Ahh… You know those mornings when it you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day? Even if they are few and far between (life is stressful and busy!), we all have had them and they are GOLD… The question is “How do we get MORE of those?!”
We have heard it a million times before – Sleep is incredibly important for your health and mental well-being and that getting 7-8 hours a night is ideal, but what if you have trouble falling asleep? What if your mind is racing or you feel physically uncomfortable and can’t settle in to snooze? There are a few things that I have found to help me wind down before bed.
Ten things to do before bed to help you dream sweetly.
- Unplug – “HEY YOU! YES, YOU!!! PUT DOWN YOUR CELL PHONE! IT IS BEDTIME!” I am serious about this one! Cell phones, tablets, and TVs shine a blue light that is proven to mess up your sleepiness and keep you awake. It is all too familiar… You are having trouble sleeping, so you decide to scroll through your social media accounts ONE more time before bed. You decide to start on Instagram. Before you know it, you’ve been scrolling and tapping for hours and you’re liking a photo from 132 weeks ago on your best friend’s brother’s tagged photos… Hello! You’re missing out on glorious snooze time! PLEASE, turn off your devices at least an hour before bedtime.
- Express Gratitude – I am a firm believer in gratitude. Before bed, I like to think about ten things for which I am grateful. I feel like it clears my mind and puts me in a positive head space so I wake up “on the right side of the bed.” Carry this “attitude of gratitude” with you always, for best results 😉
- Make a To-Do List – Again, this is something that I like to do to clear my head. Your list can be as simple as reminders for the next day or it can be a total “brain dump” of everything that you wish to accomplish this week/month/year. Either way, you’ll sleep easier knowing that your list will be there in the morning to help you focus your efforts productively.
- Stretch – Sometimes when I am trying to fall asleep, my body feels tense or restless. I have found that the best way to cure this is to get out of bed and stretch. Bend at the waist and touch your toes, twist from side to side, or stretch your arms above your head. This will help to release tension in your muscles and they will be loose and relaxed as you fall asleep.
- Nightly Routine – Brush and floss your teeth, moisturize your skin, do your face care routine, brush your hair… This is all basic hygiene. Be consistent with your nightly beauty routine to feel and look your best.
- Check Room Temperature – It has been stated that the suggested bedroom temperature for optimal sleep is between 60-67 degrees. I believe that to be true. Personally, I cannot fall asleep if I am hot or uncovered. My room needs to be cool enough so that I am comfortable and covered.
- Set out clothes / prepare for next day – I always sleep better knowing that I won’t have to rush around the next morning deciding that to wear or packing my bag with the day’s essentials. I feel more prepared and that always takes away some anxiety.
- Drink a glass of water – Stay hydrated! Your body will thank you!
- Get Luxurious – Get a little “extra” while your getting ready for bed. I like to take a bubble bath, spray my sheets with a lavender sheet spray, apply essential oils and sleep on a satin pillow case.
- Meditate – Try following a short guided meditation on Spotify or practice mindful breathing. I am not a mediation pro by any means, but I have strengthened skills over the past couple of years. I find that a guided meditation is easiest. If that doesn’t work for you, you can also try mindful breathing. To do this, take deep breaths while focusing on relaxing specific body parts. Head, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, etc.
These are some activities that I have found help me to wind down before bed, especially if I am feeling stress or anxious. Taking the time to prepare for the next day and truly relax before heading to bed will help you drift off to dreamland quickly and peacefully.
If not, you can always try counting sheep… 1…2…3…4…5…