My friends definitely tease me (in a loving way, of course) about how much I value my bedtime routine. I'm totally the friend setting curfews, making us go home (a party pooper, I know), and counting backward to calculate the "hours of sleep I'll get if..." BUT this is because I know what makes the absolute biggest difference in the way I feel and function every day is the quality of my SLEEP!
I want to share some of the steps I take & products I use every night to encourage my brain and body to get the most peaceful, restorative rest possible.
QUICK NERDY MOMENT:
Aside from just the way I feel, from a physiological standpoint, our bodies NEED quality sleep. Sleep is when our breathing and heart rate slow down and our overall energy expenditure decreases. This conserves the energy we get from food (what we call calories) and redirects some of that energy to things like:
cell growth and repair
muscle growth and repair
protein synthesis (including the ones that fight infection and inflammation, supporting our immune system)
the release of hormones (including the ones that regulate emotions and support healthy brain function)
improve memory, cognition, problem-solving, and creativity
Who wouldn't want all these things?!
I do have a podcast episode where I chat about & explain my favorite (& most helpful) bedtime habits, if you want to give it a listen!
My Bedtime Routine
Plan for getting ready for bed. I usually want to go to sleep by around 10pm so that I can set an alarm for 6am, and I know it takes me about 30 minutes to do all the steps in my routine and 30 minutes to unwind and fall asleep, so I make sure (most nights of the week, anyway) that I begin getting ready by 9pm.
I take melatonin. I sometimes take CBD, too. This is not a recommendation for you, necessarily, but just something I'd like to share for full transparency! I have an incredibly hard time getting my brain to "shut off" at night, so supplements are sometimes helpful. I don't have specific brand of melatonin I use; I find them all really equally effective. When I really know my sleep has been poor or I am anxious at bedtime, I use this Prime Sleep supplement. When I use CBD, it's from Bison Botanics.
Did you know that your phone actually has settings for bedtime? At 9:30, mine goes into "dark mode," dimming the screen and making things black and white. My notifications mute til morning. These things help me avoid distractionsand visual/brain stimulation.
Prepare for the morning! I like to fill water by my bed and in the coffee pot for morning. I lay out clothes to change into (usually something I like to move in, to encourage me to do something active in the morning!) For a few minutes, I go over my planner for the next day, set any priorities to accomplish, and jot down things I want to remember. Clearing my head means I won't be wondering or worrying about what's coming the next day.
I like to go to bed feeling fresh, so I might jump in a quick shower. If not, I still like to wash my feet (is that weird??) and my face and change into clean clothes. It just feels better to me! You may already know I've fallen in love with skin care over the past year and use organic, plant-based products from Buffalo Gal Skincare. This is my current favorite cleanser. You can use the code BEWELLWITHSTEPH for 15% off any order, though!
Sleep balm makes me feel so relaxed and a little spa-like. This lavender Magnesium Balm is magic, plus magnesium is wonderful for sleep support. It really "sets the tone" for me, like flipping a switch that it's time for bed.
I like to listen to something quiet while I fall asleep. Sometimes I'll read, but I'm likely to get sucked into a good book for longer than I'd like! A podcast, guided meditation, soft music, or a re-run of an old tv show (with a timer on, and the screen dimmed!) usually do the trick.
**We also carry the above products that are linked above at Wellness in the Village if you're in WNY (because I love them & use them, and only stock products I love/would use!)
Remember, these are just the things that I do, use, and love to promote good sleep. Your routine might be different, but I think it is oh-so-important to have one!
Do you have parts of your bedtime that you love? Share with us on Instagram! Comment on my most recent post, send me a DM, or create your own post/story and tag @bewellwithsteph_ so I can share your idea with the community!
Sleep well. :)