Woman does a bicycle crunch on a reformer bed at Upstate Studios.

Creating a Nighttime Ritual for Better Sleep

You know what’s amazing for our health and mood? A good night’s sleep! We all feel terrible when we don’t get enough sleep. It affects our metabolism, immune system, and ability to think clearly. But don’t worry, there are ways to guarantee you get those seven or eight hours of sleep! One of the best things you can do is create a night time ritual and stick to it. Here are some fun ideas to add to your ritual:

First, set yourself a bedtime. It may take some training, but figuring out what time you want to wake up can help. For example, if you want to wake up for a 6am Upstate class, count back and realize you need to be in bed by 10pm to get those eight hours of sleep. And don’t forget to set an alarm for 9:30pm to remind you to get ready for bed!

The ‘Legs up the wall’ pose is a relaxing posture to try and calm the body. ┬áIt’s easy to do anywhere, anytime. All you need is yourself and a wall! Sit sideways next to a wall and swing your legs up so they’re straight up towards the ceiling. Spend five to ten minutes here, just breathing. It can help regulate blood pressure, move fluid around the body, and calm your nervous system.

Take 20 belly breaths before bed. Full deep breaths can calm your system and quiet your mind. Just sit still, close your eyes, and breathe in for a count of four or five, pause at the top, and breathe out for a count of four.

Lastly, put away your phone before bed! The light from the screen can confuse your body and stimulate your mind. Plus, checking emails or scrolling through Instagram can keep you up even longer.

Sweet dreams!

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