Going to sleep isn't just about laying down in bed, it can start hours before the bed is in sight through a good sleeping routine. One of the main reasons for not being able to sleep can be to do anxiety and stress that has come about during the day. When you lay down your brain doesn't always switch off straight away and that sometimes means we are still thinking. That can stop you from drifting off to sleep. By creating a routine before sleep you can expel some of the anxiety and stress.
Washing your face
One of the obvious routines that lots of people do is to wash your face and do beauty routines. This isn't only good for your skin but can also set the tone for sleep. When done regularly, your body will be able to pick up that when you start to do it that bedtime will soon be after. This can help ease your body into a sleepy state rather than trying to sleep on an excited body.
Meditation is a great addition to a sleep routine as it allows you to stop and quiet your mind leading to relaxation. It’s good to remember that all meditation is good and that there is no wrong way of doing it. Doing it 10 minutes before getting into bed or in bed works for processing the events of the day and moving emotions out of the way so that you can sleep. An easy way to start meditation is to lie down somewhere comfy and think about your breathing and parts of your body that feel tight or stressed. Breathing deeply and concentrating on the feeling of calmness or even thinking about the clouds and relaxing situations can help ease stress and anxiety.
Before you sleep you need to put yourself in the most relaxing atmosphere possible for yourself. This can include the temperature of your room as we all know, sleeping in a room that is too hot can keep you up a lot. It is a lot easier to sleep in a slightly colder room and get comfy under the covers than sweat and feel agitated. So before you start to wind down for bed, turn the temperature down in your room or get your fan ready if it's the summer.
Take a Bath
Everyone knows that a bath can be very useful for relaxation and adding this into your routine can help you wind down. Hot water can help in the relaxation of tension in the body and feelings of tightness that may stop you from falling asleep. Adding some essential oils into your bath can also be really good such as a bubble bath that has lavender in it.
Making sure that it's not too bright in your room should be one of the steps in your routine. Your body reacts to light whether it be natural or artificial to tell itself whether it's daytime or nighttime. This affects how alert your body is and having lights on whilst trying to sleep can confuse your body in thinking it is time to wake up. So try to keep the light to a minimum including alarms, phones, clocks and light from outside. Cover things up or get thicker curtains to keep the light out so that you can sleep in the dark.
Adding one or two cups of a hot drink like tea or coffee to your routine can help a lot with sleeping. The warmth of a hot drink and the effects of some herbal ones can help aid relaxation getting you ready to sleep. Obviously caffeine free versions are recommended so that it doesn't keep you up unnecessarily. We have a great blog on what to drink before sleep here.
Write in a diary
Writing down events and emotions from the day can be a great addition to your routine before sleep. One good way of letting go of stress is to write it down and express yourself in something that no-one will see. It also can help clear your mind and get rid of thoughts that would get in the way of relaxation and falling asleep. Remember to do this in a notepad and not on your phone or laptop because of that pesky blue light!