If all the festive period celebrations have left you lacking in sleep and feeling rather weary, it’s time to implement a solid bedtime routine.
Doing this will help you get your rest back on track and give you the energy and clarity you need to approach 2022 with a clear mind and ready-to-go body.
Here are some tips for an effective bedtime routine you can start implementing:
Firstly, if you want to get to sleep quickly and not have to deal with tossing and turning for ages, it’s vital to spend time switching your brain off before bed. Ensure you stop work well before bedtime and consider creating rituals to follow at the end of every workday that will signal to your brain that it’s okay to switch off.
Then, and this is the particularly crucial part, don’t get back into the work frame of mind later in the night by checking and responding to emails or doing a few small tasks, etc. Your bedtime routine needs to be about letting go of the day’s stresses, not adding to them.
It’s also wise to turn off screens such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions in the hours before bed as part of your nightly routine. The issue with these screens is that their content might energize or worry you too much for you to sleep. Furthermore, the blue light coming from them can signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up rather than switch off and rest.
Journal or Write Out a To-Do List
Many people find that a positive part of their bedtime routine is writing down their thoughts and chores so they don’t lie in bed thinking about things or worrying they’ll forget them. It pays to spend a few minutes before you hop into bed doing some journaling. You might make a list of things you’re grateful for that day or take note of what you did earlier and where.
You might find it helpful to do some freewriting, too, where you just put pen to paper and don’t stop for three pages or so of scribble. Freewriting lets you note down whatever pops into your head and doesn’t need to be re-read or shared. In turn, it should help you get rid of negative thoughts and feelings and operate as a safe space to vent.
It pays, too, to create a to-do list for the next day before you go to bed. Writing down everything you want to try to tick off the following day (including work, family, and personal tasks) can help your mind relax since it knows you won’t forget about something important.
If you want to sleep well each night, part of your routine should involve relaxing physically. You might exorcize the day’s demons by doing some deep breathing for a few minutes or focusing on stretching and tensing and then relaxing all the muscles in your body. Yoga and Pilates activities can be soothing too and assist with removing tension from your body.
Plus, if you haven’t already started, why not see 2022 as the year you can get into a dedicated meditation routine? Meditating relaxes the mind and the body, even if you can only manage a couple of minutes at a time.
Keep in mind, too, that there are various supplements easily available to buy these days that are designed to help people sleep. Part of your nightly routine may be taking these tablets or other readily-available supplements in the hour before bed. For example, you might like to test out valerian root or magnesium.
Alternatively, consider buying some quality CBD products, some of which have melatonin added to them to assist with relaxation and sleep. Also, you might find that putting some lavender oil or herbs on or near your pillow assists you to nod off more quickly and rest more deeply.
Some other activities you can incorporate into your bedtime routine to help yourself include having a warm bath or shower, rubbing moisturizers and other lotions on your face and body, and drinking something warm yet not caffeinated, such as herbal tea.
Try to go to bed at the same time each night to get into a consistent routine and work to get the temperature in your bedroom just right so you don’t feel uncomfortably hot or cold when you’re trying to switch off and fall asleep. Listening to some relaxing music can make a difference, too.
It’s wise to test out different nightly bedtime habit options to see what works best for you. Make a list of those you find helpful and gradually build up over time to complete them all each night.