Journal

Words
Natalie Soderstrom

Photography
Mink Mingle

Creating the ultimate bedtime routine can prepare you for a sleep that rejuvenates you and leaves you waking up feeling energised. Here are five tips to improve your sleep and overall wellbeing. 

  • Shut off so you can shut down. Get off smartphones, laptops and tv screens about an hour before you plan to go to sleep. The light from the devices tricks our bodies and the retina in our eyes thinking it’s still day and that we don’t need to sleep yet. The retina is responsible to let our body know when it’s time to start producing the hormone melatonin which helps us to sleep. If we naturally adjust to darkness after the sun sets then we prepare our body for sleep in a natural way. Remember to turn your phone on flight-mode during the night to both not to get a disturbed sleep from notifications as well as to protect you from the radiation your phone emits.

  • Take a hot bath or shower. It calms us down and you get that warm and fuzzy feeling from inside. If you’re taking a bath squeeze a drop of lavender oil in there or diffuse lavender oil around you. You can even rub a couple of lavender oil drops on your feet and massage in slowly. Our feet are porous and contain a lot of nerve endings which means that the essential oil particles can enter the body more quickly. A nice foot massage before bed will surely put you in a sleepy mood. Lavender is known to be used for insomnia, anxiety, depression and is a natural stress relief.

  • Give yourself time to decompress from your day. Arrive home and try to leave work related things at work. Write down all the things you need to do tomorrow, ‘brain-dump’ it all out and have a look at what your day looks like. In a way preparing yourself for what is to come. Don’t let loose threads hanging which can be an interference for you to get proper sleep. When you write everything down you know it’s there and you can find more peace in your mind and the mind can wind down knowing what you’re going to deal with the next day. A peaceful mind can easier let go of worry and anxiety and fall into a deep sleep.

  • Don’t go to bed until it’s actually time to go to sleep. That means no watching tv in bed. Make the bed a sanctuary just for sleeping.

  • Have a look at your caffeine intake and when you last had that green tea or coffee. We all metabolize caffeine differently deepening on genetic heritage but cutting it down to 1-2 cups a day and have the last one before 3pm might drastically change your sleep. If you must have something there’s always decaf options or use superfood Maca root powder as an energy boost without the long-lasting caffeine effect and no crash afterwards. Maca can easily be blended in to smoothies or juices for a quick fix that still allows you to get a good night's rest.

It’s called routine for a reason, doing the same things to relax and unwind you from the day gets the body in a habit and it knows it’s time to go to sleep. Routine also means for you to keep the same hours of sleep and the times you wake up and go to sleep the same everyday, even over the weekend. Learn to stick to a sleeping schedule and your body will thank you.

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