Happy Thursday loves. I'm off the LA this morning for another wedding weekend and am so in need for a little downtime and sunshine. I've been so tired and run down recently, that I've really been looking forward to getting away again (I straight up refuse to set alarms while I'm away, so the extra sleep will be key). Since I have been dealing with a lot of fatigue recently, I'm promising to spend the next few weeks really focusing on my sleep hygiene and implementing a sleep routine to make sure I am getting enough rest + the right kind of rest. Here are the elements of my new bedtime routine:
Dim the lights. Studies have shown that exposure to electrical light between dusk and bedtime strongly suppresses melatonin level and may even impact physiologic processes regulated by melatonin signaling, such as sleepiness, thermoregulation, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Power down digital devices. Keeping your electronics on all night is proven to affect your sleep patterns, which can suck all your energy the following morning. Try reading in bed instead of playing on Insta or watching Netflix. Also, with this one, disconnect from work! There is no reason for late night e-mails in bed, especially when it may stress you out and keep you from the good night’s sleep you deserve.
Reflect. Regardless of how your day went, try to avoid negative self-talk and instead focus and reflect on the positive parts of your day and celebrate your wins (no matter how small). Also, reflect on and picture the success you want for the next day. Studies have shown that successful people take a few minutes before bed to picture a positive outcome for the following day, which helps them succeed that next day.
Stop eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. There are actually two schools of thought on this one. One camp says stop eating 2-3 hours before bed and the other says a light snack before bed is more than okay. I personally suffer from digestive issues, which means if I go to bed with a full stomach I am bound to be uncomfortable which results in trouble falling and staying asleep. But on this one, experiment and see which works best for you.
De-clutter your sleep space. Even spending just 10 minutes cleaning up your apartment (and specifically your bedroom) and packing up your work and gym bags for the following day, will both help your mind relax to fall asleep (if you’re anything like me anyway) and allow you to wake up to a clean and more calming space.
Avoid stressful activities at night. I think this one pretty much speaks for itself. Don’t do things at night that are likely to cause stress, anxiety or start your mind to start racing about a million other things.
Decompress. Decompress by choosing activities or ambiance to transition your mind and body from the busy day you just had to a calmer more relaxed state before climbing into bed. This can be done by meditating, lighting a candle, taking a bath, using calming essential oils, having a cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea, or stretching.
Make a to-do list. Making a to-do list for the morning to help calm your mind by feeling organized and prepared for the coming day. Instead of trying to run down a long mental list (and probably forget something), write down what you need to do the following day. Since starting this habit, I’m much calmer in the morning and always remember to pack everything I need for the busy day I have ahead.
Get to bed. Listen to your body when it’s tired! Adults should be getting at least seven hours of sleep every night (although, I find I generally need even more). Getting enough sleep in one way to guarantee success for the next day. It’s pretty obvious that we all perform at our best when our bodies are actually well rested and ready to go.
Don’t watch the clock while you try and fall asleep. I have a terrible habit of laying in bed, struggling to fall asleep, looking at the clock to see how late it is, and then getting stressed about not having enough hour to sleep before my inevitable early morning wake up call. This then leads to more stress and tossing and turning. Moral of the story, don’t watch the clock.