Building a positive relationship with sleep:
There’s been a huge upward trend in self-care in the past year. People are focusing more on “me” time and engaging in activities like bubble baths, yoga and meditation. But one of the most important things you can do for your self-care is getting enough sleep!
Related post: 7 ways to create a zen living space
Now I’ve never been a great sleeper. I’ve had insomnia for as long as I can remember. Some nights I would sleep ok, and others…not so much. I’ve always been envious of those people who just pass out as soon as their head hit the pillow. But let’s be honest, that’s not most of us.
If you’re anything like me, as soon as your head hits the pillow your mind is suddenly like “HEY I WANT TO THINK ABOUT A MILLION THINGS RIGHT NOW.” Yeah…I know.
Luckily, with the right effort and routine, you can train the mind to relax, let go of the day, and drift off to sleep calmy and effortlessly.
A good sleep starts with a good mattress:
I recently changed my mattress to the Sapira mattress by Leesa sleeps, which has made a HUGE difference in my quality of sleep. The Sapira mattress combines a memory foam layer & pocket spring coils for a soft and supported sleep.
A good mattress is one of those things you don’t realize your missing until you have one. Then once you do, you realize how essential it is to the quality of sleep your getting.
I opted for this mattress over the classic Leesa mattress since I like a slightly firmer mattress with a bit more support. The mattress comes delivered in a small (well, small enough) box right to your door, and inflates once opened.
Besides the fact that their mattresses are so damn comfy, another reason I decided to get my new mattress from Leesa is because they are a socially responsible company. They even plant a tree for every mattress that is sold!
Since a mattress isn’t technically part of a routine, let’s consider this a “pre-step” to the ultimate bedtime routine. Once you make sure you sleeping sanctuary is cozy and comfy, it’s time to move on!
The ultimate bedtime routine for a better sleep:
- Keep it cool
There are plenty of reasons to sleep in a cold room at night, but one of the main reasons is that it will help you fall asleep. Studies have shown that sleeping in a cooler room can enhance your quality of sleep and will allow you to drift off more quickly & easily. I always lower the temperature on my thermostat a couple degrees in the evening, a few hours before I go to bed. Besides helping me relax, I love the feeling of cozying up under my warm blankets in the cooler air!
- Don’t go to bed full (but don’t go to bed hungry!)
I always make sure to eat dinner a few hours before I go to bed. Eating a big meal before bed can cause indigestion and lead to a restless sleep. That being said, I always have a small snack before bed, since trying to fall asleep on an empty stomach can be…well impossible. I usually opt for something like a bowl of berries, some crackers & peanut butter or a handful of almonds!
- Enjoy a cup of herbal tea
What could be more soothing and relaxing than a warm cup of herbal tea? A cup of tea in the evening always help me relax and has become a big part of my evening ritual. Peppermint, chamomile or ginger tea are all great choices.
- Write tomorrow’s to-do list, today
Every evening I spend some time writing out my to-do list for the following day. I do this both with the productivity planner (affiliate link) journal and a task management app called Asana on my computer. This allows me to fully relax before bed and not feel stressed or anxious about what I need to do the following day.
- Break up with blue light (say no to electronics before bed!)
This was one of the hardest things to do for me! Getting off my electronics an hour before bed significantly improved my quality of sleep. Computers & phones emit blue light that suppresses melatonin, (a hormone that regulates sleep) and basically signals to our brains to stay awake, rather than prepare for sleep. Try reading, tidying or spending time with your loved ones before bed and put those electronics away! (Tip: Most computers & phones have night-mode options that will change the blue light to yellow light. I always turn this on in the evening after 8 pm so even when I’m still using my electronics, my mind can start to wind down for bed.)
- Spend some time with a good book
I’m generally a sucker for audiobooks, but lately, I’ve made the shift to reading a “real” physical book before bed. (One of my intentions for August was to read every night before bed.) This is a time where I can climb into bed, get comfy and spend some time away off my phone and computer. This routine helps signal to my brain that it’s time to relax, unwind and get ready to sleep!
- Start an evening meditation practice
Another one of my August intentions was to meditate daily. I chose to mediate in the evening before bed since it is shown to help you relax and put your mind at ease. Currently, I use the headspace app to listen to guided meditations. Committing to an evening meditation practice before going to bed fully relaxes my mind and helps me drift off to sleep quickly and effortlessly.
Many Thanks to Leesa for gifting my mattress and pillow and making my dream bedroom space into a reality!