Creating a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Setting the Stage for Restful Sleep

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There’s nothing more precious than a good night’s sleep. As adults, we often find it hard to switch off and relax, leading to restless nights and poor quality sleep. Maintaining a healthy and restful sleep routine is an essential part of looking after yourself and your wellbeing. One way to do just that is to create a relaxing bedtime routine. Read on to find out how following simple steps throughout your evening can set the stage for a restful sleep.

1. Establishing a Calming Bedtime Routine

Getting Ready for Bed

As with any routine, the first step is to set yourself up for success. To establish a good bedtime routine, start getting ready for bed about 30 minutes before you want to be asleep. This gives you enough time to settle in, get comfortable, and prepare yourself for sleep.

  • Prepare your bedroom for a good night’s sleep. Wipe down surfaces, make sure windows are closed and lights are off, and neaten up your bedding. Keeping your bedroom clean and calming helps promote healthy sleep habits.
  • Do a quick physical check-in to examine any tightness or pain in your body. Doing so can help alert you of any potential areas you need to pay attention to during your practice.
  • Set yourself a time limit for getting ready for bed. It’s easy to fall in the trap of never ending “to-do’s” that prevent us from going to bed, so set a strict time for yourself.

Jump Start the Relaxation Process

Getting your body and mind in a calm and relaxed state for sleep can be one of the most challenging aspects of winding down from a busy day. Here are a few techniques to help you jumpstart the relaxation process:

  • Breathe deeply. Deep, belly breaths trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is known to reduce stress. Place one hand on your belly and watch it rise and fall as you take a few deep, slow breaths.
  • Take a warm bath with lavender oils, or cucumbers for the face.
  • Listen to calming music or guided relaxation
  • Do a few gentle stretches and practice mindful body scanning.

Wind Down from Electronics

We’re exposed to digital screens all day, and it can be difficult to let go of the thoughts that come up while scrolling through your phone. Give yourself about one hour before going to bed to tune out from all electronics. Meditation, or even coloring books and puzzles, can be great substitutes to help keep your mind off overly stimulating digital devices.

When the time comes to actually get into bed, do one final mental sweep to make sure you’re not ruminating over anything that has been on your mind throughout the day. Doing so will help settle the mind and prepare you for restful sleep.

2. Preparing for Restful Sleep

Getting a great night’s sleep is integral to health and wellbeing, but far too often we don’t make time for the kind of restful sleep our bodies need to be at their best. Unfortunately, setting the groundwork for a night of good sleep isn’t as simple as hitting the hay at the same time every night. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for a restful night of sleep.

Create an Evening Routine
Establishing a calming evening routine can help get you in good sleeping habits. Every evening, take a few minutes to do something calming. Make yourself a cup of herbal tea, sit out on the porch, take a warm bath. Putting this simple routine will make it easier for your body to transition into sleep.

Power Down an Hour Before Bed
Make sure that you’re unplugging from screens and technology an hour before it’s time to sleep. The blue light emitted from your electronics can reduce the production of melatonin, preventing or slowing down the onset of sleep. Banning electronics from your bed will help removes distractions and help you relax into a peaceful sleep.

Consult the Experts
If you’re having difficulty sleeping, consider consulting a doctor or sleep specialist. There are times when chronic insomnia can indicate a disorder or underlying medical issues, and attending to these issues is necessary for achieving restful sleep. A doctor can help you identify the issues and recommend treatment plans.

Optimize Your Sleep Environment
Creating an environment conducive to good sleep is important for getting a good night’s rest. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and just the right temperature. Earplugs and blackout curtains can help make your room a quiet, restful oasis.

  • Set aside time to unwind before bed.
  • Unplug from technology and screens.
  • Make your bedroom the right temperature and as dark as possible.
  • Consult a doctor if you are having trouble sleeping.
  • Make yourself a cup of herbal tea.

Taking the time to let your brain and body relax in the evening is necessary for achieving the restful, restorative sleep you crave. Paying attention to your sleep environment, setting aside time to relax before bed, and consulting a professional if necessary are all great ways to ensure the best night’s sleep possible.

3. Keys to Creating a Relaxed Atmosphere

1. Meditation and Mindfulness
A great way to cultivate a relaxed atmosphere is through meditation and mindfulness practice. Taking a few minutes each day to focus on deep breathing and be present with your body can help you to address any stressful thoughts and feelings from the day. With regular practice, you will find that you are less easily overwhelmed and can better manage distracting thoughts.

2. Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can be a wonderful way to connect with your senses, ignite relaxation, and create a calming atmosphere. Try using scented oils, candles, or incense to bring an element of comfort and peace to your space. Experiment with different aromas, such as lavender, dragonsblood, or frankincense, to find the one that resonates with you.

3. Nature
Connecting with a natural environment can be relaxing, uplifting and energizing. Get out in nature, take a stroll, listen to the birds, become aware of the feel of the wind and the sun, be conscious of the natural sounds and fragrances all around you. Taking some time to appreciate the world around you can bring a much needed sense of clarity back into your day.

4. Incorporating Music
Whether you prefer instrumental jazz, classical music, soft rock, or something else entirely, listening to gentle music in the background can have soothing and calming effects. Create a playlist that helps you to create a feeling of expansion and inner peace.

5. Visually Appealing Settings
The atmosphere of a place is not only composed of audible and olfactory elements, but also visual ones. Clear up the clutter that can build up over time and invest in pieces that add to a visually appealing environment. Use calming colors and elements of nature such as plants, stones, and crystals, to bring a more tranquil atmosphere to your home.

6. Comforting Activities
Engage in activities that comfort and uplift you, whether it’s watching your favorite movie, connecting with a hobby, or listening to soothing music. Making sure there are plenty of relaxing activities available to help you transition into a more relaxed state of mind.

4. Developing Habits for Quality Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to staying healthy and mentally alert. Good quality sleep helps to improve mood, energy, concentration, memory, resilience, reaction time and mental performance. Here are some helpful tips for :

  • Establish a schedule: Create a set bedtime and follow it as much as possible, even on weekends.
  • Create a routine: Calm yourself before going to bed with a pre-sleep routine. Try reading a book or taking a bath.
  • Create a peaceful environment: Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and comfortable. Sleep in a comfortable bed, and keep minimal noise and light in your sleeping environment.

We can also boost our sleep quality by avoiding blue light from digital screens for at least 2 hours before bedtime, and reducing alcohol and caffeine intake at night. Eating high-sugar or high-fat foods in the evening can disrupt a good night’s sleep as well.

Getting outdoor exercise during the day can also improve the quality of our sleep. Exercise can help to reduce stress and fatigue levels, and encourage our body to wind down and relax in the evening. This encourages the production of melatonin, which helps to trigger sleep.

Finally, take some time away from work when it’s bedtime. Avoid activities that remain in your head and stop thinking about work issues before bedtime to ensure that you’re truly relaxed and ready for quality sleep.

Creating a relaxing bed-time routine is an essential step in creating restful sleep. Creating an intentional plan helps to cue your body to relax and get ready for the peaceful moments of rest and natural rejuvenation that come from a good night’s sleep. With a plan in place, you can be sure that you’re doing everything you can to set an ideal environment for yourself to drift off into blissful slumbers.

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