How to Create a Bedtime Routine
Which Will Help You To Wind Down
My bedtime routine is now one of my favourite parts of my day. I can’t wait to begin the process of unwinding and slipping into bed before reading my book. Much though I love it now, sleep and a bedtime routine didn’t always factor on my list of priorities . . .
Getting little sleep used to be seen by many as a badge of honour. I remember reading about entrepreneurs and successful people who would speak about their “4 hours of sleep” like it was the most productive way of living their life. More working time in the day = more productivity – right?!
For some time I tried a similar method, often cutting my sleeping hours short in favour of working later into the night, or dragging myself out of bed early in the morning.
And spoiler: I felt zombie-like a lot of the time.
Thankfully, that kind of sleep depravation is no longer something we’re so proud of; and thanks to thought leaders like Arianna Huffington and her books Thrive and The Sleep Revolution, we’ve come to appreciate how vital, beneficial and revolutionary getting enough good quality sleep is.
In amongst this, getting into a good bedtime routine is vital.
I’m so happy to welcome Chelsea’s take on sleep today, this lady’s got the bedtime routine down.
Over to Chelsea!
Love, Monica x
How To Develop
A Stellar Bedtime Routine
If you’re a regular reader of this site, then you know we love our routines – especially when it comes to ones that help us start or end our days. And since we’ve already discussed a productive morning, today we’re taking things into the evening.
For many years, my bedtime routine looked like one of two options:
1. Get home from work, eat, watch 5 hours of TV, kinda-sorta wash my face, brush my teeth, lights out.
2. Go to happy hour with my friends, which turned into last call, which turned into sleeping in my makeup and whatever PJs I threw on.
Neither left me feeling blissed out heading into bed, neither left me sleeping very well, and neither left me falling asleep quickly (well, the endless margaritas would help, but I’d be wide awake come 4 a.m.).
Then, somewhere around my late twenties, the morning/nighttime routine movement started to happen, and I jumped on it FAST. A routine that made your mornings feel intentional? Sign me up! A routine that would limit sleep anxiety and tossing and turning? You know I was in!
Since then, I’ve been a proponent for a proper bedtime routine. I’ve even instilled one in my fiance, who usually hits the sheets before me these days (he truly loves his routine so much!). So, whether you’re somewhere in between my two options from above or are simply wanting to improve your own nightly routine, here are a few pointers when it comes winding down.
Give Yourself An Hour
No matter what happens during this hour, it’s crucial to give yourself time for your routine. And I know it seems like a long time (do you know how much Netflix I could get through in an hour?!), but it’s necessary – and pretty soon, I bet you’ll be hoping it was longer.
So, if you go to bed at 10 p.m. (like me!), do yourself a favor and set your phone’s alarm for 9 p.m. This is the start of your nighttime routine.
P.S. Going to sleep at the same time every night greatly improves your body’s ability to get proper rest. A win, win!
Say Goodnight To Tech
Everyone’s routine from here on out will look different depending on your preferences, but one thing is certain: no one needs anymore tech. By giving your brain a literal shut-down from tech, you’re allowing it to relax. No bright lights keeping your brain buzzing, and no getting lost in the Instagram black hole. No TV, no nothing.
After you turn off your “it’s time for your routine” alarm, switch on your “it’s time to wake up” one for the next morning. Then, turn your phone on Airplane Mode. (You can do this by swiping up on an iPhone or going to Settings.). This turns off your phone’s transceiver – which can actually get in the way of your sleep – and basically puts all notifications on hold. You’ll be happy you did this when you roll over to check the time at 3 a.m. and don’t see tempting notifications glaring at you.
What’s a good nighttime routine without a little beauty prep, anyways? Whether your beauty cabinet is brimming with oils and serums and all the things, or you’re a cleanse-and-moisturize kinda babe, spend some time on yourself. You deserve it!
Think about working in a body oil or a thick hand cream to finish things off, or even a face mask if your skin is screaming for attention. Whatever it is, do your lady thing in the bathroom and enjoy it.
Detox Your Mind
This is one of my favorite parts of my nighttime routine, because I think it has the greatest impact. Even if you don’t feel like you’re buzzing with to-do lists or work tasks (lucky you!), I suggest ending your night with pencil and paper. I personally adore my Five Minute Journal, but perhaps all you need is a plain notebook. The point is, it’s time to brain dump. Let go of anything that might keep you up or wake you up in the middle of the night.
Finish it off with 3 things you’re grateful for. There’s nothing better to get your head space right than some gratitude.
Again, this will look different for everyone, but this is now the time to really shut down. For me, that’s reading a nonfiction book. No storylines to keep me up or super intrigued. I quite like to be bored before bed, because it’s almost like my brain’s very own turn-down.
I know some friends who get sleepy from meditating, so that’s what they do. Or stretching. Or using lavender essential oil and breathing in and out. Anything to totally bliss you out and let your mind start turning off.
And “GOOD NIGHT”!
What’s Your Take?
Now, doesn’t that sound a lot more peaceful than haphazardly cleansing your face and trying to force your mind from tech to sleep instantly?
If you’re new to the routine, please check back and let me know how it goes! If you have any essentials that make up your current routine, please share!
Love, Chelsea x
Photography by Frances McMahon
Sheets: The White Company
Throw: The White Company
Glasses: Warby Parker
Cashmere Socks: The White Company