Hey folks, apologies this week’s post for #TheEverydaySpruce is a little late…tech failures, creative procrastination & a long weekend of hard sprucing are my only excuse! Three days spent in our wardrobes & the loft has cleared a huge amount out, & taken a load off; completing jobs I’ve been meaning to get around to for so long now – it feels good & I’ve slept like a log!
Do you have a bedtime routine? If you’ve been reading awhile, you’ll know I’m abit of a night owl, and as such, I haven’t had much of a routine – I pretty much crash straight into bed. I sleep OK (mostly) once I’m in, but I do believe having a routine is important, and it’s something I’m looking to incorporate to switch myself into bedtime mode earlier.
These 10 things to do before bed are all things you could try individually, or mix up to create your own routine…
\\ SET A BEDTIME ALARM
Try setting an alarm for one hour before you’d like to be settled in bed. This signals that it’s time to step out of your day, turn off the tech, and start winding down. I find this helps stop the tech drift where “I’ll just finish this/look up that/book that/pin this/oh, it’s 1am. ooops…” Sound familiar? #guilty
\\ TIDY THE DAY
Do a (very) quick round up of the daily leftovers – the TV remotes, cups, school books, and odds that tend to get left out as we relax in the evening. Do the dishes. Pop a wash on. Whip round with a bag or basket & collect up anything that lives upstairs (take it up as you go to bed). Get tomorrow’s outfit ready & anything else you’ll need for the day.
\\ MAKE A NOTE
Write down anything from the day (forgotten shopping items/reminders), and a brief note of tasks/goals for tomorrow. You could also keep a notebook by the bed for jotting any inspiration flashes, seeds of ideas, or thoughts that you want to let out before you settle to sleep.
\\ HAVE A BEDTIME DRINK
Try warm milk, non-caffeinated tea, or fruit/herbal bedtime teas before bed – caffeine, even 4-6 hours before bed can disrupt sleep (I’ll be switching my afternoon tea to decaf then!)
\\ EAT A SNACK
A light snack that’s easy on the stomach can help ease the brain into sleep mode, and you are less likely to wake up due to being hungry. Good foods to include in a bedtime snack are toast, cottage cheese, cashews, chicken, turkey, banana, soybeans, and tuna. Avoid large meals or snacks too close to bedtime though (less than an hour or two), as a full stomach makes the body work to digest & therefore tries to stay awake.
\\ OPTIMISE YOUR SLEEP SPACE
Most folks tend to sleep best in a cool, dark environment. 18°C is perfect – heating off, a window open (perfect excuse for beautiful blankets if you get chilly!), and make your room as dark as possible. I must admit, we keep our room light with cotton or no window coverings – it works for us, but if you’re waking too early, perhaps consider a black out blind.
A good, supportive mattress is important too. We went for a firm memory foam mattress when we replaced ours & it’s made a world of difference. We also have our own single duvets as David gets very hot (his is 4tog) & I get very cold (mine is 12.5tog)…it stops the cover pinching fight and we’re both comfortable.
\\ DITCH THE TECH
It’s suggested that light from mobile phones can interrupt the circadian rhythm (the time it takes to reach the deep sleep cycle & the amount of time spent in that sleep phase): Leave your phone face down and away from your bed (or preferably, outside the bedroom) so automated notifications don’t wake you in the night. (Also good if you use it as your morning alarm & like to hit snooze #guiltyagain)
\\ SPRITZ LAVENDER
Lavender is well known for it’s healing properties & aids the “slow-wave sleep” – this is the deep slumber phase where your heartbeat slows and your muscles relax. It’s believed that during this phase, the brain organises memory too. Try a lavender spritz on your pillow and bedlinen…I’ve used and loved this one before, or you could try making your own – mix 8-10 drops of lavender + 8-10 drops of chamomile essential oil, 2 tbsp witch hazel, and 200ml water and pour into a spray bottle. This is a good one for kids too.
\\ READ A BOOK
Reading in bed is a great way to relax and slow the mind. Just try not to pick a page turner! I find magazines good bedtime reads as articles usually come to a close point, and are generally fairly easy on the brain. Pick something you wouldn’t normally read, and save a great book for morning, daytime or early evening reading.
\\ MAKE A SCHEDULE & CREATE YOUR RITUAL
Pick your bed & wake time, and stick to it – even on the weekend – for two weeks. This allows your body to regulate and normalise your sleep pattern. Once you’ve worked out what helps you to sleep well regularly; create a ritual of those steps so your body and mind is already feeling prepared for good sleep.
Sleep well x
The Everyday Spruce is a collaborative project with the aim to simplify | clarify | beautify home & daily routine.
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