Over the years, I’ve tried to perfect my daily habits and one that I’ve worked the hardest at is my nightly rituals. For the past couple of years, I have had the toughest time trying to go to sleep at a decent time and actually staying asleep. I knew that my night time habits had to change and I needed new nightly rituals to actually make a difference with my quality of sleep I was getting each night. So I made some changes and they’ve actually helped A LOT! Anyone else struggling with this?
So how have I gotten better about not staying up till 3 am watching Netflix shows? I’m going to share my tips for getting better sleep, being able to relax and to make your nightly rituals a practice that you look forward to each night.
My Tips For Getting Better Sleep
I find it really important to be able to relax and decompress a little bit at night. A lot of time, I’m editing photos and writing blog posts before I go to bed. I used to scroll social media for hours at night and as soon as I woke up in the morning. NOT ANYMORE. Rob even used to ask me “are you done with social media time yet?” How freaking embarrassing. Sure, this is my job and social media is a big part of it BUT I needed to scale it back a bit.
The first thing that was super important to me was creating a bedroom that is actually a calming environment. The only thing that should be happening in your bedroom is sleep and sex. I want my bedroom to be a place where I go to relax and chill out. I want it to be a calming environment. While I do have a tv in there, I don’t even turn it on at night anymore. I used to spend hours watching Netflix while Rob was sleeping and I’d be a zombie the next monring. Not anymore! My doctor actually suggested to not use any electronics an hour before you are going to bed!
My bedroom is a darker gray color and my bedding is a mixture of white and gray. The colors in the room relax me and as soon as I hit the room, I’m instantly a lot more calm. So if your room is super messy with random clothes everywhere and you’ve also got a really bold and bright color on the walls, you might want to take a couple of moments to just pick up and put everything in its place. Also, maybe a consider giving your room a new paint job! Find a color that relaxes you and go from there.
At night, I like to use a softer light and also have candles and my essential oil diffuser going. The blend of scents is geared towards slowing me down. Making me relax. I am a person who hates bright lights. I have my google home connected and I just tell Google to turn on my nightstand, I light a candle and turn on my diffuser. My room is instantly 100 times better as soon as I do this. Next up, it’s on to my nightly skincare routine.
I also find that having a room that is cooler in temperature helps a ton! My doctor suggested that I try for 65 degrees. While I would be in heaven with that, Rob would hate it. So we’re at a comfortabe 72 and I also have a ceiling fan on every night. In my opinion, the cooler the room the better!
My Nightly Routine: Skincare Routine
I’ve talked about my skincare routine previously and I find that it’s something that I LOVE doing each day. Some people find it a chore; I do not! Every night I put my hair up with this really inexpensive headband and I start my skincare routine. Sometimes I’m a little bit extra and I’ll do a face mask. It’s a time to just relax and unwind for me. Plus, I know that during that time, I’m also showing myself some love and taking care of my skin.
I normally will take a shower every night, even if I’m not washing my hair. There’s nothing better than going to bed clean if you ask me. Plus, I like to use a body wash that again, has a scent that relaxes me and calms me the heck down!
After my skincare routine, I’ll brush my teeth and lotion myself up. I like to use a calming body lotion. I’ve been using the Love Beauty and Planet Body Lotion every night recently. I picked it up at Target and I like it! I also use this time to pamper my feet a bit! I LOVE the Sabon Foot Cream. I picked it up when I was in Chicago and I plan on re-purchasing for sure. It has menthol and camphor so it cools and helps with odors. I’m obsessed.
IF I am going to use a self-tanner, I mostly put them on at night. I’ve finally found one that doesn’t stain my sheets and I love it. The Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops and Mousse have been complete game changers for me. They’re so popular that they are often times on waitlist only, but keep checking and they’ll be restocked.
I will cleanse and exfoliate and when using my body lotions, I’ll add the drops into the product to keep my tan going. If I haven’t tanned in a while, I’ll use the mousse. Normally, I’ll do this about once a week when I’m maintaining my tan.
Find a Good Book and Relax
The ultimate way for me to relax at night is to spend at least an hour reading. Once I have my candles and my diffuser going, my skincare is copmlete and I’m finally ready to relax, I dig into the book that I’m reading at the moment. Right now, I’m reading The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. I’ve previously read one of her other books and so far, I’m really enjoying this one as well.
Reading at night allows me to slow down and just relax. Sometimes I’ll want to continue to read if I’m really into the book, but I try to cut my reading time to only an hour. However, I have been known to finish a book if it’s one that I’m almost finished with. #ItHappens
I will add that I’m kinda careful about what books I read before I go to bed. I am normally reading more than one book at a time and I try to not read anything like a thriller or anything too intense before I go to bed. That’s just something that stresses me out and gets my mind going, rather than relaxing.
My Favorite Night time App
A couple of years ago, Rob gifted me the Calm app. It was at the height of my anxiety issues (that I had never had before) and I love it. It has sleep stories that will help you fall asleep and it has guided meditations as well as music. This app is one that I use at night mostly, but if I’m really stressed out and need an emergency “calm down” session, I’ll use this app. It is a paid app, but it’s well worth the money in my opinion. I highly recommend it! PS Matthew McConaughey has a sleep story on there……just saying. This is by far one of the best parts of my nightly rituals and has helped me so much!
If I’m not using calm, sometimes I’ll use my Google Home Mini to play music while I read or even sleep. I’ll say “Hey Google, play the sound of rain for an hour.” Whatever you want, even if it’s a playlist, it will play it. I love this device so much more than I thought I would.
So overall, my nightly rituals are all about comfort, relaxation, de-stressing and allowing my body the full experience of resting. For a person with anxiety, this isn’t always easy. Trust me, not every night goes off without a hitch BUT I really do make an effort.
Some other changes that I’ve made would be letting go of caffeine! If I have any at all, I try to not have any after 5:00 each day. My coffee is normally a half-calf after my first one during the day. At night, I might have a glass of wine, but other than that, I try to keep things simple. I also try to limit snacks and sugars. Going with less caffeine has made such a difference in my anxiety also!
To summarize what we just talked about:
- Allow yourself time to relax at night
- Shut off the tv and put away your phone in your bedroom (maybe even just 30 minutes before you go to bed)
- Have your bedroom be a place of comfort and relaxation
- Style your bedroom with colors and patterns that are calming
- Look into purchasing a diffuser, essential oils, and candles to create a scent that helps you relax
- Read! Pick up a book and allow yourself some time to just do nothing but reading
- Try to take a bath if that’s your thing! Add in some oils as well!
- Try for a low-caffeine drink throughout the day if you can
- Look into sleep apps and guided meditations like the Calm App
- Curb those sugar cravings towards night time
I promise you that even by adjusting your nightly ritual habits a bit, you can make a huge difference! I used to struggle with sleep and feeling rested in the morning. Just by making a few changes, I feel so much better than I did before!
What are some of your nightly rituals?