If you saw my recent post on my 4-step morning routine, you’ll know that setting myself up with a positive mindset is essential for a productive day. I also believe that the way we end our day is as important as how we start it – and that’s where a night-time routine comes in. What we do in the lead up to bedtime has a direct impact on the quality of our sleep.
I can’t emphasise just how important it is to get good quality sleep in order to live a truly healthy life. Getting more sleep is one of the simplest and easiest ways to heal your body. We all know how amazing we feel after a good night’s sleep; we feel energised, refreshed, clear and ready to take on the day. It accelerates healing as it’s the body’s time to repair and recharge.
Here are five things I do every night to prepare myself for some quality shut-eye.
- Sign off for the day: No matter what time you finish your tasks for the day, I think it’s important to truly ‘sign off’. Carrying the stress of work with you during the evening only heightens cortisol and adrenaline, which are taxing on your overall health. To combat this, I recommend setting some boundaries for yourself.
- Make a wholesome meal: After you’ve signed off for the day, it’s important to prepare a nutritious dinner. I believe that healthy, wholesome meals don’t need to be too fancy or hard. As long as they have a balance of the three important macronutrients – protein, healthy fats and fibre – then you’re on track. I love referring to my 10-minute dinners for something fast and fresh. And when you’re eating dinner, remember to do so slowly and mindfully.
- Limit screen time: When I say ‘switch off’ I really mean it. That means turning off phones, tablets and computers. As a rule, you’ll never find me on my phone after 8pm.
- Create space for relaxation: Our priorities and commitments vary, so making time for relaxation will be different for everyone. Maybe it’s lighting a few candles and drinking a cup of herbal tea, or finding some time to read a few pages of your favourite book. I love having a bath with a few drops of essential oil and Epsom salt. This really helps the body to rest and decompress, signalling time for bed. No matter what your chosen form of relaxation, remember to be mindful of the moment and know you’re worthy of that time.
- Prepare the body for sleep: I love putting my legs up against the wall for 10 minutes before bed. This yogic posture – also known as viparati karani – improves circulation and puts the parasympathetic nervous system into the rest and digest state. When your body has entered a calm mood, it’s so much easier to get a good night’s rest.
I know that with our busy, on-the-go lives, these night-time rituals may not be practical for everyone, but I encourage you to try them and see what works for you.
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