We've all been there...laying in bed waiting for sleep to take us - with no sign that it's coming - as our mind thrums on with to-dos, thoughts, & emotions. We know that sleep is important, that we should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a day, & that sleep is crucial for wellness. And yet it can be so hard to achieve...why?
Throughout the day, in one way or another, we're always "on." It's easy to overlook the need to turn "off." In fact, so many of our habits keep us "on," which, in turn, can sabotage our sleep. We drink too much caffeine, eat late, watch TV before bed, or scroll through our phone. These habits prevent us from unwinding and set us up for a herculean effort when we lay down in bed each night.
There are all sorts of reasons why sleep can be difficult to find, but an important step on the road to great sleep is to set up positive habits. When you were little, your parents probably set up a routine for your bedtime - they gave you a bath, helped you brush your teeth, and read you a story. Of course, the stresses of everyday life probably didn't factor in as much when you were a child, but the routine is still be helpful. A routine can be calming, since we know what to expect, and gives us time to wind down from the stresses of the day.
Look over the Bedtime Routine below (and print it out to track your progress!). Start with 1 habit you can commit to and follow through for a week. If you find you can add it into your routine with consistency, pick another habit and add it into your routine. The goal isn't to fit every option listed into your routine, but to find a routine that supports your sleep.
Trying something new can be strange, so be kind to yourself. Start with just one thing. What's one thing that you can do today that will help you sleep better tonight?
(Check out our post, "Bathing by Moonlight," for the recipe for the "Ultimate Bath to get you ready for bed.")