Did you know it takes, on average, 66 days to cement a new habit (Healthline)? I’ve vowed to make sleep a priority this year, and am desperately trying to make a better nighttime routine become habitual.
I think it’s important to not just focus on sleep itself (which we did in this post), but the stretch of time before we get in bed. Mine looks different every night, but I want to be intentional about what I’m doing to help me get some extra z’s.
So today we’re talking nighttime routines, and how you can add steps to yours to improve the quality (and quantity) of your sleep.
I’ve started using white noise a LOT recently. I really like this tool for those nights when I just can’t fall asleep. Being able to focus on the noise helps me to not focus on the thoughts, worries, and responsibilities that can keep me up at night…anyone else with me?!
But what about actually setting the tone for your night with white noise? Instead of using it when you can’t sleep (like me), start turning on white noise a few minutes before bed to create a calming, no stress atmosphere.
If you type in “white noise” to your app store–just about a million results come up. There are tons of options for apps (mostly free!) that are super easy to use. Use a music streaming service like Spotify? They offer a tonnnnnn of playlists and stations for white noise.
Want to step it up a notch? Try one of these white noise machines:
Journaling regularly is SO hard to do. But I do think gratitude journaling is such an important step to completing the day. I can’t say I do it every night, but I do feel such a relief when I do.
A gratitude journal is exactly what it sounds like–a journal that you list things you’re grateful for in.
Getting started is often the hardest step, but we’ve found this incredible article from a website called Intelligent Change. It provides a complete overview of what this type of journaling is and how to get started. This website provides prompts for an entire year.
I think this is a great idea to add to your morning OR nighttime routine. Meditation is all about making time to decompress, or set intentions, for the day. There are a million different ways to do this, and different practices you can follow.
I LOVE the Calm App for this because they have a ton of guided meditations you can use. The app also has sounds and scenes for sleeping…but meditation is my favorite part for sure. The best part? It’s free to use but offers more content with a membership fee. Learn more about the Calm app here.
Enjoy a Beverage
Not the fun beverages…of course 😉 A few minutes before you start preparing for bed, Healthline recommends a few drinks that will actually help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Camomille tea
- Ashwagandha tea
- Warm milk
- Peppermint tea
Think of these as natural sleep aids, to prepare you up for more restful sleep. Try to avoid any teas with caffeine in them, and stick the decaf versions of the suggestions above, or another favorite sleepy-time drink.
Although these beverages are best right before bed to increase sleep success: make sure to drink a small amount. Drinking large amounts of liquids in bed will, of course, cause trips to the bathroom at night, which can interrupt REM sleep.
Moving your body before bed might seem counter-intuitive. But stretching before bed can relieve tension in your body which leads to a more comfortable sleep and a decreased risk of any pesky injuries building up. Many believe that tension is also cleared from your mind when you focus on stretching before bed–and I could definitely use that!
Check out this article from Shape for different yoga poses to try before bed–no yoga experience required! My favorite is probably the simplest one–laying on the ground and propping your legs up on a wall (perpendicularly) to increase circulation.
How are you improving your nighttime routine in 2020?
- I am home through Monday working on some house projects as well as some upcoming campaigns with tight deadlines. Tuesday I will go back to Florida to continue my working campaigns and start a new beach house project. My sisters will be back down to enjoy shelling and overall beach life. I can’t wait and I know that they are excited!!
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