Working through the day on very little sleep is an uphill struggle, something that I’m sure we’ve all experienced! If it only happens occasionally then it’s not too bad but if it becomes a regular occurrence then your mental and physical health can soon start to suffer. Before you know it, you're stuck in a cycle of waking up during the night or even struggling to fall asleep at all. And, bedtime starts to create feelings of anxiety rather than relaxation.
But, sleeping well isn’t just about getting those magic 8-9 hours that experts tell us we need. I think that it's just as important to make sure that the hours you do manage are the best quality possible. So, let’s see how we can improve yours with this simple 30 minute bedtime ritual…
PREPARE: 10 MINUTES
It helps me to know that the following day is organised so that I don’t go to bed with a head full of tasks that I hope i remember in the morning. Spending a few minutes writing it down or adding it all into your day planner really helps to clear your mind so that you can switch off and begin to relax.
ENJOY A WARM SHOWER: 10 MINUTES
So often we think that only a bath can help us relax but try adding a few natural aromatherapy products to a warm shower and it can be just as relaxing - it also doesn’t take as long and so is much easier to fit into your evening routine.
REDUCE NOISE: 5 MINUTES
If you haven’t already then it’s time to power everything down. Turn off all of the screens and tech. Put your phone in a drawer until tomorrow and draw the blinds or curtains to reduce outside noise if needed.
MEDITATE OR JOURNAL: 10 MINUTES
Even if you don’t meditate regularly, a few minutes before bed can make a world of difference. At the very least try taking a few deep breaths, it really does help you let go of the day. If you like to journal then this is a good time to write a few lines, I love the One Line A Day Books - I’m into my seventh year of using them, they're so simple to fill in and I love reading back through them.
POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS: 5 MINUTES
Saying a few positive affirmations to yourself helps to reduce any tension that you’re feeling about sleep. Create a few that feel right for you but be sure to keep them in the present tense and always with a positive feel to them. A couple of examples would be ‘I enjoy deep sleep through the night’ or ‘My bedroom is a place of deep relaxation and rest’ or ‘I wake up every morning feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep’ - you get the idea. If you’re new to affirmations and feel a bit silly saying them, don’t worry. Do them anyway because everything’s worth a try to enjoy a good night’s rest, don’t you think?
So, there’s a simple 30 minute bedtime ritual to help you sleep better tonight. Give it a try and add anything else you feel would work for you; maybe you'd like more time to journal, read or colour - anything that helps you to unplug and relax before bed is a great idea.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.