As I lay in bed, I couldn't resist the temptation to just quickly scroll through Instagram before turning off my phone for the night. I told myself it would only take a few minutes, but an hour and a half had passed before I knew it. My dry eyes were starting to feel heavy, and I realized that I had actually dozed off with my phone still in my hand. I shook my head at my lack of self-control and made a mental note to be more mindful of my screen time before bed. But I said that last night too, and the night before. Sounds familiar?
Overall, a nightly routine can help you feel more balanced, rested, and in control of your life. A small investment of time can benefit your overall health and well-being. Here are some suggestions to help you get the rest your body deserves.
1. Start by setting aside some time for yourself before bed. This might be as simple as taking a few minutes to breathe or read a book. What is currently on my nightly decompressing list is Sugar Jar.
2. Create a relaxing atmosphere by dimming the lights, lighting candles or incense, or playing calming music.
3. Consider incorporating some self-care practices into your routine, such as taking a warm bath or shower or doing gentle stretches.
4. Set some boundaries for yourself by turning off screens at least an hour before bedtime or limiting your time on your phone or computer.
5. Consider keeping a journal or a gratitude list to reflect on your day and focus on the positive things in your life.
6. Make sure your sleep environment is conducive to rest, with a comfortable bed, pillows, and a cool, dark room.
7. Try incorporating relaxation techniques into your routine, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization.
8. Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime, as it can disrupt sleep.
9. If you have trouble falling asleep, try setting a consistent bedtime and sticking to it, even on the weekends.
It's normal to struggle to establish a consistent, relaxing nighttime routine, and it's important to be patient with yourself as you work to create this habit. Finding the right combination of activities that help you wind down and prepare for a good night's sleep may take some time. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results - it often takes time and effort to create lasting change. Remember to be kind to yourself as you work to build this routine, and know that the effort you put in will pay off in the long run in the form of better sleep, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being.