Sleep grounds us, slows us down, helps us focus clearly, and improves our mood during waking hours. As we transition into winter, it’s the perfect time to give our bedtime routine the love and care it deserves, so that we can really truly enjoy the third of our lives that we spend in bed.
1. Go to bed at the same time each day
Just like we do with our children, we should go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each night and day. This way both your body and mind get into their own natural sleepytime rhythm—without relying upon external support such as sleeping meds, or any other outside crutch.
2. Be less reliant on artificial light
All those overhead lights that light up our homes like jack-o-lanterns put a bit of a damper on our ability to wind down naturally after the sun sets. Once evening sets in, turn off the bright overhead lighting, and illuminate your home with soothing lamps and soft sconces.
3. Turn off your screens a bit earlier each day
The blue light that comes from our laptops, cell phones and televisions actually prevent us from winding down at night. The blue light keeps us more awake than other forms of artificial light, so keeping your electronics on is more harmful to your sleep than you thought. After sunset, take the time to enjoy some quiet time with your loved ones or curled up on the couch with a good book, and try to avoid surfing the internet or watching movies. Save the movies and other forms of entertainment for special days such as the weekend.
4. Treat yourself to the best bed available
There's nothing like sleeping on a truly high-quality bed for deep, restorative sleep. My favorite type of bed is a natural memory foam bed from Essentia Mattress Company. Their beds are top of the line and totally eco-friendly. There's even a bed especially designed for athletes! There are a number of brands like this—so don’t be afraid to put a little research into this step!
5. Take a relaxing aromatherapy bath
A warm bath with salts and essential oils is the perfect reset for your nervous system. I love to fill my claw foot tub with Epsom salts or dead sea salts along with several drops of organic lavender essential oil or marjoram essential oil from Mountain Rose Herbs.
6. Apply oil to the soles your feet
The Ancients believed the feet to be portals to surrender. They also viewed the anointing of another's feet to be the ultimate act of selfless love. That said, I like to rub my feet (and the feet of my partner) with one of these mystical, magical essential oils before drifting off to sleep.
7. Keep a dream journal next to your bed
This season is an ideal time to get really reflective and turn inward. Keeping a dream journal adds a bit of creativity and curiosity to our sleeping hours, and for me, makes them more of a journey or adventure into my soul, rather than a mere biological necessity. I love the Ganesh and Lakshmi journals at Sivana Spirit, but you can make a dream journal out of any notebook you have!
8. Take a little kava
I found this product a couple years ago, and it helps me drift easily into sleep while also helping me go instantly back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night—because of this little kava blend I've never had to turn to pharmaceuticals. Test it out, and if you like it, you can add it into your routine when you’re suffering from mild insomnia.
9. Read uplifting spiritual literature before bed
Reading a piece of spiritual literature—one that's nourishing to my soul—helps me feel connected to the pulse of life. It make me feel sure that “every little thing's gonna be alright,” which also helps me fall easily into a deep sleep.
10. Take some time to reflect
Reflect upon your day, your week, or your year. Use this wind-down time to re-connect you’re your soul’s purpose—send out a little prayer to the universe, talk to the divine, send loving energy to someone you care about deeply. Taking a moment to pause, and reconnect with the calming breath of life, or even to ask for help in getting a restorative deep sleep, is never a bad idea. Craft yourself a little bedtime prayer as you may have done when you were a child—make sure what you craft is something that truly resonates with you.
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