Sleep has always been important to me. My parents told me that as a toddler, I'd finish lunch and run to my crib, eager to get my nap in. And that when I had to start going to school, I was most upset about missing a nap. So I hear you - sleep is a large part of our lives. I've taken a look at the things I do to prepare for sleep, in hopes that these habits will support your better sleep goals. In this article, I'll help you build your bedtime routine and then share my personal routine with you.
Here are 3 ways to build your bedtime routine and get catch some golden 'zzz's.
1. Set your bedtime!
The first thing I noticed about my bedtime habits is that I instinctively start prepping for bed around the same time each night. If you read my blog about building a morning routine, you know that my morning routine is a non-negotiable in my life. But if I don't get enough sleep, it impacts the start of my day. So I've got some strong motivation to go to bed on time!
To set yourself up for success, work backward from what time you wake up. For me it's 7 am and I need 8 hours of sleep, therefore bed is at 11 pm. But my habits take 35 minutes, so I start getting ready around 10:25 pm. Try setting a soothing-sounding alarm on your phone for when you need to start your bedtime routine.
2. Build out your bedtime habits.
Habit stacking. Have you heard of it? Well it's a proven way to trick your body and brain into successfully building habits. I wrote about it in this article, but to recap, you start with one new habit > master it> then add a new habit to follow (and so on and so forth).
You can even tie these habits into your bigger goals for the year. For example, did you write down that you want to read 1 book per month? Well this is a perfect way to build in 10 minutes of reading per night and help you keep on top of that reading goal! Take a look at your other goals for the year and see how you can use your bedtime routine to achieve them.
Whatever your habits are, do them mindfully and slow down - rushing to go to bed feeds your mind with anxiety. You want to use this time to unwind the mind instead. It's all in the mindful details. For example, if you shower at night, be sure to choose a lavender-packed soap like our Lilac & Clover Lavender Grey Tea bar. This is the soap that started my love for Lilac & Clover premium bars because it uses high quality lavender that I know is jam packed with linalol and linalyl acetate (responsible for the anti-anxiety effects on the brain). Something so simple as a warm shower with the same calming scent each night can trigger your brain to start unwinding and prepare for sleep.
3. Set the mood!
Awwe ya! Not that mood. Well, maybe! But create healthy sleep hygiene by keeping your room clutter-free and relaxing. My favourite way to do this is by using Lavender oil on a hanky underneath my pillow case. Or Lavender Vanilla spray on the pillows (mmmm dreamcicle!).
Other ways you can set the tone for sleep is to play soothing music, use only your bedside lamp for low-light and not sleeping facing mirrors (feng shui ya'll!).
Play around with these steps and you'll be well on your way to dreamland in no time!
Here are some of my favourite bedtime habits:
Skin care routine
After washing up I make sure everything I displaced in the day is moved back to its home. This is my favourite way to know what items I have in my house and where they are.
Spinal alignment is so important to me. I finish my days the same way I start them - with some mindful movement. For me this includes exercises that relieve postural pain, from my Egoscue therapist. This is a type of physiotherapy that can be used as preventative or as treatment. I have a painful arthritic disease that affects my spine and have had great success with this therapy! I highly recommend doing a few online sessions with a therapist.
I treat a hanky underneath my pillow to a few drops of my premium Bulgarian Lavender oil and then crawl into the sheets.
And that's it - sweet dreams!