5 Bedtime Rituals for a Better Night’s Sleep are tips you can implement as a part of your wellness and self-care routine. Finding ways to unwind and prepare for a good night’s rest is just what our bodies need to recharge!
Sleep: we all need it, and hardly any of us get enough of it! I am super pumped to introduce Kelli Pease to you today. Kelli is a fellow blogger and friend, and we’ve connected through Instagram and the IDEA Health and Fitness organization. I’ve been struggling with making sleep a priority this month, and luckily, Kelli is here to save us all. She’s got a great list of bedtime rituals that we can try for a better night’s sleep; without further ado…
You probably know that you’re supposed to get 7-8 hours of sleep, but have you actually made sleep a priority in your life? With such busy schedules, it’s hard to make time for self-care, but trust me, it’s worth it! Just some of the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep include better moods, more productivity, better immunity, improved memory and even the ability to build muscle more easily.
Since sleep is so incredibly important I’ve started adding rituals to my bedtime routine to wind down at the end of the day and help me to get into the deep sleep my body needs. Here are the top 5 rituals I’ve found help ensure a good night’s sleep:
5 Bedtime Rituals for a Better Night’s Sleep
Limit Dramatic TV Shows Late at Night
Do you ever feel like you can’t relax after watching an intense show or movie? I’ve found that when I watch something dramatic past 9:00pm, I have a hard time shutting off my mind when the time comes to go to sleep. Now if I want to watch any highly emotional shows, I’ll watch them earlier in the day and save calm shows (hello, Planet Earth!) for later at night. I would also recommend taking it a step further by turning off your TV completely at night. Studies have found that turning off all devices at least 30 minutes before you go to bed helps your body prepare for sleep.
Meditating is always a good idea, but it is especially powerful at night as a way of quieting the mind and getting into a peaceful place. Meditation slows down brain activity, leading to a deeper, more tranquil sleep. I usually switch between meditating in silence (without guidance) and using the “Calm” meditation app: https://www.calm.com/sleep. The app even has free “sleep stories” built specifically to help you fall into a deep sleep. A study by the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that 58% of insomniac participants showed significant improvements from meditation and 91% of the participants using sleep medication were able to reduce the dosage or stop the drugs all-together.
Diffuse Lavender Essential Oil
Not only does lavender smell amazing, but it has another great benefit: it helps you sleep better. Try creating a nightly ritual of diffusing lavender oil in your house before and/or while you sleep. A study by the University of Southampton found that when lavender essential oil was diffused throughout the night, participants ranked the quality of their sleep 20% better than with the placebo oil. Lavender essential oils and diffusers can be found at health food stores. The brands I’ve tried and had success with are doTERRA and Young Living, but there are many great ones out there to choose from.
When is the last time you thought about what you were grateful for? I’ve been practicing gratitude before I go to sleep for a few years and it has made a HUGE difference in my state of mind. Once I get in bed and meditate, I think about what I’m grateful for. I try to think of at least 3 things I’m thankful for each night, but I usually end up thinking of even more because I get on a roll! This practice is very effective because it helps you focus on everything positive in your life and not worry about anything that has happened that day or might happen the next day. A similar idea that also helps promote better sleep is to write in a gratitude journal before bed each night. In fact, a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found that writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep.
Keep a To-Do List by Your Bed
If you find that you can’t turn off your brain even with these other techniques in place, try keeping a notepad and paper by your bed. If you think of something before you go to sleep or in the middle of the night that you need to do the next day, you can quickly write it down and not have to worry about it. Trust me, this works! It allows you to get your thoughts down on paper right away, know that they will be there in the morning, and quickly move onto what’s important in the moment: going to back sleep.
Feeling good requires an adequate amount of sleep. As Thomas Dekker says, “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” So, if you want to fall asleep easier, have a more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, try a few of these ideas and see which ones work best for you. Comment and let me know what your favorite bedtime rituals are!
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Kelli Pease is a writer for ClubConnect. She has also created a happiness community of over 90,000 people called the Happsters. She spends her free time learning everything she can about mindfulness, gratitude and happiness, drawing, hand-lettering, hosting community gatherings and taking beach walks with friends and family.