Winding down before bed has always been a struggle for me. The never ending to-do list running through my head or the unanswered emails haunting my dreams, it makes it hard to sleep and stay asleep. There have been times where I have woken up in such a panic that I have opened a bedroom window to escape. Thankfully I have woken myself up each time but it was scary enough to make me get serious about finding ways to relax before bed.
Following these steps before bed have helped me sleep better which therefore makes my morning better.
1.) Quick clean-up
I am a tornado! I can destroy a room in 5 minutes. That is definitely one of my bad qualities. If I spend 20 minutes cleaning up everything before bed I don’t feel like I have another thing added to my to-do list for the next day. Knocking something off my to-do list the night before makes me feel relieved.
No matter what- I shower! There is nothing better to me than taking a hot shower before bed. The hot water helps me relax and I am able to “rinse off” the day. Usually I wash my hair twice a week and I never blow dry it. Before bed is the time I let my hair air dry. It’s dry by morning and ready to style…win! If for some reason I cannot shower before bed I ALWAYS wash my face.
3.) Brush and floss my teeth
Obviously! I cannot not brush my teeth before bed. I know that it is good for my overall health and definitely oral hygiene.
4.) Wear my retainer
Two year of braces 16 years ago and I still wear my retainer a few nights a week. When I’ve had a really stressful day, it helps me not clench my teeth while I sleep too.
5.) Paint my nails
This is something I do almost every night or at least 5 out 7 nights. The whole process of painting/manicuring my own nails is therapeutic to me. Concentrating on something small and so detailed helps me block everything else out. Some people like to paint a canvas, I like to paint my nails!
6.) Make the bed and set up my nightstand
Unfortunately, making my bed is the last thing I feel like doing in the morning when I wake up. So I will make the bed every night before I get into bed. After typing this out, it doesn’t make much sense but it works for me. I get everything situated just the way I like it. I will put everything I need on my nightstand for the morning; water, laptop, IPhone and notebook.
7.) Do not read anything that makes my mind race
Anytime I have read self-improvement books or articles on business my mind races. I start racking my mind with all the things I need to do the next day and it snow balls into hours (yes, hours!) of feeling excited or feeling like I could be doing more. If I do feel like reading, I will stick with a fiction novel or cookbook. Something that I can put down. I always stay away from emails too!
8.) Do not look at the clock
I get really frustrated and anxious if I know how long it is taking me to fall asleep. I actually do not have a clock in my bedroom. My IPhone is always on my nightstand because that is my alarm but I refuse to put an actual clock in my bedroom. As a kid, I remember staring at the clock not being able to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of the night to see how long I’ve been sleeping for. Lesson learned, no clocks in the bedroom for me!
9.) Drink Tea
I don’t drink tea every night although I should. When I am feeling extra anxious I will drink a non caffeinated hot tea right before I go to bed. Taking a moment to sit and sip on something warm while letting my mind relax helps!
Sticking to a nighttime routine and keeping away from the things that make my mind race helps me go to sleep and stay asleep until my alarm goes off. I make it a point to plan the next day a few hours before bed instead of right before bed. Little things and a steady routine has helped train my body and mind so I get a full nights sleep. The days of waking up in a panic are slowly disappearing…thanks goodness!!