Wellness

Nighttime rituals for better sleep

Early bird gets the worm. Every single successful person I know, look up to or I’ve studied (and keep in mind that “success” can be defined in many ways and it doesn’t always involve work or career) have one thing in common: they’re early risers.

If there’s one thing that had a big impact on me when changing my lifestyle into a more productive and healthy one, it’s taking control of my mornings. Mornings have fewer distractions and on most days, it’s the only time I get some quiet time, or time just for myself. I can set my intentions for the day to come, I don’t have to rush, I get some work done and it all happens before my day “officially” starts. Actually, I’m writing this at 5.30 am.

The thing is, it’s difficult to wake up early in the morning, right? When you hear your alarm go off, the first you want to do is hit snooze. Or throw it out the window.

So, how do you take control of your mornings? By having a smarter bedtime routine.

UNWIND

Let your body know when it’s time to go to sleep. Chances are you’re probably busy during the day- constantly running around. Your body is in that go-go-go mode, which is why it’s difficult to just wind down. You get to bed and start analyzing your day, you remember something you didn’t get to do and start feeling anxious.

Give yourself some time to unwind before trying to fall asleep. Your bedroom should be used only for sleep (and intimacy)- that way when you get into your bed, your body knows that it’s time to fall asleep. Don’t bring things like your laptop or other electronics to bed. Use this time to shut your brain down: take a warm bath, read a book, apply a face mask- whatever it is that calms and relaxes you. I love indulging in my nighttime skincare routine. I do some deep-cleaning using a cream/oil cleanser like MUN Akwi cleanser (use a code “MUN13T” to save some $$); I massage it into my skin and then put a washcloth under hot water and gently press it into my skin. I usually followup up with a gel cleanser, have a little facial massage and go in with my serums, eye cream, do some dry-brushing. This helps me unwind, relax and prep for bedtime.

If you do this routinely, your brain will make the connection that reading or taking a bath means that you’re ready to go sleep.

AROMATHERAPY

This is another thing that can help you unwind. I just talked about my love for essential oils in this post and my nights wouldn’t be the same without Lavender oil. Using essential oils before going to bed can be calming and relaxing, they will help you not only fall asleep but also stay asleep. You can try Lavender oil which has calming and very slightly sedative properties. Add a few drops of one of the oils to a cotton ball and place it by your pillow/nightstand at night, use a diffuser, you can also use a bed linen spray, or apply the oil directly on your wrists and ankles.

STAY COOL

If the weather permits, leave your windows open for about an hour before you go to bed and let that fresh, crisp air in. The ideal sleep temperature is between 60 and 68 degrees- scientists confirm that the cooler bedroom equals better sleep. Core body temperature dips during sleep and cooler bedroom facilities that temperature decline, making it easier for you to fall asleep. If you’re afraid you’ll be too cold when you wake up, keep a pair of socks on your nightstand. Sounds weird, I know, but I swear it’s something that helps me get up early every single day- first thing I do as I wake up, I grab my socks.

TIDY UP 

People who make their bed in the morning are more likely to get a restful sleep that those who don’t. So make your bed, every single morning. The ideal sleep environment should be clean, free of any clutter (like clothes, electronics, remotes, magazines), cool and quiet. Take it from me- someone who used to fall asleep with a laptop and paperwork scattered all over the bed; mess causes stress and there’s nothing restful about sleeping in a pile of clutter.

TRY MAGNESIUM 

I started taking magnesium back in college when suffering from awful migraines. My migraine would usually hit at night and I noticed that taking magnesium facilitated the “unwind and relax” bedtime ritual. Magnesium is known as a natural muscle relaxant. It was also found to help decrease cortisol- the “stress hormone” which often keeps us up at night. I always have a bottle of Magnesium on my nightstand and reach for it especially after those long, stressful days. It helps my muscles relax, calms me down- it does this by moving calcium out of the muscles and back into the bloodstream. You can take Magnesium Supplement, use Magnesium bath flakes or use a Magnesium oil. I find that a magnesium supplement is SO much better than any other sleep aids- you don’t wake up groggy and it won’t give you weird-ass dreams.

It’s also hard to go sleep when your mind is racing, so make sure that you’re not going to bed stressed-try an app like Calm if you find it really difficult to unwind. If you really struggle with falling asleep, remember that it’s not something that will change overnight. It can take a while to readjust (took me almost 2 years!), but once your body adjusts and recognizes that new routine, your sleep (and in turn, your mornings) will improve.

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41 Comments

  • Reply
    LuxeStyle
    April 22, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I think I need to start opening the windows before bed because I’ve started waking up way too hot. I so much prefer getting up early because I get so much more done x

    LuxeStyle

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Definitely try doing it if the weather allows it- the fresh air feels so amazing. I love falling asleep with opened windows- until the summer comes and it gets way too humid for that hehe ;)

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    April 22, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I have always been more of an early riser, but with the kids around it is not that I have a choice. Both are up and awake at 6 am without exception. Which means that of course I don’t get anything productive done in the mornings and have to stay up late to work, which is not a good time for me.
    But the plus side is, I have no trouble sleeping, the second I lay down I am sound asleep.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Reply
    Sakuranko
    April 22, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I didn´t know that fact about Magnesium really thanks for share these sincerely I sleep really bad in seasons of exams like this
    xx

    http://www.sakuranko.com

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      Ahh I don’t miss those days! :) I had the worst sleeping habits back in school. Magnesium is amazing, I use it almost nightly.

  • Reply
    Kayla
    April 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Great tips, my friend always has to have tea before she goes to bed and that helps her to wind down. For me I always have trouble sleeping so maybe I will give these a try :)

    Kayla
    Sheer Beauty Blog

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      It’s definitely important to have a little wind-down ritual that lets your body know it’s time for bed. it doesn’t work overnight, but once you make it a habit you’ll find it so much easier to fall asleep.

  • Reply
    Alice
    April 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I definitely need to learn to tidy up especially make my bed, I am so bad at not doing this. Wonderful post.

    Alice | alicemaysnell

  • Reply
    Natalie Harney
    April 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    My bedtime routine is my favourite time of the day. Taking the time to unplug and relax is so so lovely. Definitely going to try that cool down tip!

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      I agree! I love both my mornings and evenings – love having all those little rituals to look forward to :)

  • Reply
    Ariadna Morell
    April 22, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I love reading a book or a magazine before going to sleep, it makes me sleepier and i fall asleep so much faster! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Reply
    fannyanddailybeauty
    April 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I’m really bad at getting a good night’s sleep, so I’m always listening to those kind of tips! One thing is sure: having a tidy bed really helps. I also used to work or eat in bed and since I’ve stopped doing it, my mind instantly associates my bed with sleep and it really helps!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      This, right here, is so important. I used to bring work to bed, along wth my laptop and paperwork and I was a mess. haha :)

  • Reply
    Sonini 92
    April 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    This post is mazing. Fortunaly I do all that tips, and that’s what I rest a lot all nights. You have explained perfectly!
    XOXO

  • Reply
    Liz | Lipstick & Confetti
    April 22, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    These are great tips! I have been thinking about taking a magnesium supplement as I keep hearing about the amazing benefits!

    xo, Liz
    http://lipstickandconfetti.com

  • Reply
    Beautylymin
    April 23, 2017 at 5:43 am

    I love anything lavender scented to help me unwind xx

    Beautylymin

  • Reply
    Lisa Autumn
    April 23, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Lavender is the best to get to sleep!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • Reply
    Claudia @ Just a Little Blush
    April 23, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I need to try some of these asap. I usually do fitness classes in the evenings (which isn’t necessarily ideal for good sleep) so it’s hard to fall asleep. I think if I went to sleep earlier I could actually do classes at the crack of dawn. Just need to make it a habit.

    – Claudia
    http://www.justalittleblush.com/

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      A good workout is such a great way to start the day- switching it up might actually work very well for you!

  • Reply
    Danielle Beautyblog
    April 23, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I love a bath before bed, it makes me so sleepy! I’m the worlds worst early riser though!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      I need to try taking baths at night at least once a week. I used to do it every Saturday afternoon after cleaning the house and it was such a lovely treat!

  • Reply
    Kelly Anne
    April 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    All such great tips! Magnesium is definitely a good idea and one I’ve been using for over a year!

    Kelly x
    http://www.anneinthedollhouse.com/

  • Reply
    Devyn
    April 23, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    I used to have an awful time getting to sleep, partially because of anxiety. My doctor told me to start taking melatonin before going to bed and it’s been a life saver! Now instead of laying in bed for hours trying to sleep, I’m out within 15-20 minutes.

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    April 24, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Great post. I have trouble sleeping some nights so im going to try this!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Reply
    Laurali Star
    April 24, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    About once a week, every single week, I have a night where it takes me hour to fall asleep. Being the naturalist that I am, I’m surprised I never thought to try aromatherapy. Wonderful tips!

    ~Laurali Star

    http://www.lauralistarxo.com

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    April 25, 2017 at 7:52 am

    5.30am?! Serious props to you, I went to sleep at 2am last night so at the moment waking up at 5.30am would just about kill me. I love the idea of being an early riser but my entire family are night owls and we always have been, I think we all by extension then like to stay up at night because we know everyone else is awake and it doesn’t feel so late!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      I used to be such a night owl- I functioned the best right around midnight, these days I’m out by 10.30-11.30 hehe ;)

  • Reply
    Samantha Frances
    April 25, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I definitely want to try out some lavender essential oils. My sleeping pattern is horrendous and it seriously needs to change! I have a lavender scented body lotion so I think I might start applying that before bed and see how that goes! xxx
    http://www.samanthafrances.co.uk

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      I had the worst sleeping patter for years and always woke up so tired and exhausted. Well, I basically didn’t sleep hehe ;) I love Lavender- I always associate it with bedtime, it’s just a perfect, soothing scent that helps unwind.

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