After a long day, it feels so good to crawl into bed and have some relief from our busy minds.
Sleep is one of two ways the body gets energy (the other being eating). Sleep affects everything from weight management to mood to being able to digest food properly. How we get ready for bed can dramatically change the quality of our sleep.
Try the following bedtime ritual for a week and notice if anything changes for you.
I love doing this ritual because of the time it gives me to connect with myself and process all that happened during the day.
1. Set up your coffee or tea for the morning.
I started doing this a while back and it is a game-changer. This is especially true if you have a full house or a lot that has to happen in the morning.
Being able to come in and click the button or turn on the already full kettle takes a few details off the morning to-do list.
Plus, it’s fun to anticipate that first sip as you set it up.
Note: do this with anything else too: breakfast, work stuff, school stuff. Taking care of details the night before makes for a smoother and more peaceful start to the day.
2. Set a timer for 10 minutes and stretch.
I’ve talked about stretching in some of my other articles because it is so important. We’ve been unconsciously holding stress and tension all day long. Stretching provides a way to safely and gently release this tension.
Put on some music and light a candle. Start with some neck and shoulder rolls. Close the eyes and go within. Feel every part of your body moving—every joint, every muscle, every tendon.
Stretching does a few things: it forces us to slow down, it relaxes the body and mind, and it brings the nervous system back into parasympathetic mode (or rest and digest mode).
And honestly, it feels so, so good. We’ve become a society of overthinkers. When we get quiet and reconnect with the body, we realize how much we have been cut off from the neck down all day.
3. Honor what the day brought.
Our nighttime routine will serve us best when we also take care of our minds.
How we speak to ourselves and what we focus on provides the blueprint for how we feel. It’s important to keep training the conscious mind toward expansion and support.
Before you hit the hay, try some of the following affirmations to honor all you did during the day and assist in deep rest.
Here are 5 calming affirmations to help you get some quality z’s:
1. I trust in all that happened today and know I am protected.
2. I did my best with what I presently know and I celebrate all progress.
3. Something I did, said, or created helped someone today.
4. I give myself and my body permission to rest and recover.
5. There is a divine order to everything and I relax into this knowledge.
Note: combine these affirmations with a gratitude list if that also speaks to you.
Sleep and rest are sacred. The more we allow ourselves better downtime, the more we can enjoy what we want to experience during the day.