How often do you get a really good night sleep? A proper, restful sleep where you wake up feeling actually refreshed? Sometime in week 20 of your first pregnancy was your last great sleep perhaps? Given how important sleep is to our health, it’s vital that we give our sleeping patterns as much of a boost as we can.
These habits are ones that will help calm you before bed. It is all about unwinding, clearing your mind and removing the distractions that can often keep you awake at night. If you are a terrible sleeper with no bedtime routine, start with one of the habits and gradually add in others that will work for you.
Something for your skin
Chances are you have given up your beauty routine of the past, because, well who has time for that? But at a minimum you should be removing your makeup from the day, cleansing and moisturising. This will ensure your pores don’t get clogged and your skin will stay hydrated, helping to fight the dreaded wrinkles and other signs of aging. I use micellar water as a cleanser and makeup remover to save time. The Swisse Micellar Makeup Remover from Nourished Life* is a great product. As for moisturiser, I use Sukin but find this a very personal choice as to what you like.
If you have time, you can also do something for your hair. A coconut oil hair mask left on overnight will leave your hair so soft and silky. Pop it on before you go to bed, but just make sure you will definitely have time to wash your hair in the morning – super oily hair is not a great look! Taking a few minutes for self care is soothing and will establish a good pattern.
Something for gratitude
How often do you get to the end of the day feeling so stressed and overwhelmed. Whether it has been the kids causing chaos or a bad day at work, life is busy and hard. But practicing gratitude, even for the smallest things, can help shift your mindset. To do this, keep a diary or notebook beside your bed and each night before you go to bed write down one thing that you are grateful for that day. It could be as simple as a smile from a stranger or a chat with a friend. Remind yourself that there are good things in the everyday, even if you can’t always see them.
Even the act of giving your kids a kiss good night while they sleep in bed can be enough of a moment to practice gratitude. It’s amazing how innocent a sleeping child can look, no matter what trouble they have been up to that day. Take a few minutes to watch them sleeping and remind yourself that tomorrow is another day. It is not yet written and you can’t predict or worry about what lays ahead.
Something for tomorrow
If you often get into bed and spend time worrying about everything you have to do tomorrow then do something for tomorrow today. You could write a list of all the tasks you need to complete to get them out of your head. Or perhaps make lunches or prepare your clothes for the next day. Whatever it is, get a head start on tomorrow by doing something simple before bed. You will go to sleep with one less worry clouding your dreams.
Something for relaxation
Doing something relaxing before bed will get you in the right frame of mind for sleep and help to release some of the tensions of the day. It could be anything you find relaxing: taking a bath, reading a book (just not an eBook on an iPad screen!), painting your nails, anything! Meditation is also a really great skill you can tap into before bed. An app like Headspace will take you through guided meditations to make the process easier.
Something you just shouldn’t be doing
It is widely known that the blue light emitted from mobile phones can impact on the bodies natural sleep patterns. So what do most of us do? We say good night, turn off everything and jump into our bed to scroll through social media on our phones. Ideally, you should put your phone away at least one hour before bed and avoid any use while in bed. Pop your phone in a drawer or in your handbag if you think you might be tempted!
What does your sleep routine look like? Do you practice any of these habits?
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