When I am stressed or busy thinking about things, I have the hardest time falling asleep. Just as my eyelids begin to feel soft and I am optimistic that I am about to drift off into blissful slumber, I think “Oh gosh, tomorrow I need to write to do so and so, start on that project, update the website, and have I emailed back that one person back?”. Even though it’s usually not something all that pressing, my mind is so go-go-go during the day, that sometimes I can’t shut it off when I am trying to go to sleep.
On the nights that I experience this inconvenience, I never have the quality sleep I need to sustain me during my busy days. This was more than enough reason for me to try to get into the rhythm of a new nightly routine. I’m only about two weeks into this new routine, but I am already seeing a world of a difference!
- Tie up Loose Ends
It starts about an hour before the time I am aiming to go to sleep by. I start to tie up loose ends so that I can get into a stress-free headspace. I send those last few texts, check my email, and set an alarm for the morning.
- Tea Time
One of my favorite nighttime habits is making tea (try my absolute favorite, Chamomile Lavender Tea). Sometimes I just sit down to enjoy it or sometimes sip on it as I am working on my nighttime face routine (I’m not too fancy here -- just wash and moisturize).
- Quick Yoga Flow and Gratitude
Next, I roll out the yoga mat and spend anywhere between 10-20 minutes on a nighttime yoga flow (try this 7 min video if you’re starting off). Post-yoga, I try to make a list of at least 5 things I am grateful for: write it down, say it aloud or say it in your head -- it is gratitude all the same!
- Clear Your Mind
I’m constantly reminded by podcasts, books, news articles, and people that I know: Meditation is SO good for you. After I am feeling a bit more relaxed from the yoga flow, I try to clear my head even more before bed with meditation. I’m not going to write this and pretend like I have figured it out… Sometimes sitting there and trying to clear my head of thoughts feels absolutely impossible, but the more I practice this, the easier it has been getting. Start off with even a minute, and build from there!
- Grab a Good Book -- NO Screens
So far, there have been nights where I am so tired from the day and have relaxed my brain enough that when I get into bed, I drift right to sleep. However, there are nights where I have still been feeling a bit wired and not quite ready to sleep. This is when I grab a good book (the real thing...paper and all) and read until I feel more sleepy. In this last step before turning off my lights, I try my best to avoid looking at any screens. It takes practice sometimes, but avoiding my phone as much as possible for at LEAST 30 minutes before bed helps so much!
A nightly routine can be so unique to each person -- find out what works best for easing your mind. Once you get into this practice, you will feel the difference! Nothing feels better than waking up feeling well-rested and fresh!