Starting the day of right often involves getting restful sleep. Having a bedtime ritual can help you sleep better. Good sleep is imperative for good health. Current research shows a strong relationship between sleep and our brain’s functioning. Lack of quality sleep can lead to poor motor functioning as well as foggy thinking and lowered ability to overcome stress. There are studies that link insufficient sleep with increased rates of Alzheimers disease.
Here are some ways to help you create a bedtime ritual to sleep better and wake up feeling energized.
Turn down the lights
As the sun sets our body responds by increasing melatonin levels in the brain. Bright light at night can block our bodies production of melatonin making it harder for us to fall asleep.
Most of our devices, like phones, tablets and televisions emit blue light which mimics the effects of sunlight and suppresses our melatonin levels. Some devices have the option to switch to a night time mode that decreases the amount of blue light produced.
Start dimming your lights a few hours before you plan to go to sleep to boost your melatonin levels.
Some supplements can be hard on an empty stomach or having one more thing to do in the morning can feel overwhelming. After dinner is a great time to take any supplements to help your body rest and restore.
Take a mineral bath
Warm baths with a few drops of essential oils and a cup of sea salt can soothe sore muscles and nerves. Try adding magnesium flakes or epsom salt for sleep inducing minerals. I love soaking in a bath before bed with dried flowers and herbs to invite sweet dreams.
Gentle massage with your favorite lotion or body oil can help you relax and is a good way to start quieting your mind. Try rubbing yourself down with a magnesium infused lotion to help your GABA production. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, is a neurotransmitter that inhibits synapses in the brain. Nourish your skin with rich creams and oils can slowing brain activity to prepare you for sleep while relieving tense muscles and moisturizing your skin.
Mentally prepare for sleep
Take a minute to reflect on your day and write down your thoughts. You can keep a journal or note pad next to your bed to make a list of all the things you want to follow up on the next day. I tend to worry at night so I like to write down the random thoughts that are on my mind to help me stay asleep.
Stretching and meditating will clear your mind and prepare you for quality sleep. Doing a few poses to loosen tight muscles, especially from sitting, can relax your mind and body. I like to do a few dynamic movements like cat cow to increase my circulation and then follow up with deep belly breathing to slow down my heart rate and quiet my brain. Here are some other breathing techniques to help you relax into a restful slumber.
Having a consistent bedtime and waking time helps your brain produce the right amount of sleeping and waking hormones. Your bedtime ritual doesn’t have to be a drawn out process but having a few consistent activities can help cue your body for restorative sleep.
Create a bedtime ritual that works for you and sets you up for success. Sometimes starting the day off right can help you get the quality sleep you need and deserve. Here are some ideas to create a morning routine for an energized morning.