Deep restful sleep. The ever evasive necessity. Am I the only one that lies awake unable to quiet my mind?
Over the years, due to my tendency to become inspired and energized at all hours of the night, I developed little habits and practices to improve my night-time routine. These techniques made an incredible difference on how quickly and how deeply I slept, that is, when I did them...
I know I'm not the only one fighting Instagram and Netflix to get to bed. Friends, if you're similar, I encourage you to pause and reflect with me. We both know this has to end. We see the effect less sleep is having on our minds and bodies and pay the toll each morning. Well, today, I'm at least calling myself out. I want to get back to my helpful habits and spend the rest of my evenings this year relaxing and restoring. How about you? Would you like to feel refreshed and maybe not need that cup of coffee quite so desperately tomorrow morning? Haha, well... let's do it!
You'll find a guide of my personal nightly practices below. Give them a try, perhaps add one or two to start. If you're feeling bold, set aside a full evening for self-care and do them all! I prefer Sunday nights for my full self-care night... Self-Care Sunday, anyone?
Tips for Restorative & Restful Sleep
1 | Create a Restful Environment
+ Soothing Sounds — play gentle calming music. Find whatever sounds quiet your mind and curate a playlist for your evening routine. This is my favorite Pandora acoustic guitar station.
+ Fresh Air — open a window and let a breeze in or make a "breeze" by placing a fan next to an open window.
+ Fresh Sheets — nothing is more inviting than fresh sheets. I always at least freshen my pillow case for the evening. Give yourself something to look forward to when considering bedtime :*
2 | Unwind & Prep for Bedtime
+ iPhone Low Light — turn down the brightness as much as possible and use the night-time setting for a yellow-toned light.
+ Sleepy Tea — my go-to's are a lose leaf herbal tea with chamomile, lavender, skullcap or any other relaxing ingredient.
+ Dry Brush — Try it out 1-2x a week. I wrote all about how to dry brush here.
+ Mask — there are so many wonderful safe masks to be had! I'll be sharing a few of mine this month, so keep an eye out. A quick tip, my current favorite for an economical option, raw Manuka honey and for a luxurious choice, The Bean Beauty mask by Mahalo.
+ Bath — the perfect pairing with a mask. I love to fill my bath with the soothing sea soak and softening flower bath salts. I also occasionally up the detox factor by adding this bentonite clay to the mix.
+ Legs Up the Wall — a restorative yoga pose that can reset your body in magnificent ways. It draws the blood away from your feet and, as my favorite Yogi likes to say, gives you a little facial or youthful glow. This pose also relieves pressure from your lower back and lengthens your hamstrings and calves. I especially try to make time for this pose if I didn't practice my morning yoga. Here's a little how-to and full evening-appropriate sequence. You are welcome to skip straight to legs up the wall, but promise me you'll hold it for at least 5 minutes. Note: the bolster is optional.
3 | Bedtime
+ Stay cool — the cooler your temperature the easier it is for your body to drift into sweet slumber, so I recommend wearing light sleepwear. My favorites are light airy dresses or soft cotton cami and short sets. I'm wearing a few Target finds here, but sadly they are no longer available. A few similar alternative for you: chemise sleep dress and romantic cotton sleep set. Lately, I've been eying the lovely Lunya collection. It's definitely become my most recent obsession. I maaaay need to invest in one of her pieces soon :).
+ Airplane Mode — set your alarm, then leave it on your nightstand out of arm's reach for the rest of the night.
+ Read for 30 min — choose a light-hearted book prior to resting your head on the pillow. I recommend reading on your stomach, as it will help signal your body to start winding down and resting.
+ Final Rest — lay on your back to start, focus on your breath, relax every part of your body, and allow your mind to initiate deep sleep.
Now that you have the all my little tips, simply make the time and follow the steps to care for yourself. I'll be right there with you. May you find restorative rest this weekend. Sweet dreams, my darling friends!
À votre santé!