Ending the day on a peaceful and relaxing note can make all the difference in your health. What is even more important is –not just the quantity of sleep – but the quality of sleep you get each night. Your evening routine can either set you up for a happy and productive day or frustrating day filled with brain fog and frustration. Here are some steps you can take to create a successful bedtime routine that will give you more restful nights and more productive days.
- Set an alarm for bedtime.
Try setting an alarm for one hour before you’d like to be settled in bed to remind you that it’s time to step out of your day and start winding down. I personally do this and it is a great way to tell my brain, “Okay, the work day is over.” I also put my phone on “Do Not Disturb Mode” for between the hours of 10:30 p.m. thru 6:30 a.m.
- Drink up!
Since you end up going 6–8 hours without any liquid at all, drinking water throughout the day and before you hit the sack is essential to keeping yourself hydrated. A nice warm cup of herbal tea an hour before bedtime can also be calming and hydrating. But, try not to drink fluids an hour before bed, so you aren’t waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip.
- Give yourself a little face time.
Make sure to give your skin and teeth the TLC they need. Refresh and renew your face with a mild wash. You should also use gentle products on your teeth that are free of synthetic dyes and fluoride. Taking time to establish and follow these important hygiene rituals will help you feel fresh and relaxed before bed and can signal to your brain that it’s time to calm down. I have been using Alba face products and love them. But, I have also been making my own toner with witch hazel and face moisturizer with essential oils, coconut oil and shea butter lately. Heavenly!!
- Take notes for tomorrow.
Write down a brief game plan for a productive tomorrow. While creating your list, remember to envision the kind of day you’d like to have, how you’d like to feel, and the top priorities you’ve got in your sights. Get it down on paper and you won’t spend hours trying to fall asleep thinking about what your day might look like. I also take a quick look at my Google calendar for the following two days, just to make sure I have all my meeting, baseball practices and PTA meetings on my radar!
- Set yourself up for success.
The night before, prepare your outfit, your breakfast and lunch, or complete other tasks you’d usually take care of in the morning. The fewer tasks looming over you, the quicker and happier you will be getting out of bed in the morning. For my family, this is a no brainer!! The easier mornings are to navigate, the happier everyone is and it really sets the tone for the day!
- Ditch the tech and read a book.
The light from electronic screens can trick your mind and body into thinking it’s still light out. Try leaving technology out of your bedroom to help you shift into to a calm, relaxed, and clear state. It’s been recommended that you turn off all electronic devices – televisions, cell phones, tablets, etc., an hour before bed. Personally, I watch television up until bedtime, but I do turn of the iPad and cellphone. This helps my brain downshift.
- Add essential oils to your routine and watch stress melt away!
Essential oils have become a huge part of my family’s evening routine. As soon as I get home, I get something diffusing, depending on the time of day. At nighttime, try diffusing Lavender, Sleep Easy by Edens Garden or your favorite blend of essential oils with comforting aromas as you prepare for bed. I also have a spray bottle with Lavender and water that I mist on our pillows and sheets just before hitting the pillows and this helps boost the relaxation factor.
Sleep is so very important to our overall well being. Once you’ve worked out a routine that helps you sleep well on a regular basis, create a ritual of those steps so your body and mind is prepared for a good sleep and a successful day ahead.