Have you been having trouble getting to sleep lately?
Is your mind still racing around the concerns of work, family, and even trivial things like household chores instead of drifting obediently off to a restful sleep?
It is often the result of not drawing a clear enough line between what you do when you're awake and what you think about before falling asleep. It's the reason why what you do before bed can have such a significant effect on how well you sleep. If you've been collapsing directly into bed after finishing your last chore, chances are you don’t pamper yourself before bed enough to get a good night's sleep.
Rather than working down to the wire or trying to veg out in front of the TV as your form of winding down for bed, if you want to get your brain ready to sleep, it's time to treat your body right. To help you build an enjoyable bedtime routine that will make you feel like royalty and sleep like a baby, we have eight luxurious ways to pamper yourself before bed that will tell your brain it's time for sleep.
1. Enjoy a Cup of Hot Cocoa
We often crave a little bit of sugar before bed, even though sugar is a stimulant. Rather than giving into that urge and having something calorie-rich like cookies or cake, instead opt for a warm sugary drink that will heat your insides and help you to relax completely. Hot cocoa is the classic bedtime drink because it's warm, creamy, sweet, and has that delicious, complex flavor provided by real chocolate.
Of course, if cocoa isn't your thing or if you are particularly sensitive to the trace amounts of caffeine, hot cider or sweet herbal (non-caffeinated) tea are also great drinks to settle down on your couch, put your feet up, and let your body start relaxing in preparation for sleep. Have your cocoa about an hour before bedtime so that the sugar wears off, but the relaxation remains.
2. Fill a Hot Water Bottle
Hot water bottles are magically useful for being so simple. All you need is a rubber bottle, a soft flannel cover, and a kettle of boiling water. It creates a source of pleasant warmth and comfort that doesn't come with the fire hazard risk of an electric blanket or the variable response of a warm cat. If you're settling into your last episode of television or some reading before bed, a hot water bottle on your stomach or under your feet is a great way to help your body start to unwind.
A hot water bottle on the abdomen for both men and women is also a surprisingly helpful solution to indigestion, cramps, and other causes of internal discomfort so that there are no distracting pains at bedtime.
3. Take a Long Bubble Bath
There's an excellent reason why people tend to migrate toward warm things for nighttime, but it's not for the reasons you think. Most would assume that being warm for sleep is the crucial part when, in fact, it's cooling off after you're warm that makes you ready to slumber.
The body associates heat with daylight and activity and cold with nighttime and sleep, which means that when your body cools down rapidly, you're more ready for bed than you would be merely changing into your pajamas.
For this reason, taking a hot shower or a long, luxurious bubble bath is the perfect way to pamper yourself before bed. As most amateur athletes are aware, soaking your muscles in hot water is a natural part of relaxation and recovery. A hot bath can loosen tight muscles, especially in your shoulders, which are hard to reach for self-massage. The heat relieves pain and tension and helps your body to fully relax before bed. When you get out of the bath, your body will cool rapidly, letting the more primitive parts of your mind know that it's time for a cool night of deep sleep.
4. Moisturize from Head to Toe
Have you ever woken up with dry, itchy skin? If you like to shower or bathe before bed, and especially if you run the heater or AC in your house all the time, it's likely that your skin is losing critical moisture during the night. One of the best ways to stay comfortable while you sleep, other than keeping your sheets clean and soft, is to moisturize your skin from head to toe before bed. Yes, even the guys.
If you want tight, soft, and well-moisturized skin, we suggest witch hazel and aloe toner followed by cocoa, shea, or coconut butter based lotion. Get every inch of skin from your hairline to your toes to make sure none of you can get dry and itchy overnight.
5. Enjoy Music, Television, or a Book
Now that your body is relaxed, it's time to kick back and relax your mind as well. Draw your thoughts away from your worries at work and concerns about the house. In fact, for deep and worry-free dreaming, you want to draw your mind away from your own life entirely, which means bedtime is the perfect time for a chapter of your favorite book, a round of your favorite musical albums, or an episode of fictional television. Choose something laid back that is interesting but not so compelling or dramatic that it will keep you up at night. Put your feet up, snuggle a hot water bottle, and let your mind drift through your final nighttime activities.
6. Light Some Incense
Smell is one of the most powerful senses we have, though often underused and under-considered. You can train your mind to associate a particular smell with preparing for sleep and then use that scent to help send yourself off when the time comes. Whether you prefer essential oils, incense cones, or just throwing a few sticks of cinnamon into the fireplace, start associating a certain pleasant smell with bedtime and use it to make your home more beautiful and give your brain key sleepy time signals.
8. Crawl Into a Fantastically Comfy Bed
Finally, make sure that your bed is as welcoming and ready for you as possible. Make sure you have the right firmness of the mattress, style of the topper, and pillow configuration for your comfort and cover it all in soft, breathable sheets and pillowcases. Keep two or three spare bedding sets and wash your sheets at least once a week to ensure that they are always fresh when you crawl into bed. For optimal sleeping comfort, make the room itself colder than usual, between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and warm up the bed with a heating pad or another hot water bottle.
With an ideal, comfortable, and delightfully comfortable bedtime routine, you'll find yourself falling peacefully asleep as your head touches the pillow. You'll no longer lie awake at night worrying, tossing and turning, or waking up uncomfortable. Instead, you'll be relaxed and able to sleep deeply throughout the night.For more excellent tips on deep, comfortable sleep, contact us today.