There really is no better feeling than jumping into bed after a long day. For some of us, we knock out as soon as we hit the pillow. For others, it might take hours of tossing, turning, and repositioning, trying to get comfortable enough to catch some Zzz’s. Constantly checking the clock trying to calculate the maximum amount of sleep you’ll be able to get can be frustrating. Lack of rest usually results in us waking up feeling groggy, exhausted, and irritable. This can negatively impact how you feel and the quality of your relationships with others! In this blog, we will share proven techniques that will help you create a bedtime routine for the best quality sleep.
What is a sleep sanctuary, you ask? Essentially, a sleep sanctuary is a safe space one creates to promote relaxation and rest. Building a sleep sanctuary involves finding out what methods help you decompress at the end of the day and then implementing them into your bedtime routine. This means no more caffeine before bed and putting the phone away at least one hour before heading to sleep! Getting a good night’s rest is a form of self-care that should be prioritized. If you are spending more time at home due to the pandemic, this is the perfect time to give some of these tricks a try!
Keep in mind that not all of these methods will work for you. Everyone has individual preferences when it comes to relaxation and winding down at the end of the night. Even if you can only find a few methods that really work, this counts as s job well done!
Studies show that scented candles can actually help reduce symptoms of anxiety. If you find yourself struggling to relax and put your mind at ease by the end of the day, try lighting a few candles in your bedroom 30-minutes prior to dozing off! Holistic healing methods are growing in popularity, and aromatherapy is a natural, safe, and effective way to reduce stress. Targeting specific senses such as your sense of smell can be a great way to introduce yourself to the world of alternative healing.
Psychotherapist Chryssa Chalkia explores the science behind scented candles in her article on Counseling Directory. In her piece, she states, “The smell of the scented candle stimulates the part of your brain which is connected to memory and mood. From boosting energy through to relieving stress or even enhancing mental clarity, the healing properties coming from a lighted scented candle can deliver psychological effects”. It’s no wonder lighting candles creates a relaxing and peaceful ambiance in the home!
If you are interested in exploring scented candles and aromatherapy for your bedtime routine, here are a few specific scents you can try for maximum results.
Crystals are not only beautiful to look at, but they are said to have healing powers, too! This method of healing and relaxation is not backed by science, but many who practice holistic medicine believe that certain crystals have energy that can be beneficial for patients. If this technique works for you, there is no need to question the science! Stones and crystals are frequently used in spas and holistic healing centers across the United States and the world.
The history of this holistic healing practice is an ancient ritual that dates back to ancient Egyptian practice. Crystals and stones were believed to ward off negative energy, and we’re all about avoiding bad vibes! The more modern approach stems from Asian cultures, focusing on the concept of chakras.
Reading can help promote feelings of relaxation, peace and can improve your understanding of language as well! Fictional stories can help one escape reality for a little bit and get caught up in a tale that contains themes of fantasy. If you haven’t picked up a book in a while, try to incorporate this into your bedtime routine! We’re talking about physical, paper copies that do not produce harmful blue light. These rays produced by electronics can actually hurt your chances of getting a good night’s rest! So, try to put your phone away before getting ready for bed, too. (This is a tough one!)
If you have trouble putting your mind at ease, reading can be a calming and effective activity for those who need it! According to a study at the University of Sussex, reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. This is a pretty hefty number, so this method is definitely worth incorporating into your bedtime routine! You can even explore journaling, too.
There are hundreds of book recommendations out there. It’s all about finding a topic that is interesting to you and discovering an author whose tone of voice keeps you turning the pages! We find that light-hearted, easy reads are the most effective at night. But maybe you prefer a crime novel, autobiography, or even a cookbook! Feel free to get creative and explore all genres.
Bedtime book recommendations:
You’ve probably heard of the harmful effects of blue light on your eyes and the negative impact it can have on your sleep schedule. But if you’re someone who likes to have the TV flickering in your room while you wind down, it can be tough to shake this bad habit! If you enjoy having entertainment on more for the lighting factor rather than the entertainment, consider red lights for a healthy alternative.
Blue light is a harsh ray that is a product of our electronic devices. Laptops, phones, TVs, and fluorescent lights all produce these rays. Blue light is a stimulant, which means it keeps us awake, alert, and productive. If your brain gears are grinding late into the evening, it can be hard to wind down! Red light, on the other hand, helps your brain relax and unwind.
If you arent looking to invest in new lighting for your home anytime soon, there are other ways to help lessen the strain on your eyes and brain brought on by our devices. One method you can try is downloading software that helps lessen the strain on your eyes as the day goes on. The application f.lux adjusts the coloring and lighting on your computer screen to match the time of day/sun exposure in your specific location. The purpose of this device is to decrease harm to the eyes as nighttime rolls around, to give users a better shot at having a good night’s rest.
Listening to music around bedtime can be another productive way to stimulate your senses and get your brain in sleep mode. According to Psychology Today, slow beats are best! Your heart rate and breathing will slow down to match the rhythm of the music, sending you into a deep relaxed state. It is recommended to choose a tune with no lyrics and instrumentals only. You can play the song on your phone, through a speaker, or use over-the-ear headphones. The choice is yours. Pick what is most comfortable for you! If listening to music lulls you into a relaxed and sleepy state, you may have just discovered the secret to a good night’s rest.
Here are some relaxing playlists you can incorporate into your bedtime routine this evening!
Make 2021 the year of self-care and prioritizing you. There is no one more deserving! Sleep is just one way that you can begin to focus on improving your physical and mental health this year. For more helpful tips on bettering your personal and professional lives, head over to our main blog page!
If you incorporate any of these techniques into your bedtime routine, let us know in the comments!
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