Lifestyle

How to Have an Effective Bedtime Routine

It is said that sleep is the best meditation. Without it, we do not function at our full potential. Our awareness, productivity, performance- they’re all affected by a sleep-deprived night. A good night’s rest is a simple self-care activity that is essential for the mind, body, and soul yet it is often not prioritised. According to Healthline, 7-9 hours is the ideal amount for most adults. However, today many of us struggle to pencil in enough of that well-needed time to recharge. One of the easiest ways to settle in at night is to establish an effective bedtime routine. A bedtime routine sets the tone for the evening, relaxing the mind and letting it know that the time to rest is approaching.

Keep reading for ESPA’s guide to a truly effective bedtime routine.

woman in bed relaxing with tea

What is sleep hygiene?

Let’s begin by discussing what sleep hygiene is. It refers to the habits and environment that help your mind and body to feel ready for restoration when it comes to the time to go to bed.

Strong sleep hygiene does not involve scrolling through your phone as you lie in bed. Nor does it involve evening coffees or late-night dinners. Lastly, it certainly is not achieved from erratic sleeping patterns- napping at random times and waking up mid-day. So what is strong sleep hygiene? It is all about doing what you can to establish a calming bedroom environment and effective daily routines to help you towards those nurturing, uninterrupted sleeps. From reducing blue light exposure to lighting a relaxing candle, there are plenty of simple steps that you can take to tackle your sleep hygiene.

With what sleep hygiene is in mind, you can take the necessary steps towards having an effective bedtime routine.

slippers and candle beside white bed

Set a regular sleep schedule

The first step is to set a regular sleep schedule. Aim to be in bed at the same time every evening and to wake at the same time, regardless of whether it’s mid-week or weekend. This means that it’s time to prioritise your sleep. Life can certainly get in the way sometimes but with a fatigued mind and body, you may find your concentration drifting more often, your mood feeling in a slump, and your motivation lacking. Neglecting yourself of the sleep you need is ultimately counterproductive.

Pencil in the essential time for your mind and body to rest. Make gradual adjustments. Be consistent. During the summer months when it gets brighter in the mornings, why not try an eyemask to prevent the day time light from breaking your sleep cycle.

Reduce blue light exposure in the evening

Blue light is what creeps in on those bright mornings. It comes from the the sun and tells our minds that it’s day time. It keeps us alert and stimulates our brain to stay awake. However, blue light is also emitted from digital screens, electronic devices, and fluorescent and LED lighting. It’s the light our eyes take in as we scroll through our phones and laptops, which is why we should avoid staring into these screens when we’re trying to wind down. Turn on the night shift setting which uses warmer colors that don’t create this brain stimulation.

Alternatively, try to get lost in a book and allow your mind to escape every day stresses.

woman reading as part of her bedtime routine

Don’t consume caffeine too late in the evening

It may seem obvious that a coffee before bed is counter-intuitive. However, it’s preferable to avoid caffeine for as long as four to six hours before bedtime. Remember, sources of caffeine go beyond coffee. Green tea and many soft drinks are also culprits that can leave you tossing and turning at night time.

How to relax before bed

Lastly, the most important part of an effective bedtime routine is to relax before bed. You may be wondering how to relax before bed and if so, it’s all about finding a routine that soothes your mind and settles your thoughts. Once you know how to relax before bed in a way that you enjoy, you will have a bedtime routine in place to look forward to and in turn, you will be more inclined to stick to it.

woman about to get into bed

Create a relaxing environment

Transform your bedroom into an oasis of calm. Try out a weighted blanket– a blanket filled with beads to make it heavier and provide a relaxing therapy of gentle pressure. Why not take a look at our weighted blanket guide to learn about how the gentle pressure applied by the extra weight can benefit your relaxation, mood and bedtime routine.

Sink into slumber on a soft, decadent, silk pillowcase. Inherent properties of silk keep you cool and refreshed, with breathable qualities to support a heavenly night’s sleep.

These small adjustments to your sleeping environment can make the world of difference. Having a personal haven of rest will help to improve the effectiveness of your bedtime routine.

Light a relaxing candle

Finally, cast a sense of calm over your space with a deeply relaxing candle. Look for one which contains a blend of oils designed to slow busy minds and bodies for a greater sense of peace. This natural soy wax relaxing candle is infused with our unique Soothing Signature Blend, which harnesses the potency of aromatherapy oils to help restore tranquility and ease the mind using a warm, peaceful aroma that combines Myrrh’s mellow notes with comforting Sandalwood, Rose Geranium and Frankincense.

Quality time for sleep is not something to procrastinate or depreciate. A calming, nurturing bedtime routine will help to give a sense of restoration to your mind, body, and spirit and make those evenings something to look forward to. Plus, a quality sleep will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your following morning. For some tips on establishing a morning routine, take a look at our guide on How to Make Mornings Easier: 3 Top Tips for Starting Your Day.

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Josie Wilkins

Josie Wilkins

Writer and expert

Josie is an Online Beauty Editor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Her passions involve all things skincare and beauty and in her free time she likes to travel, read and get her beauty sleep.