Unwind and get a restful night’s sleep with this ultimate bedtime self-care routine. Try it now!
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Have you ever had trouble falling asleep? You’re not alone. Millions worldwide struggle with sleep, significantly impacting mental and physical health.
That’s why self-care at night is so important; if we don’t set ourselves up for success, we won’t get the restful nights’ sleep our bodies need.
In this article, I’m going to share my ultimate bedtime routine – everything from what food to eat to how to relax before bed – that will help you drift off into dreamland and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning (which is when you can do your 10-minute morning self-care routine)!
Establishing Regular Sleeping Hours
Possibly the single most important thing you can do to improve sleep – and a vital part of any bedtime self-care routine – is going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. Watch sleep expert Matthew Walker briefly talk about what helps us sleep better for longer in the video below (and if you want to truly reap the benefits of deep sleep, I strongly recommend taking his masterclass):
Eating Sleep-Promoting Foods
Eating sleep-promoting foods can be as easy as making simple dietary changes that will help you drift into dreamland with ease. Just like an artist arranging colors on their canvas, it’s essential to carefully select what we put onto our proverbial plate before bedtime.
The key is to focus on consuming nutrient-rich meals at least two hours before heading to bed; this helps regulate digestion and enhances your body’s natural production of melatonin – the hormone responsible for inducing drowsiness.
Also, while we tend to indulge at dinner time (fried chicken and pizza, anyone?), it’s important to opt for something lighter and healthier wherever possible. This ensures that you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals without feeling overly full when trying to fall asleep.
Unplugging From Technology
We all know the importance of unplugging from technology before bed, but it can be hard to actually do (especially when you’re a mom who only gets to do non-Cocomelon screen time kids are asleep!). Thankfully, there are a few simple strategies you can use to wean yourself off tech use before bed:
- Use an auditing app to see exactly how much time you’ve spent on screens for the day
- Use an internet blocker to effectively stop you from using your phone at a specific time
- Put your phone out of reach to make using it less tempting (you’ll have to get out of bed!)
- Switch to grayscale mode to make whatever you’re doing on your phone (watching or playing a game less appealing)
- Get a dedicated phone that limits what you can do
Setting Up A Sleep-Friendly Environment
Sleep is often seen as an elusive beast, but with the right environment, you can make it your best friend. Believe it or not, setting up a sleep-friendly bedroom doesn’t have to be complicated! All you need are a few adjustments to light, temperature, and noise levels, and you’re good to go.
A cool, dark, and quiet space can work wonders for your sleep quality. So, use blackout curtains or blinds if needed (I tend to use both!).
Adjusting your bedroom temperature before bedtime is essential. A room that’s too hot will keep you awake all night long, while one that’s too cold won’t help either. The sweet spot lies somewhere between 60°F – 67°F (15.6°C to 19.4°C). So, put the fan or air conditioning on if you’re somewhere too hot – and heating if you’re somewhere too cold.
Finally, reducing noise pollution should also be part of your pre-sleep routine. Invest in some white noise machines or soft silicon earplugs, which could become your new favorite (and essential!) nighttime companions – especially if you’re a frequent traveller.
Developing A Relaxation Routine
Once you have your sleep-friendly environment set up, it’s time to develop a customized self-care routine so that you can manage your stress levels before bed. This can have a huge impact on how deeply you sleep – and for how long.
Bedtime relaxation routines could be as simple as taking five minutes for yourself to journal or practice light exercises.
Incorporating gentle, restorative movement into your pre-bedtime ritual can be incredibly beneficial – from practicing yoga poses or stretching out tense muscles to taking a short walk around the block. Gentle exercise helps signal our body that it’s almost time for bed and prepares us mentally for rest.
Journaling reflection can also be an important part of unwinding before bed. Taking five minutes every night to write down what you accomplished during the day as well as how you are feeling in the moment, can help provide clarity and perspective on your daily life. Journaling allows you to let go of all your worries (like Albus Dumbledore’s memory extraction spell) while still giving yourself space to process them if necessary. As you drift off to sleep, you do so with a sense of peace, knowing that everything will be alright when you wake up tomorrow morning.
To further protect your sleep cycle, try:
- Dimming your lights and keeping noise levels low right before bedtime to help your body know it’s time to wind down.
- Planning ahead, so you can have all important work done by evening so you don’t stay up late stressing about it.
- Creating a nightly checklist can also give you peace of mind knowing you’ve taken a note of everything you need for the next day, which allows you to unwind completely without worrying about forgetting something important later on.
Implementing these strategies into your daily life can lead to more restful nights and better overall health!
The Importance of A Bedtime Self-Care Routine
As you can see, sleep is one of the most important parts of self-care. Taking time to create a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation and restful sleep can make all the difference.
If you wish to enjoy the benefits of deep sleep, implement the strategies in this post:
- Establish regular sleeping hours
- Eat sleep-promoting foods
- Unplug from tech
- Set up a sleep-friendly environment
- Develop a relaxation routine
I also highly recommend reading Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by sleep expert Matthew Walker, PhD or taking his Masterclass on the Science of Sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions About Creating A Bedtime Self-Care Routine
For more information on bedtime self-care routines for a restful night’s sleep, check out our Q&As below:
How Much Sleep Should I Be Getting Per Night?
Experts recommend that adults aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Of course, this varies depending on your age, lifestyle, and overall health. So, it’s essential to listen to your body and add more hours if needed.
Finding the right balance can make a world of difference in your overall well-being.
What Happens If I Don’t Have Enough Sleep?
As you can see, sleep deprivation can lead to:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Increased risk of various types of cancers
For more information, read Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by sleep expert Matthew Walker, PhD. If you prefer something a bit more interactive, I highly recommend his Masterclass on the Science of Sleep.
What Are The Best Sleep Positions?
Ever woken up with a stiff neck or aching back? Your sleep position might be the culprit. Although everyone’s body is different, experts typically recommend either the back or side position for optimal spinal alignment. Back sleeping with a pillow under the knees evenly distributes your weight, while side sleeping with a pillow between your knees can minimize snoring and help with acid reflux.
Of course, the advice changes depending on your individual circumstance. For example, sleeping on your back will never be recommended if you’re pregnant.
For more information on various sleep positions, read The Best Sleeping Positions by Sleep Advisor.
How Can I Reduce My Stress Levels?
Feeling stressed when it’s time to hit the hay? We’ve all been there. One way to reduce stress and unwind is by establishing a bedtime routine, like the one discussed in this post. Think about what activities help you relax – maybe it’s reading, meditating, bedtime yoga or enjoying a warm bath. Incorporating these into your nightly routine can signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down, ultimately leading to a more restful night’s sleep.
What Type Of Mattress Should I Buy?
When it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep, the type of mattress you choose is key.
Pillow selection and temperature regulation are important factors in choosing a mattress that will help you achieve your desired level of comfort.
If you need extra cushioning, look into pillow-top mattresses.
And there are also specialized mattresses designed with temperature regulation in mind (like this cooling mattress) if this is something you need.
With so many choices out there, take some time to research what kind of mattress would work best for your needs before making a purchase.
How Can I Improve My Sleep Quality?
Follow the advice on this post:
- Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
- Eat foods that can help you sleep.
- Stop using your phone in bed – and reduce other types of tech too.
- Set up a sleep haven.
- Develop a bedtime self-care relaxation routine. You can choose one from these 100+ Uncommon Self-Care Ideas To Turbocharge Your Life.
- Read Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by sleep expert Matthew Walker, PhD or take his Masterclass on the Science of Sleep.
Note: The information on this website is for general information only, and is not a substitute for medical, financial, or legal advice. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek independent medical, legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances. If you or the person you are concerned about appear at risk of self-harm or harm to others, please seek immediate professional assistance.