Your Sleep Struggles Solved: 3 Tips for a Better Bedtime Routine
Ah, sleep. Such an appealing concept, yet often challenging to put into action.
Whether it's caused by late night worries or a noisy roommate, poor sleep quality can cause us to be extra grouchy and unproductive the next day.
While we've all been told to reduce screen time and cut back on caffeine, a few additional strategies may help you finally get the shut-eye you've been craving.
Here are my top tips for developing a better bedtime routine, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
1. Designate a "wind-down time," and stick to it.
After a hectic day at work, I'm all about the mind-numbing activities. That means Netflix shows that require minimal attention, dark but hilarious memes, and various cat videos.
As simple as these activities may be, they're also difficult to break free from. Suddenly, it's 2 am and you've finished a Netflix series and found yourself on the real weird part of the internet.
To fix this, I've begun giving myself a "wind-down time" and doing my best to follow through with it. At this point, I snap into sleep mode. My teeth are brushed, my face is washed, and I have everything prepared for the next day.
Your wind-down time will vary depending on your schedule, but I suggest implementing it about an hour before you aim to be asleep.
Instead of putting pressure on yourself to pass out much earlier than you're used to, you're simply training your body to better prepare for sleep. And sooner or later, it will simply become a habit.
This strategy is essentially like sticking to a bedtime as a kid, but there's no night light.
Instead, there's an imaginary warning light. It's there to remind you that if you don't get to bed soon, you will feel like death at the office tomorrow.
2. Try a body scan meditation.
I've raved about guided meditations in the past, and I'm here to hype them up again.
It's common to experience increased anxiety at night, as we're likely less busy and therefore have more time to overthink.
Next time you're up late panicking about an upcoming presentation, give a guided sleep meditation a try.
While there are multiple types available on YouTube, I strongly recommend body scan meditations.
In this meditation, a voice will guide you to focus your attention on each part of the body - from your head down to your toes.
This can help you regain control over your thoughts, release tension, and relax into sleep.
Here are a few of my favorite videos to check out. I can honestly say that I always fall asleep before the end!
- Compassionate Body Scan - 20 Minute Guided Meditation
- Guided Sleep Meditation for Deep Relaxation
- 15-Minute Body Scan: Body Scan
- 20 Minute Meditation: Body Scan
3. Learn to love lavender.
It's pretty common knowledge that lavender scents can help you relax, but I was always skeptical.
Well, I'm glad that I gave it a shot - because I'm pretty sure that it's more than just a placebo effect.
In addition to lighting a lavender-scented candle during wind-down time, I also love Aura Cacia's Relaxing Lavender Body Oil. (You can grab it at CVS!) It's great for enhancing the relaxing vibes during bedtime meditations or evening yoga.
They also have an awesome oil spray called Chill Pill. (This isn't a sponsored plug - I'm just genuinely obsessed.) I spray it on my pillow and around my bed every night, and let it work its magic.
What other strategies do you use for better sleep? Let me know in the comments!