Sleep. Is. Key.
When I have a good night’s sleep, I am unstoppable. Sunlight seems warmer. Tea tastes better. I get more done, and I end the day feeling like I’m living a life worth living.
But getting a good night’s rest wasn’t always this easy.
I used to have insomnia sleeping only 3 – 4 hours a night and waking up already stressed with my heart racing. This made me more prone to getting sick, not able to concentrate on simple tasks and even more anxiety. This felt like an endless cycle.
But, then I learned that getting a good night’s sleep starts with what you do before you actually go to bed.
A bedtime routine is critically important, else you may just lie there all night with your mind jumping from one thing to the next.
Today I thought I would share what I do before bed to get my mind and body ready for a good night’s rest.
Step 1: Yoga
I like to start with some gentle movement to release any tension from my body. It helps me get more comfortable once I get to bed and not wake up feeling as stiff. Especially with our sedentary lifestyles always on the computer or sitting behind a desk this has been very helpful in preparing my body for another 7 – 8 hours of no movement as I lay in bed. My practice is sometimes an hour long but most days just 20 minutes. Make it work for you and your needs.
Yoga is not all about a physical practice, to learn more about other aspects of yoga philosophy that can be added to your bedtime routine or day to day life go here.
Step 2: Diffuse Oils
I’ll pick a calming oil to diffuse in my room which contains mild sedative properties. I’ll smell it from the bottle taking in deep breaths and apply them topically if I need a little extra support. This will create a soothing environment that will last all night so I don’t wake up throughout the night.
Step 3: Journaling
Journaling about the highs and lows of my day helps quiet the mental chatter and reflect on the lessons that came through. Nothing is worse than laying in bed revisiting everything that was said and done or creating a mental list of things to do the next day. Better put it all in paper so you can rest assured that any ideas or important things won’t be forgotten. Writing about the things that bothered you is a form of releasing them from your mind and untangling the web of lies our minds create when we hold on to a negative situation. Ending the journaling with highlights of your day will bring some gratitude in and brings sweeter dreams.
Step 4: Tea
Drinking a soothing tea such as peppermint, chamomile or a bedtime blend not only helps with digestion, morning detox but also the properties of the herbs are relaxing. Chamomile tea will immediately make me sleepy and peppermint will soothe any tummy issues that can make it hard to rest. Bonus routine I like to add here is a tea leaf reading when I have extra time.
Step 5: Reading a book
As I drink my tea I will read a book usually related in some way to holistic healing and personal development. It brings my attention to something more empowering that my subconscious may use to further explore in my dreams.Out of everything I have learned about setting up a bedtime routine one thing is key: give yourself permission to mess up. It takes time to build up a consistent routine. And, what may work great for you for the first three nights, may not be sustainable long term. You might need to make a few tweaks for a week or two before you get into your groove.
What does your bedtime routine look like? Share it with me in the comments below.