Getting prepped for bed can be a process. But why can't that process be a good one? You know, one that not only improves your physical and emotional well-being, but also helps you move toward a restful night while preparing yourself for the day to come. Here are a few ideas to help you create a bedtime routine that's not only efficient but also beneficial.
Items like nicotine and caffeine are stimulants, so they're definitely out, but hunger in the middle of the night can disrupt your sleep, too. A heavy snack may keep you awake, but a handful of cherries (which are a natural source of melatonin) or a slice of toast with almond butter would do the trick – and while you're already in the kitchen, it's worth doing a quick scan to see if any leftover dishes need to be washed or put away.
Stay on Schedule
Going to bed and getting up around the same time each day is a great way to make a bedtime routine extra impactful. It helps set your circadian rhythm and improve your sleep quality, and having a more specific idea of when you want to turn out the lights will keep you moving through the bedtime prep cycle instead of stalling out on one step.
Clear off the bathroom counter as you brush your teeth, or do some lunges on your way from the kitchen to the bedroom. Small additions that help you feel like you're accomplishing something while also preparing you to wind down are a great idea – just don't add things that will ultimately wind you up or make it tougher to sleep.
Whether or not all those blue lights affect your own ability to hit the hay, scrolling through your Instagram feed may not be the best way to unwind. Because electronics tend to stimulate your brain and even create more worry and stress (I'm looking at you, work emails), it's best to set them aside. Why not start shutting down electronics at the beginning of your routine? You may up the efficiency of the whole thing.
Add a Ritual
Spend those last few minutes before you head to sleep enjoying a ritual that brings you nothing but joy. Pick up a good book, try a little meditation, or run through a light, relaxing yoga sequence. The activity is entirely up to you, and totally worth it if it brings you additional peace or helps you relax as you head off to sleep.
Your turn. What bedtime rituals help you unwind and stay efficient?