by Riley Perrin, MPH-nutrition student
The benefits of sleep—including improved mood, brain performance and overall health—are well-known. The tricky part about sleep is, well, how to get enough of it. Creating a bedtime ritual can be a tool to not only get a better night’s sleep, but also to feel more in control of your time and relieve stress about the day to come. So, what is a bedtime ritual? The good news is that a bedtime ritual can be anything that you want it to be. It can be 10 minutes or two hours long. It is totally up to you and what serves you best. Many people will pick a set of a three to four things that they would like to do before going to bed and make that their ritual. This does not have to be something that you do every single night, but the routine will begin 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 available to dedicate to a bedtime ritual on your average night. Remember this time can be as short or as long as you would like.
Now move onto the fun part: Pick the activities that you would like to include each night. Here are some examples or ideas to pick from if you are having difficulty:
- Skincare routine: wash your face, do a face/eye mask or apply a nice, scented lotion
- Drink an herbal tea
- Read a chapter of a book
- Light stretching
- Listen to music/podcast/ebook
Now that you have your routine, remember to create the best environment for yourself to get a good night’s sleep. This may include tidying up your bedroom, turning on a white noise machine or a diffuser, putting on clean pajamas or turning on the fan.
The more consistent you are with your ritual, the quicker it will become a normal part of your routine. Now go get some sleep!