If I love a bit of spontaneousness in my life, I think that routines are the best to stay organized, focused and to reduce daily stress. Having a routine also helps keeping a healthy body and mind. One of the most important routines to my mind is my bed time routine. It helps unwind properly, get the sleep I need and get ready for the next day. I haven’t always had this routine, I have created it bit by bit, adding to it over the years. Trying different things until I found what worked the best for me. Again, like every routine this one might not suit you, and I’m not saying you should follow this routine too, but it might suit you and work for you too. Or you might find useful tips that you can add to your own routine.
Having a routine is important for your body and mind. Everything we do sends signals to our body, whether we are aware of it or not. Having an evening/bed time routine helps our body and mind get the signal that this is it, it’s the end of day and it’s time to switch off. By repeating the same rituals each evening your body will get the same signal and will help you unwind. Which will help you fall asleep quicker and have a better quality sleep.
1. TV time
If there is one thing I couldn’t cut out completely it’s watching TV in the evening. I have dance classes nearly every evening, and my mum doesn’t get home before I leave. So the only time I can spend with her (and my dad) is when I get home around 8.30/9pm. While I’m having dinner and relaxing on the sofa for a bit. However, like I said, having a routine helps your body and mind understand what is happening and what you want. So sitting on the sofa to watch some TV every evening, will actually give your body the signal that the day is over, you are ready to go to bed and want to relax.
2. Having a cut-off point
Watching a bit of TV in the evening is perfectly fine. As long as it doesn’t turn into your bedtime story. By this I mean: as long as you don’t watch TV until you go to bed or fall asleep watching TV in bed. Same goes for our phones and computers.
This is why I have a cut-off point. When the clock strikes 10pm (10.30 if it’s a really good film) it’s time to turn the TV off, put the computer away and the phone down. My bedroom is also upstairs, so to make sure I don’t end up scrolling through Twitter in bed until my eyes ache I check that my alarm is set before going upstairs. Once upstairs I don’t allow myself to use my phone anymore. I plug it in, turn it over and don’t look at it until the morning.
Screens are stimulants, and don’t help us get to sleep. It is tempting to watch TV until we are tired, or reading a few tweets in bed until our eyes close on there own. However, this isn’t helping us at all. It is said that we need to stop watching screens at least 30mins before going to bed in order to fall asleep easier and improve the quality of our sleep.
3. Getting ready to sleep
As I said, we should stay away from screens at least 30mins before going to bed. So after switching the TV, computer and phone off it’s time to relax my eyes and mind. What can be better for that than a nice bath or shower? Some say it isn’t the best to have a warm shower/bath before going to bed, but honestly it works so well for me that I couldn’t change this part of my routine. Sometimes I have my bath before dinner though, depending on if I’m washing my hair or if I’m home early.
After my bath I usually take some time to moisturize my face and body, and treat myself to light massage. Just enough to relax my face and leg muscles.
4. Bed time story
The last thing on my list is reading. Unless I am really tired and just fall asleep once my head hits the pillow. I always read a few pages before turning the light off. I feel this also helps me relax and fall asleep easier.
5. Little extras for a better sleep
Sometimes I also like to have a cup of tea after dinner. My go-to teas are teas that helps digestion, anti-stress/relaxing teas or a bed time teas. I don’t really know if it actually helps, but it’s nice!
I have also tried a pillow spray and some relaxing bath soaks. These types of products might not suit everybody, especially the pillow spray. They are usually lavender based, so not everyone might like it. I don’t know if they make a massive difference, but I do like the smell of my pillow spray, so I feel like it helps me relax more while reading my book.
As you can guess, like any other routine, we each need to find our own. The one that suits us best and actually helps us sleep better. However, I couldn’t recommend enough staying away from screens as much as you can before going to bed.
Do you have a bed time routine? What are the things you like doing before going to bed?
See you soon, love