Do you struggle with sleep? Either you can’t stay asleep and feel rejuvenated or even after a good nights sleep you still feel tired and sluggish the next day? Sleep seems to be illusive in our fast paced lifestyle and leaves many of us exhausted and edgy. As a mom of two young children I notice my patience wearing thin in short order when I haven’t gotten quality sleep. I know I’m not showing up in the world in the way I would like, for my family, career or self.
Having a bedtime routine has been essential in helping me get restful sleep and stay asleep most nights. Over time I’ve made a few adjustments to make a bedtime routine easier for me to maintain. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right routine for you.
Remove electronics from your bedroom. What?! I think it’s a standard American tradition to go to sleep with the TV on, heck you can even set a sleep timer so the TV will turn itself off in the wee hours of the morning. Smart phones? So addicting! It’s hard not to look at one more FaceBook post or scroll through Instagram before calling it a night, but have you noticed you get lost in social media and lose an entire hour?
The reason for removing electronics is because they all emit a blue light that tells your brain it’s daytime. It has the same effect as the sun and the hormones that regulate your body become confused and your cortisol will spike and give you that wide awake feeling when moments before you were feeling sleepy. With no television in your bedroom, and plugging your phone in to charge overnight in another room the temptation is removed.
Create a relaxing routine that helps tell your body it’s time to prepare for sleep. Give yourself an hour to prepare for sleep. My top suggestions are to take a bath with Epsom salts and a soothing essential oil like lavender, do a hot towel scrub, meditate, write in a gratuity journal, read a book that feels indulgent; it shouldn’t be a self-help book or business related, but something that might be on the top summer take to the beach book list. The objective is to allow your mind to relax, as well as your body. There are some wonderful night time yoga routines that help you relax, breathing in deeply and exhaling the stress of your day. Keeping a journal that can be a nightly brain dump and everything you have swimming around in your thoughts can be jotted down and released.
Here’s my recipe for Epsom Salts for your bath. I use this in my kids evening bath and it’s a great way to gently detox their little bodies while also helping them relax and prepare for sleeping time. This recipe will last for roughly 10 baths. I double and triple this to make a large batch most of the time.
1 cup Epsom salt
¼ cup sea salt
¼ cup baking soda
20 drops essential oils
Mix well and store in an airtight glass or stainless steel container
I use lavender, purification or thieves essential oils depending on the season and if colds are going around.