Around the age of 12, I really struggled falling asleep. I would toss and turn and not be able to fall asleep until 3-4am, and the next night the same thing would happen. This sleep pattern was a vicious cycle and it made me fear having to get into bed the next night. After a while, I got fed up, so my mom and I made it our mission to figure out every remedy in the book for a good nights sleep. It took a while, but after lots of trial and error I can confidently say that I have developed a successful night routine to fall and stay asleep. This routine has grown with me since that time and has changed a bit, but has mostly remained the same. So, I will walk you through my routine, rituals, tips, and tricks to have a great nights sleep.
Prep for the Next Morning
After I get home for the day and eat my dinner, I will always work on prepping for the next morning. I always do this after dinner, but before I go out for the night (if I do go out and do something that night). It is important to remember that in order to feel ready and prepared for sleep you have to have all your ducks in a row for the next morning. This means picking out your outfit, packing your lunch, setting your travel mug out for the morning, making sure the dishes are done, yadda, yadda, yadda. Whatever you need to do to make your morning easier, do it.
Get Off Electronics Two Hours Before Bed
I know that this isn’t always possible, and sometimes you have to text some people back, finish up a paper, or need to use technology until later in the day. But, at all costs try to reduce the amount of time you are staring at the screen. I personally will have my phone next to me until about an hour before I sleep in case someone texts me, but I will try not to go on social media, or scroll in the two hours before bed. However, if it is not possible for you to turn off electronics before bed, try using a blue light app on your phone and computer. This will help to set you up better for sleep.
Get into Bed 45 Minutes Before You Plan on Shutting Your Eyes to Sleep
This may seem like a lot of time, but believe me it will be worth it. You should always leave yourself a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour in bed before you plan on closing your eyes to sleep. Now what will you do in this time? Great question, and we all know the answer won’t be scroll on your phone. 😉 This is the time where you will adapt and put in all your night rituals. So, try to put your phone away on charge, on the other side of the room, or in another room if you’re brave, and get into bed.
Develop a Night Time Routine (That You Do Every Night)
By developing a night time routine that you stick to every night it signals to the brain that it is time to wind down and go to bed. I have done my night routine every night for years no matter what time it is. I could be out until 1am and still do my night routine. It is so important that you build this routine and stick to it.
Prep Your Room For Sleep
Close your blinds, take all your hundreds pillows off your bed, grab a glass of water for your bedside, and do anything else that feels right. I personally I always diffuse lavender essential oil, along with another blend depending on my mood. Sometimes I will add immune essential oil to boost my immune system, other times I will add serenity essential oils to support sleep. I also use a sound machine on a very low volume with the sound of waves crashing on the shore. All of these little steps will help me to start my night routine.
Clear Your Mind & Reflect
The first night ritual is to journal. I have two journals that I use every night to wind down. The first journal is a worry journal, and I started this practice back when I was 12. In this journal I will write down anything that I can think of that is worrying me. Most nights it is the same worries over and over again, but it always seems to work to leave my brain a little clearer. During this ritual I will sometimes remember things I need to remember in the morning. So, I will write these on a separate sheet, rip it out of the journal, and leave it on my night stand for the next morning. This way I don’t have to worry about remembering it for the next morning. My second journal is my gratitude and health log. In this journal I will write one line on how I was emotionally that day, how I was physically, what food I ate and the symptoms I experienced, along with 3 things I am grateful for that day. Now this may seem extensive, but for me it helps me to be able to recap, and monitor my symptoms, while also ending my day with some gratitude and positivity. Your journaling may look a little different, but I highly encourage you to at a minimum write out your worries and what you are grateful for every day.
Tap Into Your Spirituality
After my journaling I will typically do some meditation and prayer. Your spirituality may involve different things, it may be solely meditation or prayer, it may include crystals or tarot cards. No matter what it is, use a 10-15 minutes of your night ritual to work on your spirituality. Send good vibes into the universe and they will come back to you.
At this point I am usually pretty tired, and I will pick up my book and try to read some of it before my eyes close. However, this step is important for me because if I am not particularly tired that night it will help me to drift off. I try to read something light and nothing too gripping. So, no murder mysteries or dramatic story lines, if you can help it.
So hopefully these tips and tricks taught you something new that you can give a try the next time you find yourself slipping into a bad sleeping pattern. If you enjoyed, please share and subscribe to my email list so that you never miss a new post.
Your trusty, gutsy gal