11 EVENING RITUALS FOR THE BEST SLEEP EVER
IT STARTS WITH THE BED...There’s nothing better than getting into a comfortable bed at the end of a long day. Considering how much of our life is spent in bed, finding the right mattress can make such a difference in quality of sleep. A medium-firm mattress is usually recommended for most, but at the end of the day, you should choose the mattress that feels that best for your body. The quality of your pillow and sheets are also crucial. Many eco-friendly brands use breathable fabric which allows your body to keep a pleasant temperature throughout the night. Sleeping with a weighted blanket can also help reduce body stress, leading to a more restful sleep.
CREATE A SERENE ENVIRONMENTMake your bedroom the ultimate deep slumber haven. Set the thermostat to the temperature that fits your body the best (most people like it a little cooler). Make sure you have enough blankets/covers on the bed, maybe a weighted blanket could be what you need. Do you like it as dark as possible while you're sleeping? Try some blackout curtains. Prefer to get woken by the morning light? Consider leaving the blinds or curtains open a little or look into purchasing a wake up lamp.
DESTRESS WITH YOGA & MEDITATIONYoga, meditation and mindfulness are all great ways to calm the mind and relax the body, which of course improves sleep quality. Yoga helps release stress and tension in the body by regulating breathing patterns and body movements. Meditation can enhance melatonin levels naturally and help in the process of falling sleep. Mindfulness helps you focus on the present, which means less worry and more zzz’s.
MAKE YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE WORK FOR YOUA consistent sleep schedule can do wonders for your sleep which in turn can make a huge impact on your life. Give yourself 30-45 minutes at night to wind down and start getting ready for bed. Once your body’s natural internal clock acclimates, you will find yourself getting sleepy at the right time of the evening and it’ll make waking up in the mornings a whole lot easier.
LET CALMING SCENTS LULL YOU TO SLEEPAromatherapy is a common practice for people who have trouble falling asleep. While essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, inhalation aromatherapy seems to work best for improving sleep quality. Some scents that encourage relaxation include lavender, damask rose, peppermint and oil blends made with lemon and orange. Be sure to read label instructions carefully to make sure you are using the correct amounts of EO (too much is not always a good thing.
DRINK SOMETHING SOOTHING (AND CAFFEINE-FREE)Attention all coffee fanatics (myself included)! Caffeine might be what gets us through the day, but it’s a stimulant that affects sleep quality and duration. It can vary from person to person but refraining from caffeine at least 6 hours before bed seems to work for most. Instead of caffeine, opt for a soothing tea instead. Bedtime teas that have been shown to promote sleep and relaxation include chamomile, passionflower and magnolia.
SAY NIGHT NIGHT TO TECHUsing electronics (especially cellphones) can make it harder to fall and stay asleep because they keep your mind engaged. Electronic devices also emit blue light, which reduces melatonin secretion. Try to stop using all electronics at least 30 minutes before you get into bed (ideally an hour if possible). If you must use your devices close to bedtime, consider investing in eyeglasses that block the blue light or make sure your device is set to a setting that only uses warm light.
UNWIND WITH SOME LIGHT READINGWho doesn't love getting lost in a good book? Pick up the book that’s been collecting dust on your nightstand and take a break from the stresses of daily life. Not only does reading make your eyes tired but it also promotes longer sleep by relaxing the mind.
DON'T GO TO BED SUPER HUNGRYAlthough late-night snacking is a frowned upon by many, going to bed starving might not be ideal either. Your body needs energy constantly, even at night so that it can rejuvenate and repair itself. It’s best to eat dinner 3 hours before bed so that your stomach has time to digest, but if there's occasional nights when you're famished and lying restlessly in bed, it's better to have a small snack and then head to bed.
CBD OILThe use of CBD oil 30 minutes before bed, either orally or topically, can promote better sleep. CBD oil helps with reducing physical pain and anxiety. Since many sleeping problems stem from muscular discomfort or stress, CBD oil might be just what your mind and body need.*
SLEEP ENHANCING SUPPLEMENTSIf you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still struggling to get a restful night of sleep, there are certain supplements that might help. Melatonin, a hormone that the body naturally produces, helps regulate sleep. It can be taken as a supplement to help your body relax when it’s time for bed. Magnesium is another supplement that helps you fall asleep. It works by activating the neurotransmitters that are responsible for sleep.*
*Make sure you discuss any supplements with your health care professional before taking them.