With summer winding down, many of us are settling into our usual routines. That makes this a great time to check-in on a particularly important one: our sleep routine. We all know our minds are usually as good as the sleep we got the night before. It’s critical we are well-rested so we can be at our best for ourselves and all the people we want to be present for.
First things first, you need a sleep routine, and no, that’s not just planning on going to bed every night. Our bodies run on cycles. When we practice certain patterns, our bodies adapt to them. Sleep is no different. If you don’t already have one, give yourself a bedtime. One of the most effective ways of getting your body to take deep, meaningful rest is help it anticipate those rests.
As an added bonus, once you have a usual time you go to sleep, it becomes much easier to wake up at a consistent time. Not having to fight your snooze button is certainly something to celebrate.
Once you’ve got your basic routine set, you can build on it. Light from screens and constant stimulation keeps the mind alert and awake. Powering down screens at least a half hour before bed helps our minds prepare to sleep. Sensory triggers can also help. Taking a warm shower 90 minutes before bed helps reduce muscle tension and the cooling down conveys drowsiness to our bodies. You can also use your sense of smell. Having a fragrance you inhale nightly in a lotion like our lavender balm creates an association with rest. Lavender is an especially good choice, since its scent already promotes calmness. It’s a quick and easy way to tell your body it’s bedtime.
Life can move so quickly. It’s hard to take the rest we need. But we have to remember, if we don’t make time to rest, our body will do it for us, and usually at a very inconvenient time. So set a routine, try these calming techniques, and cuddle up for some quality sleep.