Oh, the bliss of a good night’s sleep like this darling one! For those of you who have children or care for children or are around others that do, we all are aware of the critical bedtime routine you take with them to get them ready for sleep time. So, when did that stop, I ask? Why don’t we continue with that self-care to get ready for slumber?
For me, that requires some work! An active mind is what I have. I appear relaxed and mellow, but inside my brain is firing away. Noticing that. Thinking this. Analyzing how best to go about something. Wondering about, curious about, well . . . just about anything!
Everyone has a lot going on, but I have discovered some are better at shutting it off than others. I am not a member of that group. I would call myself inquisitive as a lot of things, people and places interest me and get me thinking. My relationships mean everything to me so I put a lot of thought into them as well. So, I think. and think some more. A lot. Ask my husband, my children. They will tell you.
This brings me to my night time routines that I need to do to rest the brain from all that thinking! I wrote about designing a restful bedroom here and it is absolutely helpful in getting great shut-eye, but for thinkers like me, we have to do more.
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Here are the things I try to do before bedtime and the actions I try not to take too close to bedtime to try to sleep like a baby or at least close to it:
Create daytime movement. When I exercise regularly, I sleep better. But other than an after dinner walk, I try not to do any big exercise routine too close to bedtime. For some, it can make you more awake. But. some studies are saying for others, however, it does not matter.
Pick your channels. I try to avoid violent or doomsday television programming or movies at night. I am not always successful at that as watching the news lately falls in that category! But, I do get wrapped up in them and find them alarming. Instead, I try to select funny or relaxing shows to wind down. Or, I read as well.
Use warm water. Taking a hot soak or shower can really relax you but just make sure you hydrate well before, during and after a hot bath to avoid dehydration. Here is how to make that bath extra health inducing.
List it. In the evening, I make a list of what I want and need to do the next day. If I roughly plan the next day, then I don’t think about what I am going to do all night long!
Keep it light. It is not always possible, but I try to avoid heavy discussions late at night or . . . you guessed it. I will just start thinking again.
Keep the refrigerator closed. Other than fluids, I rarely eat after dinner. I like to give my digestion a rest.
Think like a bear. Keeping the bedroom cool and dark helps induce better sleep.
Cozy up. Nothing better than a snuggle with my beloved Giant Schnauzer and any other family members that will have me before bed. It reminds me what I cherish the most!
Take time for meditation and/or prayer. Giving thanks and quieting the mind can be an enormous way to soothe the soul. When we focus on what is right we have less to fret about!
Play a lullaby. Lullabies aren’t just for babies! Soothing music, my white noise maker – restful sounds can all slow down our thoughts and relax our body.
CALMING NIGHT TIME TONIC
When I can, I like to make a warm drink before bed. Somehow, it signals bedtime to me. Here is one I have been making lately. So, while I am making that list for tomorrow (see tip above), I make this:
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- sprinkle of ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
- drizzle of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
Now do this
- Heat the almond milk with the spices and vanilla in a small pot.
- Place raw honey in a mug.
- Pour warm milk over honey in a mug and stir well.
Note: Turmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and superfood, but is a very bright yellow and can stain. I always have a large napkin with me to soak up any drizzles.
What say you? Please give this insomniac any tips you can add to the list to sleep better at night and rest easy!
- Want some other spices to add to your warm milk at night? Switch it up with these health promoting spices.
- There are BIG differences between the various honeys on the market. Find out which type of honey really has the health benefits.
baby: photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/kkleinrn/14942207032/”>KkleinRN</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>
coffee cup/girl: photo credit: Splitshire.com