Routine Rewards for Better Sleep
Falling into bed at night should be your reward for a day well lived: something luscious and soothing. Bedtime is the time you start to refill your energy cup, and whether you are 9 or 90, our number one tip for getting a good night’s sleep is to make sure you get your bedtime routine right - and then stick to it! Take the time to prepare for your best night’s sleep. Our bodies and minds are incredibly trainable, and our night-time routine is one of the triggers for letting us know it’s time to wind down.
There are some key ingredients to making sure your evening activities lead to a delicious night’s sleep, so we’ve compiled a sleep-list for you:
- Relax - When to Start? Your bedtime routine should be your nightly ritual. The purpose of the pre-sleep routine is to help to trigger your brain to know that it’s time to start getting ready for sleep. By keeping your bedtime consistent you help your body’s internal clock to find its rhythm; its circadian rhythm. To do that you need to start your routine at least 30 minutes before you intend to go to sleep. It may help to set a gentle alarm on your phone or fitness tracker to remind you when it’s time to start winding down. That will help you to make your sleep a priority, rather than an afterthought.
- Ritual - What to include? Preparing for sleep doesn’t mean a desperate dash to the finish line. Frantically finishing off everything on your ‘to do’ list, binge-watching Netflix, or scrolling through your phone until your eyes start to blur will not help you to prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Think about when you or your kids were little - what type of things did you include in the bedtime routine? We instinctively know what little ones need to drift off to sleep, but seldom apply those same lessons to ourselves: a warm bath, change into comfy pajamas, dimming the lights, snuggling up to read a book or listening to some soft music. So, instead of racing to finish off everything, give yourself permission to ‘close the book’ on your day. Dim your lights, light a candle or start your diffuser. Associate sleep with a relaxing scent. Enjoy a warm shower or bath. Swap your TV or phone time for a meditation track, some pleasure reading or a gentle yoga session. Trade your nightcap for a cup of sleepy time tea. Take time to breathe…and allow your tension to simply roll away.
- Routine - Practice makes Perfect! Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. The key to success is doing the same relaxing things every night, signaling to your body that it’s time to prepare for sleep. Whether you are at home, in a hotel, or in a donga on site - make sure that you are going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, and always follow the same bedtime practice. Being consistent will help you relax and may even improve the quality of your sleep.
Your evening ritual should be something you look forward to – it should be relaxing and rewarding - a sweet finish to your day. Creating your pre-bed ritual will allow you to prepare for simply better sleep – giving you the energy to live the life you dream.
If your night-time habits are on point but your bedroom seems to undermine your efforts to relax and unwind, check out these tips on creating your sleep sanctuary.