Getting to bed at a reasonable hour can be difficult. Many things can fight for your attention at night: technology, anxious thoughts, stress, pain, or discomfort. Taking control of these stressors and falling into a relaxing nighttime routine will allow you to get to sleep more easily and wake up feeling well-rested.
Here are a handful of ways to turn off the day and get ready for rest:
Warm Up. We sleep better in a cooler room, but a bit of warmth before bed can help relax the mind and the muscles. Using a heating pad on the shoulders, lower back, or legs can help reduce tightness and pain that keep you awake at night and drinking a cup of warm tea or milk can settle the stomach and make you feel sleepy. Taking a hot bath or shower is also a great way to decompress and ease tension.
Stretch Out. Yoga’s combination of stretching and breath control gives a chance to clear the mind. Deep stretching at night allows the muscles to relax and helps you feel more refreshed in the morning. Breath control rids our body of toxins and strengthens our heart and lungs. It also reduces anxiety levels and gives an opportunity to practice mindfulness which can prepare the body for sleep.
Have a “Dark Hour”. Unplugging from our devices is important before bed. The blue light that our electronics emit can prevent us from reaching deep sleep and can even damage our eyes over time. When developing your routine, tell friends and family that you won’t be on your phone before bed, and try to read or journal in the hour before sleep.
Calm the Air. Use aromatherapy to calm your sleeping environment and bring peaceful thoughts. Certain scents, like lavender, have soothing properties that can reduce stress and help you fall asleep easily. Consider a Sweet Dreams aromatherapy patch so you can enjoy the benefits of long-lasting essential oils throughout the night.
Get Cozy. Laying down for bed is the culmination of your relaxing routine and shouldn’t be discounted or rushed through. Instead, be sure you’re finishing your night off by sinking into comfort with soft pillows and a cushiony mattress. Ensuring your bed is both cozy and inviting will help you avoid discomforts that could distract from your sleep.
Falling into a routine can be hard at first, but once you’ve made it part of your day, your nighttime ritual can be something you always look forward to.