It seems like everyone’s writing about sleep routines. That’s great, sleep is very important and we live in a culture that has a pretty complicated view of rest/work balance. I just can’t help notice that most of these sleep routines are being written from light flooded luxury lofts and require $50 candles and $400 sheets.
Listen, I love sleeping as much as the next person but I don’t know anyone in a position to spend that much money on a sleep routine. That doesn’t mean a sleep routine itself is a luxury we should go without. If your goal is to wake up early and have that picturesque productive morning, a well-constructed sleep routine is vital.
So I’m writing my own realistic sleep routine that requires minimal investment but is just as effective (I’d even argue it’s better because I tend to sleep more soundly knowing my bank account isn’t stressed).
This is my own night routine, but you should pick and choose what suits you to create your own night routine.
Every article that talks about waking up early says you should go to bed at the same time each night. That’s because it’s true. Yeah, I’m bad at it too but are you really trying though? Because I’m not. So let’s start together after having read it for the 50th time instead of waiting till the 100th.
You should also start your sleep routine 1 hour before you actually want to go to sleep. I know, I always wait until 10 PM to go to sleep at 10 PM too. It doesn’t work. Just remember that your productice morning actually starts the night before.
Strains for Sleep
If you’re lucky enough to live in a state that’s got it together, you can purchase a strain of weed that will make your pre-bed ritual its own nightly event that you look forward to. Whether you decide to be old fashion with straight up flower or you prefer something a little less abrasive like an edible, making weed part of your night ritual takes it to a whole different level.
I accidentally found this out after finding myself in the unusual situation of being fairly lifted right before bed. The nighttime yoga recommendation that’s next on this list? Completely conceived of during that accidental bedtime sesh. It’s 2018 and weed is legal people, use the tools you’ve been given!
My Bedtime Bud Picks:
- Afghan Kush
- Big Bud
For sleep purposes I recommend you go the edible route as this produces a more potent effect that will last longer and ensure a deep sleep. I have a friend that swears by her pre-bed edibles and says they send her into a pleasant coma every night. Just be sure to time it so the effects occur at the start of your night ritual.
I’m not a super physical person – I don’t even exercise daily. Point being, if I can incorporate a mini yoga session into my night ritual, you probably can too. Make it a super short and basic practice so it’s never too daunting to start when you’re already tired. It’s also important to set aside a special location where you do these stretches so that going over to it at the same time every night immediately triggers the habit to start stretching. 10 minutes of stretching and deep breathing will help release the tension you’ve been carrying all day while also slowing your thoughts down by getting you to focus on your body.
This is the short version of my nightly yoga routine that I try to do even when I’m pressed for time:
Meditation is a great trick for getting your mind to quiet down so you’re not being harassed by thoughts while trying to sleep (if I sound bitter it’s because I’ve definitely been there). If you’re even just the slightest bit tired, a 5-minute meditation will make it hard to open your eyes afterward. I like to end my 10-minute yoga session with a 5-minute meditation; after that the day is officially over and I’m safe from worry and stress until tomorrow.
Lavender candles, lavender lotion, lavender essential oil – whichever way you find most convenient, add lavender to your night ritual. While I personally find the smell of lavender relaxing just from of how pleasant it is, there’s plenty of actual science to back up why lavender is a useful sleep aid.
If you don’t have a warm drink before bed you’re missing out on a powerful nighttime ritual. Having the same drink every night can condition your brain to disengage with the outside world and slip into night-mode every time you sip a certain flavor.
Chamomile tea is the traditional pre-bed drink of choice for its mild flavor and for proven sedative effects. You don’t have to be too preoccupied with which tea to buy as the chamomile will do its job regardless. This is a good starter option and here is a good Oh-You-Fancy option.
Want to really treat yourself? Make a cup of my Golden Moon Milk recipe before bed on those days you really need some deep restoration and detoxification.
Read Before Bed
There’s something really peaceful in how Amish it feels not to have technology around before bed. So reserve your pre-bed hour as a mini end-of-the-day-media-blackout: no phone, no computer, no screens. Plus, the last thing you need before bed is to raise your heart rate like social media is so good at doing.
The importance of sleep can’t be overstated, but the importance of the time we spend right before sleep warrants just as much attention. A well-planned and healthy sleep routine directly influences the type of morning routine you’ll have. Create your own night ritual to make sleep a more appreciated and purposeful event instead of something we do for 1/3 of our life but never really make a conscious effort to do well.
*Did you like this post because you’re a neurotic freak about personal growth like me? Then you’ll lose it for this post. Do you care more about health and holistic living? I got you. Just need some pre-bed reading material? Here’s the perfect warm-feelings-as-I-drift-into-sleep story.*