As I mentioned in my morning routine, sleep is SO important to me. And it should be to absolutely everyone. Sleep heals the mind and body, acting as a daily reset. About a year ago, I started experiencing conditioned insomnia, and accidentally trained my body to dread bed time. I wasn’t sleeping well for the majority of 2018. I would get into bed at 9pm or even earlier a lot of the time. I would lay in my bed for hours and let my mind run wild, thinking about all the things I didn’t want to think about. I wouldn’t fall asleep until 1 or 2 in the morning, and then have to sleep in past 10am just to feel rested enough to go about my day. I let my anxious mind control me and lead me through a draining path that ended in depression.
Once I finally made sleep and really just myself a priority, I finally started to feel better. I started seeing a sleep coach and putting the effort into changing my life. I wanted to be happy and my sleep schedule was a huge component to achieving that. I’m still constantly working on myself, my sleep, and my mental health. But, I’ve finally come up with what aspects make up the perfect nightly routine. I change a few things here and there every couple of months, but the structure of my routine stays the same. And if I don’t stick to it, I can feel and see a difference in my every day life. I’m more anxious, stressed, and fatigued.
Let’s break down my nightly routine.
I start to wind down by 7-8pm. My mom and I will watch tv together and talk about how our days went. Since it’s been getting warmer outside, sometimes we go for walks in the neighborhood together before it gets dark. Spending time with my mom is really important to me and makes me happy. ♥♥♥
Usually around 9pm, we go on our separate ways for the night. I go down to my bedroom, which I’ve decorated and situated to be my sanctuary. Being in my room makes me happy and calms me down, never stresses me out. I always make it a point to pamper myself a little at night. I brush my teeth with a bamboo tooth brush (to save the earth, duh). Then, wash my face using a spin brush and who knows what face wash. I’m always switching it up as my skin is always switching it up on me. I moisturize at night using a simple combo of Vitamin E oil and either lavender or tea tree oil. Slather my lips in Burt’s Bee’s and I’m all set in the bathroom!
Now, I spend an hour or so at my desk. I looove my desk, because I keep it so organized and full of my favorite things. I turn on my essential oil diffuser, which usually is diffusing some sort of mixture including lavender, eucalyptus, and geranium. I light a candle, turn on my salt lamp, and spend time with myself. I journal about all my worries in my dedicated “brain dump” journal. It’s hidden under my desk, so the universe can’t find all my greatest fears…. I write about half a page of all the things my mind is anxious or scared about and I then contradict those worries with half a page of positive affirmations. So, say I write about being scared of a new job interview going badly in the first half of the page. I would then write an affirmation like “I AM going to get the new job and crush the interview” in the second half. I also like to read during this time, which helps me get super sleepy. Right now, I’m reading “Relaxation for Dummies” by Shamash Alidina and “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis. If I feel like I need to make a to-do list for the next day, I only let myself write up to 4 things that need to get done. If I were to let myself add more, the list would go on forever and I’d never feel accomplished. I just pick the 4 most important things, that are also attainable for that upcoming day. Always set yourself up for success, not failure!
Once it is 11pm, I am now allowed to get into bed. If I let myself get into bed before eleven, I could potentially lay there for hours, thinking about the things I don’t want to be thinking about. This is something my sleep coach taught me to do. Again, setting myself up for success. I say goodnight to my boyfriend and put my phone away!!! Oh, actually I have to use my phone to meditate first, whoops. I always meditate before trying to sleep and I love to mediate laying down in my cozy bed. I use the Insight Timer app, and gravitate towards meditations that make me feel loved and safe before easing into sleep. Meditating REALLY helps my anxiety and depression. I can see a difference in my day to day life when I make a conscious decision to meditate every day. I’m less stressed and irritated by little things, I think about the past less, and I’m simply happier! Sweet dreams to me♥♥♥
Other things that play a part in my nightly routine (or things I can add if I’m in the mooood):
☾I’m very scared of the dark, so I use a red night light. Red light is the least disturbing to sleep. Okay, you got me… I use two red night lights. It’s fine.
☾If I feel like I need it, I will use a sleepy essential oil roller on the bottoms of my feet. I mixed lavender, cedar wood, vetiver, and frankincense.
☾Also, if I feel like extra pampering myself, I will massage my feet and hands with lotion and oils. This really just helps me relax and send myself feelings of compassion.
☾If I’m on my health grind, I’ll fill up a large mason jar with water, fresh lemon juice, and a little bit of apple cider vinegar. I‘ll leave the glass in the fridge for myself to drink in the morning. Health is wealth!
☾If I don’t feel like reading, I’ll listen to a positive podcast, or soothing music and color. Coloring helps me be creative without having to think about it much.
I hope this was fun to read and helped you with your nightly routine! I know it can seem a little extra to have a 2 hour long nighttime routine, but it’s just what works for me. Figure out what works for you and try new things. If you struggle with sleep, I’d be happy to chat about what changes you could possibly make to have a better relationship with sleeping.