26 Jul How to Create a Calming Nighttime Ritual for Better Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest can mean the difference between a productive day at work and one where you can’t seem to get all of your stressors under control. Those ever-beneficial zzz’s can also boost overall health, aiding the body’s ability to help the brain, stomach, muscles and lungs perform at their best.
The key to creating a calming bedtime ritual is to make it just that: ritualistic. Whether it’s a cup of chamomile tea or a spa-inspired, pre-sleep skin care routine, if you do it every night, you’ll easily fall into a rhythm that rivals your best circadian ones.
The Basics: A Calming Nighttime Regimen
- An Hour Before Bedtime — Brew yourself a cup of chamomile tea, get into your jammies and start the unwinding process with a soothing face mask and a hydrating skin treatment.
- A Half Hour Before Bedtime — Turn off all of your electronic devices, including your smartphone and the TV, to give your mind enough time to decompress so that you fall asleep easier.
- Right Before Bedtime — Fluff your pillows, dim the lights and start counting sheep. (Note: Don’t actually count sheep! Scientists say that picturing relaxing images is more effective.) If you need noise to fall asleep, now’s the time to turn on your white noise machine or fan.
Treat Yourself to Products that Soothe
One of the best ways to create a sense of inner peace before getting some rest is to use naturally-derived skin care products, like our Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm, which is designed to do extra work while you sleep. Paired with a good makeup remover and cleanser, a nighttime moisturizer can help combat the environmental factors that stress out your skin and provide a spa-like experience that makes you feel pampered and relaxed. You can also give yourself a mini spa session before bedtime using a calming face mask with all-natural revitalizers like honey.
If you’re one of the many people who have difficulty falling asleep, there are a number of tried and true natural sleep remedies that can help you fall into a state of sleep-inducing bliss. The National Sleep Foundation recommends melatonin supplements for insomnia and occasional sleeplessness.
You can also soothe away the day’s stressors with natural chamomile tea, which can help calm the body and mind so that you fall into a deeper sleep.
Creating a Sleep-Inducing Space
Spending some time to make your bedroom more tranquil and relaxing can really go a long way when it comes to encouraging good sleep habits. The most obvious ways to do this are to dim the lights and use blackout curtains or shades to ensure that no extraneous light enters the bedroom.
Do your best to impede outside noises, and if you’re unable to sleep somewhere silent, consider using a white noise machine (or a fan, air purifier or air conditioner) to help block out those annoying background sounds.
Design your sweet sleep space like a Zen oasis with some soothing aromatherapy candles — lavender, jasmine and sage are good options — and invest in some soft sheets and luxurious pillows to make bedtime extra appealing.
The National Sleep Foundation also suggests making your bedroom as clean and orderly as possible in order to help avoid distracting the mind from sleep. The optimum temperature for a good night’s rest is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to add extra blankets when temps are low and a good cooling system when the weather’s hot.
Getting Off the Grid
Not everyone has the luxury of actually going off the grid (i.e. hiking to the nearest mountain chalet where Wi-Fi’s not an option), but you can make your bedroom feel remote when you turn off the screens before you hit the hay. You probably already know that too much cuddle time with your smartphone can negatively affect your sleep cycles, and that studies show that people who use their smartphones more often have worse sleep patterns. That’s because the light that your screen emits along with the extra mental activity create stimulation that makes it hard to rest the mind and body.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests that your brain needs ample time to “wind down” before bedtime and recommends powering off all devices — including the TV — when the lights go out. Give yourself at least 30 minutes of phone-free time before bed.
In order to help you accomplish this, consider leaving your smartphone plugged in and turned off in another room entirely (pro tip: get an old-fashioned alarm clock so you don’t have to rely on your phone). Some studies suggest that smartphone usage can actually decrease the brain’s melatonin levels, which can cause a disruption in your natural sleep and wake cycles.