It’s not always easy to get into that calming and tranquil state of mind before bedtime. Life is beautiful and exciting, but it’s also stressful and complicated.
Everyone knows how it feels to toss and turn in bed, staring at the clock and watching the time slowly go by as you desperately try to shut your racing thoughts off. This is why it’s important to get into a nightly routine that works for you, a routine that will tell your mind and body to relax.
There are so many different things you can incorporate into your bedtime routine, but it’s a matter of figuring out what works best for you. I’d like to help you get started, so here are some tips on how to sleep through the night.
1. Take a Warm Bath
There’s something incredibly soothing about taking a warm bath before bedtime. It’s like you’re washing away the stresses of the day while also getting yourself squeaky clean and smelling irresistible.
I usually stick to showers because it’s less time-consuming but I definitely notice the calming effects of taking a bath whenever I decide to indulge in this decadent treat.
When you soak in a warm tub, your body’s temperature increases, and then it decreases when you step out and dry off. This natural way of cooling your body down leads to a release of melatonin, and with that, a more peaceful night’s sleep.
I recommend adding bath salts to make the experience even better. Eucalyptus, lavender, and bergamot are all known for helping to alleviate stress. If you’re opting for a shower instead, you can still use essential oils. I add a few drops of bergamot and let the steam from the warm shower work its aromatherapy magic.
2. Read or Write
Reading or writing before bed is a great way to relieve stress and in turn, get some shut-eye.
You can curl up with your latest library find, or opt for writing in a journal instead. It can actually be quite cathartic to write lists before bed, such as a list of the things you’ve accomplished that day or the tasks that you’ll need to accomplish tomorrow. Making a “to-do” list organizes your thoughts and allows you to let go of them for the evening.
Getting organized is a great stress-reliever in general and can really help relieve anxiety. It’s also the perfect excuse to buy a pretty journal (and colorful pens).
3. Meditate and Practice Deep Breathing
Meditation is a very popular way to calm the body and mind, and it’s the perfect activity to do right before getting into bed.
Sit or lie in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Feel how your body relaxes as you simply inhale and exhale without the heavy weight of outside distractions. Try to push the worries away, but if one sneaks through, acknowledge its presence and then let it pass. Don’t over-analyze it or give it more time than needed. This is your moment of relaxation and tranquility.
There are several health benefits associated with mediation, such as lowered blood pressure and lowered heart rate.
Health issues are intensified when we don’t handle stress properly. Taking time for ourselves isn’t selfish, but absolutely necessary for our well-being. When we neglect our needs, we hinder our health, and with that, our happiness.
Here is a list of meditation books to inspire you.
4. Listen to Music or a Soundmachine
Okay, so you definitely shouldn’t be listening to anything too loud or stimulating right before bedtime, but some music can actually be quite calming. In fact, there are studies to prove it.
Michael Breus, PhD, notes how many beats per minute a bedtime song should have: “Reputable studies find that music with a rhythm of about 60 beats a minute helps people fall asleep,” says Breus. “As you are falling asleep, your heart rate begins to slow, and starts to move toward that 60-beats-per-minute range.” Usually, a safe bet is some soothing classical music, but there are also CDs composed with these types of studies in mind.
Another auditory means of falling asleep is a sound machine. Sound machines don’t play music, but instead include sounds of crickets chirping, ocean waves, wind, and white noise. Just like focusing on deep breathing during meditation, you can focus on the sounds of waves gently crashing as you doze off.
5. Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation has similar qualities to meditation, except instead of focusing on breathing, you’re focusing on tensing and then relaxing muscles. You can start at your feet and work your way up the body, or start from the opposite direction.
The Mayo Clinic recommends tensing your muscles for about five seconds and then relaxing for 30 seconds before moving on to a different muscle. Make sure to breathe in as you tense your muscles, and breathe out as you relax them.
Time to Relax
I hope these tips help you sleep better at night naturally.
What’s the commonality between all these recommendations? Unapologetically taking time for yourself and focusing on your body’s needs.
Good sleep is crucial for a healthy lifestyle, and sometimes getting there can be a challenge. That’s why it’s important that you allow a bit of time before bed for deep relaxation. Your body and mind will thank you.