Want to wake up on the right side of the bed every morning? Follow this 15-minute bedtime routine to optimise your night’s sleep before hitting the pillow…
1. LIGHT A CANDLE AND MEDITATE
Good morning routines are critical to success in life, while setting the tone for the whole day. Similarly, it is equally as important to have an evening wind-down regime too. The best rituals help you to reflect on your day, and prepare you for the following morning. Meditation is beneficial, but a session too close to bedtime could mean you won’t be tired enough to doze off, so try doing yours as soon as you get in from work. Beforehand, light a candle, switch off any artificial lights, sit upright, close your eyes, then start to meditate either using an app or your own mantra. We love the scent of the new SHOW Beauty candle for evoking a sense of relaxation. Inspired by the decadence and ambience of SHOW Dry salons, it’s made from soy-based, natural wax that’s enriched with lush rose petals, with notes of coconut milk, creamy caramel, Madagascan vanilla and white musk and creates a calming and luxurious cocoon of scent.
2. SWITCH OFF ONE HOUR BEFORE YOU SNOOZE
Pressures of work and our 24/7 digital connectivity means waking feeling tired but wired is common. Going to bed with your phone in your hand is a big no no – not only is the blue light stimulating, visuals take three hours to process and your mind will be scrambled – you might even be in work mode still. Switch your phone off or, even better, place it in a different room, at least one hour before bedtime so you can start to properly switch off for the day. This also means you won’t reach for your phone if you wake up through the night or let the screen be the first thing you see as soon as you open your eyes come morning. Seriously life-altering.
3. JOURNALISE YOUR DAY
If your mind is working overtime it can be hard to drift off, and then there’s that thing when you eventually nod off and wake up sporadically through the night with thoughts whirling around your head making getting back to sleep almost impossible. The key is letting everything go before your head hits the pillow. Research has shown that keeping a diary can reduce stress and therefore improve sleep, but it’s important to write honestly with your thoughts and fears. Another mindful tip is to list the elements of your life that you are grateful for and what you are looking forward to the next day to get yourself into a positive frame of mind – it’s much easier to dwell on the negative so getting into positive habits will have a roll on effect, even to the morning.
4. ENJOY A BUBBLE BATH
The dip in body temperature after emerging from a long, hot soak helps to promote sleep as the circadian rhythm – which controls our waking, sleeping, and eating cycles – is attuned to our body temperature. As our bodies cool down from a warm bath, our circadian rhythm is signalled to begin making us sleepier by slowing down our heart and breathing rate, and digestion – getting our bodies into the perfect rhythm for the best night’s sleep.
5. GET INTO A NOVEL
Research has shown that reading a book or magazine, (as opposed to a Kindle or smartphone) in bed can reduce stress in less than six minutes. So jump into bed and make some time for your latest blockbuster, but make sure your pillows are puffed up, your sheets are tucked in and you change your bed covers once a week - a bed that’s appealing to get into can make a massive difference to how able you are to relax and consequently sleep.