What do you do before you go to bed? That’s a strange question, right? Many of us don’t even give it second thought. We brush our teeth, wash our face, crawl up the stairs and flop into bed exhausted. Then we make the cardinal sin – we pick up our phones and have a quick scroll…
Which then turns into an hour or more of falling into an online rabbit hole of social media, online shopping and ‘essential’ research on something quite unimportant. Then we struggle to fall or stay asleep as our brains stay switched on and we worry about whether or not we locked the back door/sent that email/made the kids packed lunches.
The blue light emitted from our phones and other electronic devices tricks our brains into thinking it’s still day time. It delays the release of our sleepy hormone, melatonin, making us more alert. Using these devices delays our natural sleep patterns, so if you struggle to sleep then do all you can to avoid them in the hour or so before bed.
But there are other things you can do to increase your chances of a nourishing nights’ sleep, so that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Here’s our top bedtime ritual tips…
1. Indulge in a warm bath or shower to help your body relax. Don’t have it too hot or too cold as this will stimulate the body. Lavender helps to promote that wonderful sleepy feeling, so use relaxing lavender infused shower gel or soap, or burn lavender essential oil in a lavender burner.
2. If you have time, perform some night time yoga stretches. There are many free yoga apps available in app stores. Many of them have guided meditations that will help to put you in the right frame of mind for sleep too.
3. Drink a warm, not hot, camomile tea or a night time tea that contains oat flower or valerian root just before bed. Add a teaspoon of active, healing honey for an added immune system supporting antioxidant boost whilst you sleep. Necta & Hive Jarrah 15+ TA honey makes the perfect bedtime ritual partner.
4. If there’s anything on your mind that you need to accomplish the next day, write it down. Keep a notepad and pencil next to your bed and make a note of anything that might be playing on your mind. This will help to clear your mind of anything that might disrupt your sleep.
5. Read a book or listen to an audiobook in bed, using soft lighting just bright enough that it allows you to read. Alternatively, listening to a talk radio station such as Radio 4 will also help to relax your mind.
It’s also a good idea to aim to go to sleep and wake at a similar time each night, even at weekends. As much as it’s tempting to go to bed late at the weekend and sleep in the next morning, this will disrupt your natural circadian rhythms (your body clock) and make it more difficult for you to sleep and wake earlier during the week.
Having a bedtime routine isn’t just for kids. Adults can benefit just as much from a regular routine that helps us wind down and feel ready for sleep. Follow these tips and reap the rewards of good sleep!
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