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Bedtime Rituals: Rules to Live By

Posted on: September 26th, 2018 by Elysiann Bishop

sleepLiving in our fast-paced, high-stress, and 24-hour world, getting a good night’s rest can be a challenge. While some of the demands of daily life may be out of our control, there are ways that we can build peace and calm into our schedules. One such way is by instituting beneficial bedtime rituals – measures that help us relax, sleep well, and consequently have smoother days. If better rest sounds like a goal you’d like to achieve, read on and consider these proven bedtime rituals:

Dim the lights. Before the days of electricity, life had a natural rhythm as the sun rose and set, forcing people to turn in earlier.Today, as we create our own daylight round the clock, our bodies may not produce adequate melatonin during the dark hours, needed to induce sleep. Start dimming the lights in your home a couple of hours before bedtime, and don’t forget to shut down those blue-light emitting screens – electronic devices have even more detrimental sleep effects than overhead lighting and lamps.

Take a bath. Sinking into a tub after a long day is good for the soul – slipping into jammies all clean and cozy can practically whisk you back to childhood. That warm water can help relax muscles and ease tension as well, leading to a more restful night.

Enjoy a warm drink. This ritual is not only emotionally soothing, but it may also have physical benefits as well. Some traditional evening beverages, such as chamomile tea, have been shown to offer sleep-inducing benefits. Try a commercially blended sleepy time tea and sip the cares of the day away.

Put it on paper. Whether you draw or write, some form of journaling can put your racing thoughts to rest before bed. If you’re having trouble getting started, try a gratitude journal – jot down three great things that happened during the day. Or, simply write in a stream of consciousness to release your anxieties.

Meditate. This simple practice can slow the pulse, reduce blood pressure, and decrease stress hormones. Just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation is ideal for bedtime, as it requires only that you focus on your body and nothing else. For more direction, a quick Google search will yield countless techniques to suit your style.

Smell the Lavender. Lavender essential oil has calming effects – spray a diluted solution lightly over your bedding to encourage peaceful slumber.

Whether you incorporate one of these ideas or all, placing a priority on restful sleep can help you realize both tangible and immeasurable benefits for your health. Sweet dreams!

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