We’re all about good mornings – but you know what makes the best mornings? A good night.
Having a good night’s sleep can be the best medicine for a bad day, and can keep you stress-free, happy, and optimally productive.
We have some tips for you to give your bedtime routine as much love as you give your morning routine.
1. Start early
A bedtime routine is best when you’re not starting it at 20 minutes before you’re about to hit the hay. Try to give yourself at least two hours of phone-free time.
Dr. Chris Winter, a neurologist specializing in sleep, the president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and the author of a book on the subject, references the bedtime routines made for toddlers to help them wind down. “I always think it’s interesting that we kind of drop it as we get older,” and instead make a hard stop at 11 p.m., still covered in a day’s worth of psychoemotional goo,” says Winter.
2. Engage your senses
Whether it’s a nighttime tea or a late night stretch - one of the best things your can do to anchor yourself in the present is doing activities that help you tap into your senses and stop your mind from running. Some ideas:
- Have a nightly wind down drink like a chamomile tea or turmeric tonic
- Develop a nighttime skincare routine (à la @peetrivko and @palermobody)
- Put on a diffuser or light some incense
3. Keep a Sleep Diary
There are a lot of factors that could be helping or hindering your shuteye. Putting things down on paper will help you find broader trends in your sleep with the added bonus of making you feel more in control of it.
1. Write down the time you go to bed and the hour you wake up.
2. Determine the total number of hours you sleep. Note whether you took naps or woke up in the middle of the night.
3. Note how you felt in the morning. Refreshed and ready to conquer the world? Or groggy and fatigued?
4. Lights off!
The blue light emitted by your phone actually reacts with the pineal gland and can block melatonin. This is why having a nightly cutoff for technology can be so important. Other than altogether avoiding your tech, make sure you set your computer and phone to Night Shift mode.
5. Rinse and repeat
Part of a bedtime routine is that it is a ROUTINE. Try implementing one change at a time and sticking to it. It will make the the larger goal more manageable and
As the New York Times puts it, “When the rest of life feels as if you’re spinning in outer space, a fairy-light string of rituals can be what keeps you tethered to the ground.”