You might have seen more and more articles and videos about “nighttime rituals” popping up as of late. Don’t be put off by the word “ritual,” which can have some somewhat witchy connotations but actually just refers to something you do on a regular basis. The idea of a nighttime ritual is that you do certain things each and every night that help you to wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep. These things that you do for yourself should be designed to improve your health, wellness, and appearance. If you want to stop having nights where you sit awake on the computer and then crawl into an unmade bed for a night of subpar sleep, then adopting a nighttime ritual might be the right choice for you. Here’s a guide to the perfect nighttime ritual, which will take you from the time you get home from work to the time you go to bed.
Don’t Come Home and Go Straight To The Couch or Computer
It’s normal to be exhausted when you get home from a full day of work or school. However, when you walk in the door and go straight to the couch or the computer, you’re essentially turning off the “work” part of your brain and going straight to the “relax” part of your brain. Everyone needs time to relax, but your relaxation time should come later on when you’re winding down for bed. This is what will help you to fall asleep better and stay asleep throughout the night. Instead of coming home and going straight to the couch or to the computer, do a quick 20-minute cleanup from any mess you might have made on your way out of the door that morning. If there are dishes in the sink, do them and wipe down the counters.
Change Clothes and Get Ready to Sleep
Change out of your work clothes and make sure they’re hung back up. Opt for some comfortable sweats instead of pajamas that will put you in a “sleep” mindset. If you’re a woman, remove your makeup, but don’t worry about washing your face or applying your nighttime beauty products just yet. When it comes to this 20-minute cleanup, you want to think of it the same way you’d think of the closing procedures at a restaurant or retail job. It’s your duty to reset everything so that it’s ready to go for the next day. When you exist in a clean and clutter-free home, you’ll feel happier and healthier. (See also: 4 Essential (and Natural) Sleep Aids)
Take Care Of Yourself
The early evening is for achieving those things that you want to achieve that you didn’t get to do during the course of your day. Perhaps this means following up on some work emails or watching an interesting lecture. When it comes to dinner, try to prepare something that is healthy and good for you. Let the weekends be when you indulge in junk food. Weeknights should be for nourishing your body and mind. If you take a sleep support supplement, dinner is the perfect time to take it, since most take a few hours to kick in. As your bedtime begins to approach, it’s time for those basic grooming and hygiene rituals that are so important to feeling and looking our bests. If you’re a fan of nighttime showers, take one. Otherwise, wash your face and apply any skincare products that you use. Floss and brush your teeth. Be sure not to undo the effects of your flossing and brushing by drinking anything other than soda or light tea.
After your home is clean and your grooming is taken care of, it’s time to relax. For some people, this means reading a book. For others, it means movies, television or playing on the internet. If you fall into the latter category, try to not just mindlessly stare at a screen. Instead, watch a program that you actually really like and then turn off the TV afterward. If you’re going to play on the computer, be sure to keep it to an hour or less. When we zone out in front of screens during the evening, it keeps our minds active when they ought to be winding down.
Time For Bed
Hopefully, your bed should be made from either that morning or when you cleaned up upon returning home from work. When you get into your pajamas and get into bed, it should feel like a pleasant and peaceful natural end to the day. You should never just stare at a screen until you’re too exhausted to do anything else and collapse into bed. Instead, you should get into bed with purpose and intention. Try to avoid screens in the bedroom. If you’re wide awake, try reaching a book until you feel tired. Ideally, you want to feel at peace and relaxed. This will help you to fall asleep faster.
A nighttime ritual, when followed nightly, can truly change your overall productivity and feeling of wellness. These little rituals can have such a big impact on our daily lives. The next step is creating a morning ritual where you wake up early and go through a series of steps designed to help you conquer the day ahead.
About The Author:
Lisa Smith is a professional writer with years of experience. She is a regular guest blogger on multiple blogs.