Starting a proper night time routine can be life changing. My night time routine is always evolving and changing so that it serves me in the best possible way. I wanted to share with you a bit about what I do before I climb into bed so that I can do my best to get a good nights sleep. Ensuring that you get a good sleep is essential to starting your day off on the right foot.
Before we jump into my routine, I wanted to talk a bit about why sleep is so important.
Why Sleep Matters?
Sleep is one of the main ways that our bodies rest. In order for us to feel our best and be able to perform at our optimal level, we have to make sure that it is well rested. Unfortunately, so many people do not get enough sleep or have trouble falling asleep. I have experienced sleepless nights in the past and so I know how draining it is to deal with. Luckily, I have learned how to get my body ready for sleep and very rarely do I have a rough night sleeping anymore.
The following are all reasons why sleep matters when it comes to your health and wellness:
- It affects your ability to make decisions: There is a reason that sleep deprivation is considered a form of punishment. It reduces your decision making abilities and makes you more prone or open to persuasion. This will affect your decision to eat healthy the next day.
- It affects your food choices: If you have ever not gotten a good nights sleep, the next day can be especially difficult to make quality food choices. You will be more prone to indulging in things like sweets and salt the next day, as your body is stressed.
- Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain: if you aren’t getting enough sleep regularly, you will find it harder to lose weight (if that is your goal). The truth is when you are getting enough sleep, you will have more energy to get a workout in, rather than feeling drained and not being able to hit the gym (or whatever type of exercise you choose).
- Sleep helps to reduce heart disease: heart disease is one of the leading causes of disease in North America. Poor sleep has been associated with higher stress levels and a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. These risks are greater in women than men.
- Brain health: A study from 2013 showed that during sleep the brain clears out harmful waste proteins that build up between its cells, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s (stat from Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive).
- Personal reasons: poor sleepers are seven times more likely to feel helpless and five times more likely to feel alone (from the book: “Thrive”). These attitudes can affect everything, from our relationships to our ability to focus on our health and wellness.
My Night Time Routine:
For so many of those reasons, I have made sleep a major priority in my personal night time routine. Also, being a bit of a Type A person, I also know that I can feel very anxious. This used to be one of the biggest reasons I had a hard time falling asleep. I would spend my nights lying in bed thinking of ALL THE THINGS. Worrying about what was to come, what happened that day, what I needed to do tomorrow and everything else essentially swallowed me up. So I knew that I needed to find ways to reduce this anxiety in order to be able to get a solid nights sleep.
Regular exercise has helped big time in reducing these feelings, along with yoga and meditation specifically.
Everyone is different in how many hours of sleep they need per night, for me, I need 7 hours at a minimum, I do my best at 7.5-8.
Because I wake up around 5:45am, I need to be in bed and asleep by 10pm. Adele, my cute kitty (pictured below), has got her sleep position down pat lol.
Here is what I do to ensure I can fall asleep by 10 to get my 7.5 hours of sleep:
Prep for the next day: this means making a lunch and having it all ready to go in the morning and getting my lemon water ready. I drink a full glass of water in the morning and love having lemon in it. I get the glass of water ready and leave it out and then in the morning I just squeeze the lemon juice in it. If I plan on having a smoothie in the morning, I also get all of the ingredients prepped for it and have it out on the counter or in the fridge so they are good to go in the morning. When I do this, it is one less thing to think about at night, plus it makes my morning a lot smoother. Cleanse my skin: you know I am BIG on skincare. And one of the most important steps in your skincare routine is cleansing your skin. I love to do a double cleanse because it makes my skin super soft and it ensures that everything is washed off my skin. I follow this up with my serum and oil to ensure my skin is moisturized. Nighttime tea: I love to wind down with a hot beverage at night. Whether I do a cup of magnesium (more on that next) or this nighttime tea (or a golden mylk), they both do the job. I love this tea specifically because it is made with organic ingredients and it is formulated from ND’s right here in Toronto.
Magnesium: I loveeeee taking magnesium at night. Not only is this mineral missing from most peoples diets, but it also is kind of like a natural sedative. It really helps to calm down my body and my mind and magnesium is something that is involved in sooooo many different chemical reactions in our bodies. It also helps your body to relax, including your bowels, so be sure to be mindful of the amount you are taking. I like this brand specifically. No Phone/Laptop: I try my very hardest to shut down my laptop and my phone about an hour before I want to go to bed. With my phone, this isn’t such a big deal, as I also turn the blue light on it and I don’t actually like being on my phone very much. I have a harder time with my laptop as I am usually googling things or working away in the evening. But it does make a big difference when I shut it down around 9:00pm.
Saje Diffuser: I am OBSESSED with my diffuser. I got one last year for Christmas and have been over the moon for it ever since. I don’t quite know how I got along without it before. I usually keep it in the main living area of our condo, but at night, I like to move it to the bedroom. My fave blend is the tranquility one (pictured below). I like letting the bedroom fill with this scent before getting in there to go to sleep.
Pyjamas: This is something I learned about from Arianna Huffington’s book, “Thrive.” She suggests that the simple act of getting on actual pyjamas can help your mind get ready for bed. So rather than just sleeping in regular clothes, I put on actual pj’s and hop into bed. I suggest getting something light, breathable and comfy to help with your sleep.
Silk Pillowcase: This is a new find for me and I love it! Not only does it help your hair be less frizzy or tangled, it is also great for those that sleep in their side. This is because it won’t cause as many creases on your skin, so that you can wake up without those annoying AF lines. I got mine from Amazon here. Make sure to buy one that is made from 100% mulberry.
Set my alarm: I hate typical alarms as they make waking up quite a jarring reality. It’s not nice to wake up that way as it startles your body. So I much prefer to wake up on my own or I use this alarm that wakes me up with a gentle light. It takes a little getting used to, but I wake up in a much calmer state that before when I used a traditional alarm or phone. I really like this one a lot!
Turn my phone on airplane mode: It is really important to turn your phone on airplane mode so that you don’t have to deal with all the notifications that come with your phone. If you don’t want to go full airplane mode, make sure that you turn off all notifications so that your phone isn’t constantly buzzing or lighting up.
Five Minute Journal: Since starting my morning routine and night time routine with a gratitude journal (specifically this one), I have noticed a big difference in how my days go. It helps me to stay more present, be more grateful and appreciate things both big and small. I like reflecting on my day with the five minute journal and reviewing how I wanted my day to go and seeing what I can improve on. It helps me wind down afterwards, because I got it all out in the journal and I can rest a bit easier. Code HOLISTICFOODIE10 will save you money at the Detox Market Canada website, if you choose to purchase anything there, it never expires!
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What do you do to get to sleep? Let me know how your night time routine is or if it could use some work?