By: Heather Bien
Who’s getting 8 hours of sleep? And, who would like to get 8 hours of sleep? With busy schedules, demanding jobs, families, friends, and the constant call of social media, many of us have trouble turning off your brains at night. But, we know we should be getting more sleep and we’re eager to figure out how.
Develop a Bedtime Routine For Better Sleep
When you’re little, you have a bedtime routine. You finish dinner, take a bath, put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, read a bedtime story or two, and get into bed. Every night, night after night, it’s the same routine.
Well, we can learn something from the kids! A bedtime routine lets your brain know that okay, now it’s time to start winding down and getting ready to go to sleep. And, the key to better sleep is developing a bedtime routine that works with your lifestyle.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favorite tips to incorporate into your bedtime routine to help you relax, unwind, and shift into sleep mode.
Many of us change into stretchy pants and a sweatshirt the minute we get home from work and that’s a step in the right direction Get comfortable and put on your pajamas or favorite loungewear so that you’re ready to slip right into bed when the clock strikes bedtime.
And, if you’re in need of new comfy clothes, check out Boody’s new Lounge line. We always feel more relaxed when we look both cozy and pulled together. Our current favorite bedtime look is the Goodnight Raglan Sleep Top, the Goodnight Sleep Top, and the Cozy Knit Shoulder Wrap.
Write Down a Brain Dump
Stressful thoughts and lingering to-dos running around in your brain can keep you up at night, so put pen to paper and get them out before bed. Take a few minutes to write down everything that’s on your mind.
Format it journal-style if it’s anxieties that are bugging you or jot down a to-do list if you’re worried about what’s waiting for you in the morning.
Turn Off Devices
You probably know that you should turn off devices before bed, but are you actually doing it? A neverending Instagram scroll can easily go from a 2-minute check-in to a wasted hour that could be spent counting sheep.
Plus, the light from your phone prevents your brain from shifting into sleep mode. So, turn it off or put it in the other room before bed. If you use your phone for your alarm (as most of us do!), put it in Do Not Disturb night mode an hour or so before bed.
Make a Cup of Herbal Tea
Brewing a pot of chamomile or mint tea at the end of the day is akin to starting your day by brewing a cup of energizing coffee. It’s a routine that triggers your brain into a particular mode –– and that mode is hey, it’s time to unwind.
A hint: remember to drink it with plenty of time before you actually get into bed! You don’t want to interrupt your sleep by waking up to run to the restroom not long after dozing off.
Practice Deep Breathing or Meditation
If you have a meditation practice that involves guided relaxation or even guided sleep, that is, of course, a wonderful part of a bedtime routine. But, if meditation isn’t something that works for you at this point, you can still use deep breathing techniques to still your mind and body.
Exhale completely. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds. Repeat.
Essential oils, including lavender and chamomile, are known for encouraging relaxation and sleep. Use a diffuser to spread the aroma throughout your bedroom or dab a few drops of oil on your palms and rub together –– place your hands over your face and inhale deeply. Let the scent wash over you and enjoy its calming properties.
Lastly, Declutter Your Bedroom!
Think about what you really need in your bedroom: a bed, cozy sheets, comfortable pillows. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary that puts you into sleep mode, so remove the TV, the nagging paperwork, and the neverending stack of to-dos. Keep it minimal, serene, and sleep-focused.
With a consistent bedtime routine in place, we can take back the 8 hours of sleep that we need to get every night to stay healthy and happy. We know life gets busy, schedules get crazy, and obligations get in the way, but a routine can remind us that taking care of ourselves is essential.