the mind and allows you to decompress from the day. Meditation is another great way to settle down and slow down your brain. It can be a hard transition to get your brain to fully shut off from all of the stressors and to-do lists in your day to day life. Calming your mind is essential to a nightly routine.
Tbh, I’m not much of a reader (I hope that changes), but any time I do start to read anything I’ll instantly feel drowsy… hmm maybe that’s why.
- Make your room an oasis.
Your mattress, pillow preference, temperature of the room… everything down to the overall color scheme of your room all play a factor in how it calms the mind. Apparently, in order for our bodies to get optimal sleep, the temperature of the room needs to be kept around 60-67 degrees while sleeping. Keeping a moderate temperature allows your body to not have to work hard to keep you cool OR warm while you sleep.
It’s also important to keep your bedroom as dark as possible throughout the night. Any light kept on near or around your room can be disruptive to the natural circadian rhythm of our bodies. Try blackout shades or curtains, and keeping electronics outside the bedroom. In the morning, let in as much natural light as possible to help your body stay in its natural circadian rhythm (more on circadian rhythms here). If you live in a place where the light doesn’t shine until around 9am during winter months (hello, Seattle), try out this simulated sunrise alarm clock. This is the second winter I’ve had it and I love it! I think it definitely helps me feel more awake in the mornings.
Other tips to elevate your sleeping space:
- Eliminate the clutter
- Get rid of the tv: to be honest, not having a TV in our bedroom was the best decision I ever made (yes, this was my firm decision, sorry Bridge) when moving into our apartment together last September.
- No food in the bedroom
- Invest in a good mattress + bedding: we have a Casper bed + Parachute home linen sheets / duvet and could not love it more!