Ever since becoming a mother, getting a good night's sleep has been one of the top priorities in my life ... and as a former night owl, believe me it wasn't always this way! But the more I learn about how important sleep is to our bodies + minds, the more I am convinced that protecting your bedroom and keeping good sleep habits is essential to our well-being. Read on for 10 bedtime routines that I have found helpful — adopt one, or try them all!
1. Clear the clutter. A clutter-free bedroom is free from visual reminders of work and to-dos. Get back to the basics with a freshly made bed and cleared bedside tables, removing any work items, children's things, and piles of laundry.
2. Freshen the air. Open the windows each day to let in fresh air, vacuum (including under the bed) and bring in an air purifier or potted plants to help reduce allergens and pollution.
3. Put away the screens. For the last hour before bed, I try to stay away from the TV, laptop, phone, and other devices. The blue light these items emit makes it more difficult for your body to relax and rest.
4. Take a warm bath. I love adding essential oils like rose, lavender, or eucalyptus (great if you have a cold!) either directly to the water, or sprinkled atop a handful of epsom salts.
5. Do a few gentle stretches or yoga poses. Slowly stretching is a wonderful way to begin to release the tension of the day. And in the morning, doing a few rounds of sun salutations is a lovely way to awaken your spine and prepare to face a brand new day.
6. Sip something soothing. A cup of hot chamomile or rose tea, or a glass of water with fresh lemon at your bedside is a relaxing way to end the day.
7. Gradually dim the lights. Beginning about an hour before bed, start turning down the lights. First shut off the brightest overhead lights, then gradually dim the other lamps until you have just a soft glow.
8. Read something positive. Right before bed is not a good time to pick up a book with very violent or dramatic themes. Choose something positive and uplifting instead to end your day on a good note and inspire positive dreams.
9. Write in your journal. Writing can be quite therapeutic! You can record your thoughts from the day, or keep a list of things in your life you are grateful for.
10. Visualize your life. I have asked the students in my current e-course to spend the last few moments before sleep visualizing what they want their home + life to look and feel like, and this is a wonderful practice for all of us! All you need to do is close your eyes, and vividly imagine your home, your day, and any other aspects of your life you wish to, until you drift off to sleep.