5 things you should do before sleeping for a good night’s rest
Do you wake up feeling like a zombie? Do you dream of being one of those people who leap out of bed and get it ALL done? One of those people who tick off their to-do list before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee.
Bad night’s sleep
When you have a bad night’s sleep you are definitely NOT a morning person. In fact, you can’t believe it’s morning already and check the time just to make sure. Rather than ready to face the day, you feel ready to curl up and nap like a baby.
You feel irritable, snappy and are definitely going to feel super tired all day. So how do you cope the day after a restless night?
Some things you can try:
- Don’t worry - bad nights are inevitable. They will happen, but they won’t last forever.
- Try a natural pick-me-up - forget the nicotine and grab a Ripple+ Boost to save the day.
- Think of the future - knowing you will eventually sleep can motivate you through the day.
- Get on the move - a brisk walk or a quick work-out can help you feel more energised.
- A quick nap - A short 20 minute nap can wake up your brain up enough to help you focus.
We’ve rounded up 5 top things to do before sleeping. Give them a try and you’ll be saying goodbye to bad nights. No more waking up on the wrong side of the bed again.
1. Clear your mind
Do a brain dump
When our minds are full of thoughts, it makes it super difficult to switch off. Like a computer, we get clogged up with unnecessary files. If you feel like this before sleep, you need to clear your mental desktop. Grab a pen and notepad and just write down everything that pops into your mind. Spending a few minutes each night doing this empties your mind of all those thoughts that get in the way of your precious snooze time.
Prepare to succeed
To maximise your sleep quality, you must prepare for success. This means setting a sleep schedule you can stick to. Go to bed at the same time each night and set an alarm for the same time in the morning. This will prepare your body for sleep time. Plan for the next day before you go to bed. Know exactly what you need to do and when. That means you aren’t mentally running through your schedule before bed.
2. Listen to your body
Have an early night
We are increasingly disconnected from our bodies. When we are tired, we push ourselves to stay awake, just so we can achieve ALL the things. When you take time to check in with your body, you might be surprised. You might realise you actually do feel tired around 9.30pm. But you feel like you should really catch up on some work or finish off some tasks. Often, our busy schedules mean we are building up a sleep debt. When we don’t sleep properly for a few nights, you can catch up on this debt by going to bed a bit earlier or sleeping later.
Relax yourself to sleep
When you are focused on getting a good night’s sleep, it can actually prevent you from sleeping. If you are constantly checking the time or worried that you aren’t falling asleep fast enough, your brain finds it tricky to switch off. Instead, just focus on relaxing. This relieves the pressure you feel to actually fall asleep. Generally, when you are in a relaxed state, sleep will follow naturally.
3. Gentle exercises
Life is busy and we often don’t remember to take a little time for ourselves. Before bed, try doing some relaxing yoga poses or simple stretching. Your muscles will thank you! Research has shown that stretching exercises can reduce insomnia. Find some bedtime yoga routines online or just tune into your body and stretch it out. It’s guaranteed to feel good.
Take a stroll
Going for a walk in the evening can help de-stress your head before bed. If you are always on the go during the day it is difficult to wind down at night. Getting some fresh air and exercise will take your mind off your hectic day. It gives you some space away from your worries and some much-needed chill time.
4. Create a ritual
Soak in the tub
A warm soak in the bath with some aromatherapy can do wonders for your sleep quality A few drops of essential oils creates the ultimate luxury soak. One reason a bath before bed helps with sleep is the temperature. After a hot bath, your body experiences a sharp drop in temperature. This temperature drop lets your body know that it is night. It also signals to the body to release melatonin - the sleep hormone.
Read a good book
Research has discovered that reading for just 6 minutes a day can decrease stress levels by 68%. If that isn’t a good enough reason to curl up with a book, there are others. Reading is a good activity for strengthening your brain. It improves your cognitive function and even lowers your blood pressure.
When you feel grateful, you feel thankful for things in your life. It helps you focus on the present rather than worries about the future. Developing a gratitude practice works wonders for your mental health. When you feel gratitude, your brain releases dopamine - the feel-good chemical. Studies have found that feeling grateful before sleep improves sleep quality.
Sit in stillness
Even if you simply sit in stillness, your wellbeing will be improved. If you are new to meditation, try a guided meditation using an app or listen to a free one online. When you are feeling all zen, you are more likely to drift off afterwards. Meditation helps calm your mind and relax your body. Exactly what you need right before sleep.