Why did I go to bed so late? Is this a question you ask yourself often? Well, I do. We all heard it before – sleep is important for our health and happiness. Aside from being able to function well and not to fall sleep on your work desk, getting enough sleep has other benefits as well. It’s well known that during a good night sleep our body produces hormones responsible for collagen production and initiates a restoration of skin cells. This is the reason why our skin looks fresher in the morning after a good and long rest.
So we know the benefits alright. The problem for some people is that even if we go to bed early, we still find ourselves staring at the ceiling because we just can’t fall asleep as fast as we’d like to. This might be caused by numerous factors, with stress being the main cause. The truth is, we all live busy lives, and sometimes this kind of lifestyle has a tremendous impact on our sleep whether we want it or not. Below is a list of my favorite evening habits that I feel helps me to fall asleep faster and to wake up more refreshed:
1. Say no to coffee at least 8 hours before bedtime. Coffee is considered to have no nutritional value to a human being whatsoever. In addition to that, it stains our teeth, dehydrates our bodies, and can be addictive. However, if you can’t live without a daily cup of coffee, at least make it a morning thing so it would not interfere with your sleep.
2. Do some yoga at least once a week. I recently got into a habit of doing some light yoga an hour before going to bed. It sets my body and mind into a relaxed and calm mood. This is something I like doing alone and when I feel like it without a pressure of keeping up with a schedule.
3. Take off your makeup. This is what we should do every evening no matter what, because dirty skin leads to a row of unwanted problems, like clogged pores, pimples, dull skin, and more. But in addition to clean skin, evening skin care routine has some kind of soothing and relaxing effect.
4. Prepare your room for sleep. Open windows to let in some fresh air and close blinds or curtains to eliminate as much noise and light as you can. If this isn’t possible, use a sleep mask or earplugs to block any unwanted distractions (fun and easy tutorial on how to DIY your own eye mask).
5. Use natural sleep remedies when and if needed. I have recurring insomnia (I believe it’s called chronic, but I don’t like that word), and lavender is one of the top natural remedies I use to fight it. I like drinking a cup of lavender tea before going to bed or diffusing some lavender essential oil in my bedroom prior sleep. You can also try valerian or melatonin.
6. Create a routine and stick to it. Last, but probably the most important habit is to have evening routine and stick to it day after day. This way your brain knows when it is supposed to prepare for sleep. Also, it would be ideal not to use any TV, laptops or other gadgets at least two hours before bed. I still haven’t mastered this one, because I tend to bury myself with unfinished work even when I know I have to go to bed soon, but I’m slowly changing this habit.
What are your bedtime rituals?