How long does it take you to fall asleep after your head hits your pillow at night? 10 minutes? 1 hour? 4 hours? Wherever you are on the sleepy spectrum, a nighttime routine could take your bedtime experience from blah to the coziest part of your day. After a busy day of responsibility and pressure, a nighttime routine that allows you to disconnect and feel peace is key. Read on to find out which holistic elements you can add to your nighttime routine to optimize your sleep.
Most people these days spend an excessive amount of time being connected to the world. While there are many benefits to this connection, there are also some pretty hefty disadvantages. As humans, we are not meant to be constantly plugged in and available at all times. Being on your phone 24/7 can cause anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. Because of this, it is so important to schedule time to relax and unwind. Some ways to disconnect at night include:
- Putting your phone away
- Putting time restrictions on social media apps
- Putting down the laptop and picking up a book or journal instead
Our bodies crave routine and look for structure throughout our days. One of the best way to train your body is by giving it cues that it is time to wind down. Taking a shower and changing out of the clothes you wore all day is a great way to train your body to prepare for bedtime. Nothing feels better after a long day like cleansing your body and get into cozy pajamas.
Dim the lights
Like the shower, dimming harsh lighting is a great way to let your body know that it is time for bed. Harsh, bright lighting wakes the body and makes it hard to sleep. Instead of using bright lights, an hour before bedtime make your space feel more serene by dimming the lights. If you don’t have a dimmer in your space, try turning the lights off completely and using either a salt lamp or candles. This adds a very peaceful, dreamy element making it easy to relax and fall asleep.
Stretching is a wonderful, holistic way to become more calm after a stressful day. Many of us spend our days sitting at a computer screen, hardly moving around. Stretching your body at night is a way to get your body moving in the way that it is designed to. Stretching is extremely healthy for the body and has benefits that include:
- Increased your flexibility
- Increased blood flow to your muscles.
- Improved posture
- Help to heal and prevent back pain
- Stress relief
- Calm mind
Gratitude is the key to feeling good. If you find yourself to be someone whose mind tends to always shift to the negative (don’t worry you’re not alone!), practicing gratitude at night may be the perfect way for you to shift your mindset. Our minds are very powerful and work even when we are sleeping. If you focus on something before bed, your mind will continue to process it as you sleep. If you think about all the things you are grateful for and concentrate on how good they make you feel, you will continue to reinforce those thoughts and the good feeling will carry into the morning.
Practicing aromatherapy is a simple and effective way to fall asleep faster and easier. Either use an essential oil roll on or a pillow spray that has lavender or sandalwood, both scents that are proven to relax the body, and use it right before bed. This is a calming ritual that will allow you to fall asleep naturally.