I have a patient (let's call her Jane) who has mastered the bed time ritual. For most of her life she was troubled by sleep. Jane's mother remembers her always having difficulty settling into a comfortable slumber.
Perhaps it was fear of nightmares or other things that go bump in the night. It really wasn’t until recently that Jane committed herself to good sleep and rest and figured out what she needed to make the most of nighttime hours.
My patient found what worked for her and each person has to find the right bedtime routine for themselves. However, there are a few common rituals folks use to prepare for good sleep.
Here are 7 non-negotiable bedtime rituals to improve your sleep
1. Wash up.
Take off make up, rinse off the the day from your face, shower, brush your teeth…
2. Clear your mind.
Journal or meditate. I really like the app called “Headspace” if you need some guidance in meditating. The goals is to get rid of the metal chatter so you’re not up overthinking life.
3. Turn off electronics.
It really does make a difference. Electronic devices give of electromagnetic frequencies that can disrupt sleep. When you fall asleep with your lap top, iPad, smart phone and smart TV on, you’re already at an energetic disadvantage when trying to get quality rest. Plus, when your phone is close you’re more likely to check news, emails, texts and calls which is fuel to the fire of an active night brain.
4. Set a bed time and stick to it.
If it were only as easy as it sounds. I know it can be tricky to wind down once you got your second wind but getting in bed before 10a is ideal for good quality rest.
5. Establish sleep rules with partners, pets or children.
I had to personally set up some boundaries around sleeping with my daughter. She would often come and wake me up to tell me she went to the bathroom. I had to let her know that I was super proud but she didn't need to wake me up because mommy needs sleep. I know it can be hard with pets (or a partner) who move around a lot but try to establish peace in the bed ;)
6. Practice food consciousness.
Try to avoid eating acidic foods in the evening and refrain from consuming a heavy meal 3 hours before bed time. Digesting food as you're easing into sleep can be a recipe for acid reflux and poor sleep. Give your body some time after a meal before you retire for the evening.
7. Try diffusing essential oils.
Essential oils such as lavender and German chamomile can be really helpful and inducing relaxation.
Give these rituals a try and see if you can boost the quality of your sleep.
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