You probably know the mindset of cutting down on a few hours of sleep because of a deadline or simply because you had to watch an extra two episode of your favorite TV show.
Trust me, I know the feeling. But what I have also come to realize is that sleep is more important than we think. What might surprise you is that a night routine before bedtime is almost just as important. This is the time where you should unplug from technology, relax, and recharge for the next day. Here is how you do it.
1. Take out 1 hour for your new night routine
Scheduling one hour before bedtime is great to incorporate a healthy routine and pamper yourself before bed. One hour may seem like a lot to replace with your otherwise scheduled ‘Orange is the New Black’ episode, but it is so important that you take this time to unplug from technology and treat yourself with a book and a cup of tea to make you feel refreshed for the next day. 11 p.m is an ideal bedtime (depending on when you get up in the morning), so set an alarm that goes off at 10 p.m and you will know it is time for some me-time. The following tips will teach you how you can create the perfect night routine.
2. Set the mood & unplug
Setting the mood is easy and fun: light candles around the room, find your favorite snuggle blanket and cozy up on the couch or in bed. I love drinking tea because it often lets me relax after a stressful day. There are many teas on the market that will help you de-stress, like Your Tea’s Sleep Tea that is ideal for those who struggle with sleep.
We have all heard that it is good to unplug from technology once in a while, but most of us do not even know why. ATTN did a great article about why it is so important to unplug and the studies behind it. Essentially, we are over-stimulating ourselves by constantly being on our phones and laptops. Constant connectivity makes it hard to sustain attention on one task at a time, making it very similar to ADHD. The solution is to unplug as much as you can especially before bed since the screen light will interrupt your inner-clock making it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead, do other activities that you love doing, like writing, drawing, listening to music or reading a book. This will improve your productivity and ability to focus.
3. Read before bed
I have always loved reading. I read a very broad selection of books like non-fiction marketing and self-development books, science fiction novels and even a classic once in a while like The Great Gatsby. You should choose any genre that you find exciting. If you do not normally enjoy reading or have not read in a very long time, start by finding a book that your favorite movie is based on, or even start by listening to an audiobook. It is a great idea to start with a light read and once you get into it, you are hooked!
4. Make a to-do list for the next day
If you are one of those people that cannot fall asleep because you are thinking of all the things you have to get done, this is an easy trick for you! Get your to-dos down on paper, before you go to sleep and you will instantly relax and get the best sleep possible because you do not have to worry about remembering all the taks that are on your mind. This easy and simple trick will also make you much more focused the next morning because you know what is scheduled. There are tons of cute printable to-do list and weekly planners on Etsy: I recently purchased this weekly planner, and it has made a huge difference on my productivity and focus.
5. Invest in a great pillow & pillowcase
Do you know how important it is to sleep with the right pillow at night? Finding the right pillow is almost just as important as sleeping on a good mattress as both are supposed to support your back, neck, and posture while you sleep. I would definitely recommend investing in the right pillow because it is not only a great long-term investment, it helps prevent neck pain and headaches. I recently invested in two bamboo pillows and they have been worth all the money! The pillow is made of bamboo fiber and is promoted as being ‘six regular pillows in one’ providing you with the best sleep of your life. It has definitely helped to fend off any headaches or neck aches that I have struggled with in the past. I sleep with silk pillowcases because it prevents wrinkles and morning bed hair, and has plenty of other benefits.
6. Sleep in total darkness
Sleeping in total darkness is essential in order to get the best sleep ever. There are so many studies that show that the light surrounding us while we sleep has a serious effect on almost everything. Premature aging, weight gain, heart problems – the list goes on. A 10-year study even found a link between the odds of developing breast cancer and sleeping with the lights on. The reasons for this is the hormone melatonin that is being underproduced if you do not sleep in total darkness. This should be more than enough reasons for us to close the blinds, snuggle under the sheets and dream on.