The stresses of the modern-day world, with all of its technology, opportunities to scroll endlessly through your timeline, and multitude of distractions and anxieties, can make it impossible to fall asleep.
Especially with a lot of people working from home, switching off after the day and winding down can be incredibly difficult. Resulting in less sleep, more stress, followed by even less sleep; and the cycle continues. Lack of sleep not only makes you feel fatigued throughout the day, and adds to stress, it also means you have less energy to do your work, go to the gym and do basic day-to-day tasks.
Getting into a good routine with your sleep is the best way to ensure you get good sleep, night after night. So, we’ve come up with a routine to start you off, so that you count fewer sheep, every single night.
1. Decline coffees and teas after 4pm
It’s no secret that caffeine keeps you awake. But it also has the potential to heighten any feelings of anxiety. So, although it’s tempting to get that 4pm pick me up, try to avoid it to minimise any caffeine induced anxiety when it’s time to wind down for bed later.
A good tip is to stock your cupboards with decaf tea and coffee, so at least you can enjoy the comfort of a warm drink, with none of the sleep inhibiting downsides.
2. Write that to-do list
A big reason why a lot of people struggle to drift off is because of anxiety and stresses of the day weighing on their mind. Did you forget to send that email? Or send off that important letter? Whatever it might be, try making a to do list for the following day before you sleep to put those worries to rest.
Make sure you write down everything you accomplished that day, to give you confidence that you didn’t forget anything, as well as writing down your key tasks to get done the following day. This sense of control will limit any work stresses, and allow your mind to rest and switch off as soon as you close your notepad.
3. Switch off your phone (and yourself)
Once you’ve got organised, it's time to switch off and start winding down. Try switching off your devices, your phone, iPad etc. Limiting exposure to your electronic devices in the evenings has been said to improve sleep quality, so if you’re in desperate need of a sleep SOS, this tip could be worth trying. Especially as for a lot of us social media exposure can cause extra anxiety.
If switching your devices off entirely is a bit too much of a commitment for you, try limiting your app times in your settings, allowing yourself limited time on social media, to deter you from that infinite scroll.
4. Read and listen to music or a podcast
The wind down phase should be in full force by now.
To avoid exposing your eyes to blue light on your phone or TV, but still doing something that you know brings you joy, try listening to your favourite album, reading, or listening to a podcast.
Whatever will help transport you to another world for a little while to help you wind down, do that. Doesn’t have to be a novel, or sophisticated classical music; just whatever bring you calm and happiness.
Another beauty of this phase of the night time routine is that you can do all of these things whilst in the bath. The ultimate wind down location. Try our rest day playlist for chilled out vibes.
5. Stretch or meditate
Meditation can be tricky to get into, but once you do it’s definitely worth it. Completely cleansing your mind from the day, and getting it ready for sleep, meditation can be as short or as long as you like, and is the perfect pre-bed compliment.
We know that training your mind to completely relax and succumb to meditation is very difficult, and can take a while to master. So, a good full body stretch is the perfect alternative before bed. Allow yourself to stretch in whatever way feels good, with no pressure for it to be the perfect routine (it’s not like you’re stretching for a tough workout!)
Try this Yoga style stretching routine to get your full body feeling great.
Have a hot drink (decaf!)
After warding you off tea and coffee earlier in the night, we’re now preaching the benefits of a good hot drink before bed.
Making sure you’re hydrated with a mug of herbal, non-caffeinated tea before bed is the perfect end to the day. It keeps you from waking up thirsty during the night, and with so many night time blends on the market made to send you to sleep, you’ll be snoring in no time.
A tip for this step of the routine is not to make your mug too big, as you might end up having to wake up and use the toilet throughout the night!
7. Don’t overthink it
Although we’ve just given you a night time routine that is bound to make your eyes feel heavy, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just like the saying “a watched pot never boils”, eagerly waiting for yourself to fall asleep can result in you...never falling asleep.
Try to enjoy the routine, and feel content in your destressed, calm mind, without expecting instant dreaminess. The less you overthink it, the easier it will be to fall asleep. And if it takes you a while, jump back a few steps, pick up a book and your tea, and wait until you get that sleepy feeling.
Take Home Message
Getting the perfect night time routine for you is so important and can give you so much joy as well as quality sleep. Try out this night time routine, and embellish it with a few of your favourite things to wind down, to make sure you’re able to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
We hope you’re heading for some quality Z’s tonight.
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