Bedtime for me has always come easy, even as a teen I actually preferred nights in rather than noisy nights out. In fact, I’m pretty sure that my soul is decades older than my body, so I love nothing more than getting snuggled up and warm and resting after a long day.
For me, the home should be a sanctuary where you feel completely calm and content as soon as you walk through the door. And while I know many have the hustle and bustle of a young family, I still think we can all adopt a few spa-like rituals to help us have a relaxing evening, and a night that brings plenty of rest.
As someone who is always trying to make bedtime the best part of my day. I’m continuously looking for alternative ways to unwind, so I thought I would share with you what my current night-time routine looks like in case you’re looking to improve your sleep and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
This routine has been evolving for well over a year now, and I know it may sound a little rigid to have a routine for something so normal, but I began the routine because I just wasn’t switching off properly before bed. Due to work and other things that started to pick at my brain, I either wouldn’t sleep or it would just take me ages to doze off. It was one of those really annoying situations where you feel tired, but as soon as your head hits the pillow your mind decides it’s the best time to wake-up and remind you of all those worries.
So I decided to take control and give myself a routine that would give me the peaceful sleep I so desperately needed.
The truth is, as children we all have bedtime routines, it’s a form of care. Yet, we begin to lack this sense of care when we get older. Either doing the ridiculous – and believing that we can go to bed anytime because we’re adults – or simply not seeing sleep as important.
Whatever sleep camp you’re in, here’s the routine I’ve adopted for a relaxing bedtime.
We all do this, and don’t deny it.
As soon as I walk through the door when I get home I race upstairs to get into my comfies. I release the girls from the bra-jail they’ve been locked in all day, put on the lounge trousers that are two sizes too big, and a t-shirt that used to be my partners but I’ve acquired it through petulant child-like behaviour, and don my fluffy slippers. This is usually accustomed by a big… “Aaaahhhh”.
Dim the lights
Once dinner is eaten and the washing up complete, I begin to turn off all main lights in the house and switch on the lamps and light the candles. My mission for complete cosiness is one I take very seriously in our household.
Creating this warm glow around the house instantly makes me calm and relaxed. Plus the scent of the candles doesn’t hurt in helping the place feel like a twilight spa.
This little trick is also scientifically proven to make your brain begin to realise it’s night-time, and that it should probably start to slow down.
Switch-off the tech
I’m quite anti smartphones at the best of times, but I’m super strict about phones before bedtime. As many smart phones now have the bedtime app, you can schedule when you would like to begin your routine ready for bed, so you don’t actually have to look at your phone.
My app is scheduled to let me know it’s nearly bedtime at 9pm. Once the little alarm goes off, I put my phone on charge and put it away. Literally, I put it away in a draw, not to be looked at until the alarm goes off the next morning.
This ensures that I don’t end-up with my phone glued to my face all evening.
Plus, there’s nothing worse than trying to relax, and then you find something on social media that annoys you off. Your mood can go from calm and collected to furious, leaving not much room for a relaxing evening.
So don’t do it to yourself. Put it away. Honestly it feels so good.
Pamper / cleanse / tone / moisturise
Once the phone is well away I go through my little pamper session. Cleansing, toning and moisturising my skin. And brushing and flossing my teeth.
It’s probably the most basic routine, but it feels sooo good to go to bed with a clean face and clean teeth.
I also use a lot of aromatherapy based products such as Neal’s Yard and other organic brands, that smell divine and certainly help to let my brain know it’s time to put the day behind us.
Create calm – sleep spray away
Last year I found this recipe for an incredible sleep spray that you cover your bedsheets in – and oh my does it work a treat.
I cover the pillows and duvet in the spray just before bed and when I get in I instantly feel like I could fall asleep. My eyes go heavy, my mind feels calm and everything just smells heavenly. I think it’s probably my favourite thing in the world, and I even have to add some to my travel bag whenever I go away because bedtime just isn’t the same without it.
I’ve tried many sleep sprays, and to be honest they all work well, I just found that making it was a little kinder to my bank balance.
Massage the tootsies
Ok, yes, this may be a bizarre one, but trust me.
Before I get under the covers I massage my feet with either vapour rub or massage oil if I have some. I know it may sound odd that I don’t get my partner to give them a good rub for me, but for me, this ritual is more about self-love rather than romantic love.
By massaging my feet, I’m appreciating my own body, and being thankful to it for getting me through the day. It’s such a unique practice that can help your mind connect back to the body and something which is commonly done in yoga practices.
As well as being a great self-care ritual, it is also incredibly good for the body. Massaging the feet before bed not only promotes relaxation but improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. In recent studies, it has also been found to help reduce bedtime anxieties for those suffering from depression. So all in all, it’s blooming marvellous!
I’ve been writing a gratitude journal for many years now, and it’s a practice that has stuck.
While I know some people may do this on their phones, I would recommend trying to write a physical journal that helps you to properly connect with the things that you are grateful for. Plus, I always feel there’s something quite therapeutic about putting pen to paper.
Even when I’ve had a tough day, or feel a little down, looking back through this journal is a great reminder of how precious and special life is.
I’m a bookworm, and I find the best time to focus on a great read and really enjoy it is just before bed. It helps me switch off from the day, and take my mind somewhere else, where it won’t bother me with worry.
As someone who has many varied interests, I have read all sorts of books during my evenings. From great fictions that allow your imagination to run wild, to historical books that educate me on the world. I’ve always got a healthy Amazon wish list.
Usually, after a few pages, this is where I drift off.
I hope that my night-time routine has given you some inspiration, and some ideas that you can adopt to create a zen-like environment.
Sleep helps us in far more ways than we realise, so ensure you’re making most that special time of rest.
If you’ve got any tips or suggestions for things I could add please let me know in the comments below. I’m always open to adding more calm.