How do you spend the last hour of your day?
For many of us it’s spent watching TV, looking at our phones, or reading off of a screen.
We tend to look at this as “winding down,” but then have trouble turning our mind off and falling fast asleep.
The secret to waking up chipper, well-rested, wide-eyed and bushy tailed isn’t to take 30 years off our age.
It’s a better nighttime routine.
The great thing about this is that once you find something that works for you, it’s can be fun! Imagine - the experience of a retreat, without the traveling and with much less time and money spent.
All you need is 1 hour of nourishing time to prepare your mind and body for a rejuvenating night’s rest.
We’ll give you some of the most important components and also some fun ideas so you can mix and match to create a ritual of your own.
Nighttime Ritual Must Haves:
An hour before bed power down all of your screens. This means your TV, phone, and iPad.
The bright lights not only mess up your internal body clock, but it’s very easy to watch one more episode or go down the internet rabbit hole. By declaring the last hour of your day as a no-screen zone, you can much more easily set a bedtime that you’ll stick to.
Dim the Lights
Turn off your brightest lights. Light some candles. Turn on your dimmer lamps. Create a spa-like vibe and get your body in the zone for bed.
The moon is dimmer than the sun for a reason. It’s not natural for us to be surrounded by bright lights in the evening.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology finds that too much light before bed can significantly suppress levels of melatonin, the hormone that helps make us feel sleepy.
Now, here’s the fun part.
Here are some things you can do during this hour to relax your body and mind, de-stress, and wind down after a full day.
Drink a cup of herbal tea. Chamomile and passion fruit are known for their calming effects. Not only that, but the sensual experience of enjoying a cup of tea is a great way to bring in a moment of mindfulness before bed.
Journal. Writing down your thoughts and working through any problems or challenges on paper will relieve your mind of this task while sleeping.
Meditate. It’s no secret that meditation is highly effective at calming the mind, reducing stress, and increasing productivity, happiness, and focus. Slowing down your mind via meditation is a wonderful way to fall asleep much quicker and with much more ease.
Have a nourishing chat with your roommate or partner. Experiencing human connection is great de-stresser and happiness booster. Having a special moment with a loved one will put you into a happier space before bed.
Stretch your body. Many of us feel restless and all kinked up right before bed. Take a few moments to stretch out your body is not only good for you physically, but will help you slow down your mind and find a moment of peace and calm.
Light an aromatherapy candle for relaxation. Many essential oils, especially lavender, help boost your ability to experience a calm, restful sleep. Lighting a candle that gives off a natural scent will help your body and mind wind down.
We’d love to hear from you. Trying out your own nighttime ritual? Please let us know in the comments how it goes for you!