Sleep is a sacred thing.
Without it, we would die (literally). So how can we make sleep a higher priority when life is so busy with everything else?
Why create a bedtime ritual of course!
That's why today, I'm sharing the ultimate bedtime ritual to help you get the best sleep ever! It's time to slow down, disconnect, and take care of yourself (for once).
Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links throughout this post. When you purchase through them I get some extra green juice money (not enough for a pony), at no extra cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products and tools that I use and love, and think you will benefit from too.
Step 1: Prepare your bedroom
Before you can begin your bedtime ritual you MUST properly prepare your space. This means you should spend at least 5-10 minutes tidying up. Yeah, I know it's not fun, BUT when your room is clean it will be much easier for your mind to fully rest. AND it will also help tire you out a little more, so you can sleep like a baby! ;)
So really, it's a win, win, win! You'll have a tidy room (Extra credit points for good Feng Shui!), less mental stress, and better quality sleep. #winning
After you've cleaned up a little, you'll want to set the mood (if you know what I mean). Here's you're "Setting the Mood To Do" list.
1. Close the curtains and dim the lights. (Obviously.)
2. Light your favorite candle (This one from Bath and Body Works is one of my faves!) or diffuse your favorite essential oils. Try Bergamot, Sandalwood, or Cedarwood for a nice earthy, grounding effect.
3. Turn on that magical salt lamp! (If you don't have one you can get one here.)
4. Power off or remove all the electronics that are in your bedroom. This is a big one. If you want to have a magical nights sleep you absolutely can't fall asleep watching TV or scrolling through Insta.
Step 2: Prepare your body
Now that you've got your room ready for bedtime, the second step is for YOU to get ready for bed too, just like you normally would.
Changing from your day clothes to PJ's is like a symbolic representation of you going from the yang (active, busy) energy of the daytime to the yin (passive, restorative) energy of the night time. That's why it's important that you don't do this step before you start cleaning because this is the official start of your mental and emotional winding down.
I would also highly recommend you indulge in a luxurious shower or bath during this phase of the ritual. There are a few major benefits to this.
1. You can take the time in the shower to mindfully cleanse yourself of the day you had. (Imagine the water washing away not only the dirt from your body but also any stress, anxiety or other people's energy you may have picked up throughout the day.)
2. It will help you sleep better because the warm water helps to relax your muscles, ease overall tension and anxiety, acts as a nasal decongestant, and will warm your body temperature so that when your body cools off right before sleep the contrast in temperature will relax you.
3. You will free up a big amount of time for the next morning because you won't need to shower then. Which means you'll be able to use that time for extra rest (Yay!), meditation, or just a delicious cup of tea!
Step 3: Stretch it out
Now that you're prepped and ready to go, the next step of this bedtime ritual is to practice a little yin (restorative) yoga. Stretching out the body before bedtime is a great (And I mean great!) way to help induce relaxation and restore your body.
A few of my favorite bedtime yoga poses are Legs Up the Wall Pose, Child's Pose, any gentle twisting pose (like Supine Twist), and Goddess Stretch. (In case you have no idea what I just said, here's a great video from Fitness Magainze that will show you how to do all these poses!)
Be mindful about what poses you choose to do here, because while there are lots of yoga poses that are great before bedtime (just do a simple Pinterest search if you want some more ideas), there are also lots of yoga poses that will energize and invigorate you, which you, of course, won't want to do right before bedtime.
Step 4: Snuggle up with a good book
So you've prepped and you've stretched, now what? Now it's time to snuggle up with a good book of course! (What kind of ritual would this be without a little reading?!) I don't know about you, but when I read a book in bed, it usually puts me to sleep in about 20 minutes... or less!
Make sure you choose a book that's not an epic page-turner because the idea is to relax into sleep, not stay up all night reading. (Although, that can be fun too!) I usually like to enjoy some type of inspirational, non-fiction book at this time so I can go to sleep feeling peaceful and inspired.
If you need some ideas on what to read here's a whole list of books that would work perfectly as your next bedtime read. Or you could always just read my book, #ActuallyICan: The Art of Affirming Yourself to Greatness, so you can work on that positive self-talk before bed. :)
Step 5: Give thanks
Once you're finished reading, it's time to get grateful! This is the step in the ritual were you'll want to do whatever it is you like to do in order to give thanks to how awesome your life is. I like gratitude journaling (which I can show you how to do here) or you can use this time to say a little prayer.
When you're thankful before you sleep, you go to bed feeling good and fulfilled so that you can rest easy and wake up on the right side of the bed. It's a trick that all people who love their lives do, and now you can do it too!
STEP 6: SELF-LOVE
Self-lovin’ is important, so you might as well just incorporate it as a part of your daily routine.
Loving yourself last thing in the day will even help you integrate the love you cultivate for yourself while you sleep!
One of my favorite practice ways to do this is to journal about it. You can write a list of things you love, admire, or appreciate about yourself… You can contemplate what makes you feel the most loved and then make sure to include more of that in your schedule…
Or you can just download this free list of 21 Self-Love Journal Prompts I’ve created for you and go through that. :)
Step 7: Meditate/fall asleep
The last and final step is to... drumroll please... meditate! Now, this doesn't need to be some big long thing in order for it to be effective. I like spending 10-15 minutes in meditation here. You'll most likely fall asleep before you even finish, especially since you'll be lying in bed, so this amount is usually perfect!
I personally prefer to listen to guided meditations at night as opposed to going it on my own because my brain is too tired to focus by the end of the day. (Here's a blog post with some of my favorite guided meditations.)
Or you could also go the musical route and listen to soothing music that will put you in a meditative state, if you wanna jazz things up! (Here's a blog post where I share my top 17 songs you need to include in your meditation practice.)
This entire blissful bedtime experience should take you about an hour if you follow the general time guidelines I've laid out for you. This will give you plenty of time every day for the self-love and care that you need. (And deserve!)
If you can't dedicate that much time to your ritual every day don't feel bad! A little bit of time well-spent is still better than none.
I'd love to hear how this goes for you so try it out and then come back and leave your experience in the comments! If you already have a ritual of your own I would also love to hear that as well.
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