by Riley Perrin MPH-nutrition student
The benefits of sleep, including improved mood, brain performance and overall health, are well known. The tricky part of sleep is, well, how do you get enough of it. Creating a bedtime ritual can be a tool not only for getting a better night’s sleep, but also for feeling more in control of your time and relieving the stress of the day ahead. So what is a bedtime ritual? The good news is that a bedtime ritual can be anything you want it to be. It can last 10 minutes or two hours. It is entirely up to you and what serves you best. Many people will choose a set of three to four things they would like to do before going to bed and make it their ritual. It doesn’t have to be something you do every night, but the routine will start to become a normal part of your schedule if you want it to. To create your ritual, start by deciding how much time you have to dedicate to a bedtime ritual during your average night. Remember that this time can be as short or as long as you want.
Now on to the fun part: choose the activities you want to include each evening. Here are some examples or ideas to choose from if you are having difficulty:
- Skin care routine: wash your face, make a face/eye mask or apply a pleasant and fragrant lotion
- Drink herbal tea
- Read a chapter of a book
- Light stretch
- Listen to music/podcast/ebook
Now that you have your routine, don’t forget to create the best environment for yourself to get a good night’s sleep. This might include tidying up your room, turning on a white noise machine or diffuser, putting on clean pajamas, or turning on the fan.
The more consistent you are with your ritual, the sooner it will become a normal part of your routine. Now go get some sleep!