If your hands and eyes are glued to your phone before you catch some z’s, consider that a tell-tale sign that your bedtime ritual needs a makeover. Sleep researchers recommend setting phones down at least an hour before bed because the light from your little screen can disrupt your natural sleeping patterns (aka it takes you longer to fall asleep, you feel more tired the next day, and you have shorter REM sleep).
Want the most out of your beauty sleep? Keep calm, put the phone down, and make a few tweaks to your bedtime routine. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
1. Calm down with chamomile. Chamomile tea is basically your wing woman for sleep. Aside from the wide range of health benefits that this herbal tea offers (including easing anxiety and relieving unpleasant stomach aches), chamomile is an excellent sleep inducer. Often used to treat insomnia and promote sleep, one cup of this caffeine-free drink will get you all cozied up for a good night’s rest. So set that wine glass down and get that tea brewing!
2. Lay with lavender. There’s a reason why every yoga studio smells of lavender. It’s the crown jewel of essential oils, known for its ability to relax the body and calm the restless mind. Lavender is often used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and depression as it’s been shown to slow down the autonomic nervous system. Add a few drops of lavender oil to your aromatherapy diffuser or use a lavender body oil to inhale and apply onto your skin. You can also try a quick 20-minute yoga bedtime routine with the lavender to help relieve even more tension from the day. Not only will you get better sleep, but you’ll also wake up feeling more energized!
3. Keep a gratitude journal. If Oprah swears by a gratitude journal, there must be something to it. Not only does practicing gratitude enhance happiness, it’s also been shown to improve sleep quality overall! This bedtime ritual is most effective when done a few times a week, rather than daily. Write down five things you’re grateful for in a journal. It can be as simple as, “I am grateful for my warm bed and fuzzy socks,” or something bigger like, “I am grateful that I received a promotion at work!” The perk of this practice is a two-fold — you go to bed in a positive state of mind and wake up with one too.
4. Zone out with color. Coloring isn’t just for children (as proven by the sudden popularity of adult coloring books in recent years). Heralded as a creative way to reduce stress and ease tension, coloring can be the perfect nighttime activity for those who can’t bear to pick up a book or journal before bed. It’s easy, fun, and requires very little effort on your part to get the much-needed mental break after a long day.
5. Pick, pack, and prep your next day. Pick out your outfit. Pack your purse or bag with everything you need. Prep food for one or all three meals. For those who struggle to wake up in the morning, this nighttime ritual is a game-changer. Spend 15-20 minutes doing one or all of the items on your morning to-do list. You’ll get a head start on tomorrow and making your mornings less hectic and less stressful than they need to be! Make this a habit and you’ll go to bed feeling productive and wake up feeling positive.
xx, The FabFitFun Team