9 Bedtime Rituals to Maximize Your Sleep Benefits
Try adding these 9 bedtime rituals into your nighttime routine to maximize health benefits and more..
November 20, 2020
Getting a good night's sleep starts well before you actually get into bed. To maximize your sleep benefits, it is important to start unwinding early in the evening so that you sleep better later.
What kind of sleep benefits am I talking about? Some possible health perks include:
- Boost your immune system
- Improve digestion
- Decrease stress
- Improve focus
- Lose weight
I personally consider myself the Queen of Nighttime Routines. I start prepping myself for a good night’s sleep the minute I clock out from work. My evenings are all about relaxing and unwinding. When my bedtime rolls around, I’m ready to fall asleep fast and get my full 8 hours - and all the health benefits that come with it. Want to improve your own bedtime routine? Try adding these 9 bedtime rituals into your nighttime routine to maximize health benefits and more:
1. Disconnect From Work
Shut down your computer, silence your work phone, and ignore those emails! When the boundary between working and relaxing is blurred, workplace stress bleeds into your evening. This stress will make it difficult to sleep later. Having a strict end time to your workday signals to your brain it is time to unwind.
2. Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Bedtime
You’ve probably heard that rule about not eating after 7 PM, but everybody’s schedule is different. Instead, aim to finish eating at least three hours before bed. This way, your body has time to rest and digest. Eating a large meal right before sleeping can lead to heartburn and indigestion.
3. Wear Luxurious Pajamas
You might be thinking “why would I dress up just to go to bed?” but seriously, slipping into silk pajamas or a super cute set of PJs is a great feeling. Looking good even before bed helps you feel more put together, allowing you to relax and feel more at ease. If you’re someone who isn’t excited to get into bed every evening, this ritual might just make you a convert.
4. Play Calming Music
Pump up jams may be great during the day, but at night opt for soothing tunes. I personally love smooth jazz in the evenings. Anything slow and calming like classical music or even low-fi hip hop. Listening to calm music will cause you to calm down as well and ultimately help you sleep better.
5. Drink Chamomile Tea
Few things make me sleepy faster than hot chamomile tea. Look for either pure chamomile or a caffeine-free herbal tea blend with chamomile. Science tells us that chamomile specifically can help reduce anxiety and initiate sleep. Even just holding a warm mug in your hands and smelling the floral aroma is enough to soothe my whole soul.
6. Diffuse Lavender Essential Oil
If you’re like me, you have an essential oil for every scenario. I love citrus for mornings, eucalyptus to calm the nerves, and of course, lavender to induce sleep. Studies show that lavender essential oil can help you fall asleep faster and wake up more invigorated. Getting enough sleep will help you focus more the next day, but adding lavender oil to your bedtime ritual will take it up a notch.
7. Light Candles
As a human, your body and brain are super sensitive to light. Light impacts our circadian rhythm. Too much light at night prevents you from producing the sleep hormone, melatonin. Once the sun goes down, turn off harsh lights. Instead, turn on warm-toned lamps and light some candles. If you don’t already have a pink salt lamp, I highly recommend getting one! Not only does lower light signal to your body that it is time to sleep, it also creates a more relaxing ambiance.
If you suffer from a racing mind at night, journaling is the bedtime ritual for you. Writing all of your thoughts out allows your brain to unload the baggage from your day. Journaling also lets you record any ideas or responsibilities you’re worried about forgetting tomorrow morning. Anything weighing on you feels much lighter once you put it down on paper.
At the end of the day, nothing helps release tension in our bodies and our minds better than a good, deep stretch. I love to do one of the stretch sessions from the Warrior’s Stretch & Flex challenge every night before bed. Stretching before bed helps your body rest and digest. You’ll find yourself able to fall asleep much faster and enjoy deeper sleep as well.
You Can Start Sleeping Better Tonight
The bedtime rituals listed above are especially great when done every day. However, the benefits can be experienced after just one night. Even if you spent last night awake until 2 AM on your phone while drinking coffee, taking the time to disconnect and sip some chamomile tonight will immediately improve your sleep. Your mission: try at least 1-2 of these relaxing routines this evening and notice how much better you sleep and feel. You can save and or share this graphic below. Sweet dreams!