Our Bedtime Routine for Better Sleep
How to Start a Nightly Routine Before Bed
You ever have a long day and feel like you’re still carrying the weight of everything that happened with you? It might be a good idea to try and shake those worries off before trying to sleep with a racing mind. According to Psychology Today, intentionally setting time aside to relax before bed can offer an array of mental wellness benefits from falling asleep more quickly to giving your mind some much needed peace and quiet.
Even if this is something you’re interested in, it might feel draining to think about how to start a nightly routine.
We’ve got an easy bedtime ritual laid out that works for just about anyone. If you’re looking for a cozy routine that includes healthy sleep hygiene and relaxing activities that actually unwind your mind before bed, this may be a good start.
Set Up Ahead of Time: Create a Sleepy Space
Set yourself up for success by taking some time during the day to create a sacred sleepy space. The Sleep Foundation talks about how sleep hygiene can make all the difference between a night of tossing and turning and falling asleep with ea… Zzz.
Start by tidying up your space. Clutter can cause mental stress so cleaning up your room is a great start for a calmer vibe. You can also wash up your sheets and make your bed, bonus points if you layer it with cozy blankets so you can maintain a comfy temperature all night long.
Be sure to include healthy sleep helpers like a sleep mask or blackout curtains to help prevent light pollution that can interrupt your sleep cycle. Noise pollution can also make it hard to stay asleep, especially if you live in a busy city. Try turning on a fan or white noise machine to help drown out the screeching tires or late night commotion.
Lastly make the space your own. If you like houseplants add one or two to help improve the air quality and provide a calming atmosphere. Add an essential oil diffuser or try a pillow spray to enjoy soothing scents that can help lull you off to sleep. Be sure to keep your room cool (and utilize those layered blankets), dark and quiet and you’ve already won half of the restless sleep battle.
2 Hours Before Bed: Resist the Urge to Look at a Screen
Screentime and sleep do not mix. The blue light makes it harder to fall asleep which is how we end up on the weird side of TikTok for way too long.
We know it’s hard, but really try to turn off the tv, stop scrolling and sign off for the night to give your brain a chance to recover and let your circadian rhythm know it’s okay to start winding down.
If you’re craving screentime, we know it sounds cliché but read a book. You still get wrapped up in another world and can enjoy that sweet, sweet escapism without it backfiring on your bedtime.
Otherwise try doing some light stretching or start your own mindfulness journal so you can get any leftover emotions from the day out and even find gratitude in the little things.
1 ½ Hours Before Bed: Take a Warm Bath
Researchers are saying that taking a warm bath or shower before bed impacts our body’s thermoregulatory system (fancy way of saying the part that keeps our internal temperature normal) to remove body heat so we can fall asleep quickly as well as get more quality sleep.
They say an hour and a half before bed is the best time to try this out since our sleep/wake cycle needs a lower body temperature to get restful sleep, so encouraging those natural circadian processes gives our internal clock a healthy head start.
Add your favorite bubbles, candle and skincare routine for an even better bedtime bath experience.
1 Hour Before Bed: Have a Cup of Tea
Herbal tea has been used for centuries to help us mellow out before bed. Be wary of teas like green or black tea that contain caffeine that will only make sleep matters worse. Instead look for these soothing stimulant-free botanical remedies:
- Valerian root
- Lemon balm
It’s also a good time to dim the lights and turn on relaxing music that helps you wind down. The CDC explains that the circadian clock is most sensitive to light two hours before bed so if you’re able to turn them down when you put your phone away, even better.
30 Minutes Before Bed: Take Your Vitamins
A good number of sleep-supporting vitamins usually work best when taken 15-30 minutes before bed. Restful sleep is an essential for everyone so there are a lot of popular ingredients out there that many folks turn to for quality sleep.
Look for ingredients like:
- Valerian (herbal remedy to fall asleep faster)
- Hops (without being in beer though, sorry)
- Melatonin (circadian rhythm support)
- 5-HTP (encourages melatonin production)
- GABA (relaxes the mind)
- CBD (helps occasional feelings of anxiousness)
- L-theanine (supports quality sleep)