Getting a good dose of sleep each night can be incredibly helpful for our health and of course our mood. We all know how terrible we can feel with no sleep. A solid night of sleep keeps our metabolism firing, keeps our immune system at its best, and allows us to think and decide with a clear mind. But how can we guarantee we get those seven or eight hours of sleep? One of the best things we can do it set ourselves a nighttime ritual. And then stick to it. Here are some of the things we like to add to our ritual.
Set yourself a bedtime
We need to train ourselves to go to bed at the right time. Especially if we’re used to going to bed late. Figure out what time you want to wake up. 6am is a nice time if you don’t have to be up earlier. Then you count back and realise that to get eight hours of sleep, you need to be in bed by 10pm. When you add a ritual to your night, you need to start earlier than that to make sure you get it all done without stress. Set an alarm for 9.30pm telling you to get ready for bed. And don’t snooze it.
Drink a calming cup of tea
A nice cup of warming tea can be a beautiful way to wind down. We are also creatures of habit, so this tea can start to tell your body it’s time to go to sleep. A caffeine free chai tea blend with almond milk can be a really soothing option. As is chamomile tea.
Legs up the wall
Legs up the wall is a pose that can be done anywhere, anytime. All you need is yourself and a wall. Sit sideways right next to a wall and then swing your legs up. Your sitting bones should be on the wall or just in front, with your legs straight up towards the ceiling. Spend five to ten minutes here, simply breathing. This pose gives you all the benefits of an inversion, but is no effort for the body. It helps to regulate blood pressure, helps to move fluid around the body, and helps to keep digestion moving. It’s also very calming on the nervous system.
20 Belly Breaths
Full deep breaths are one of the best ways to calm the system and quiet down the mind. Taking a moment before bed to sit still, eyes closed, and breathe. Count to four or five as you breathe in, pause for a moment at the top, and then count to four as you breath out. After 20 rounds you’ll notice a big difference.
Phones are the enemy of good sleep. The light from the screen can confuse the body as we start to slow and respond to darker lights and rooms. It also stimulates us again, getting the mind moving quickly. We also tend to check emails, think about work, and absently scroll through instagram. Once your alarm goes off to tell you to go to bed, your phone should be put away for the night. Invest in an alarm clock and put the phone to bed before you go to bed.