Last posting I spoke about what to avoid for optimal zzz's. This week, let's focus on what to create! Establishing a bedtime ritual, i.e. following a consistent night-time routine, is an amazing way to prepare your mind and body for a good night's sleep. Here are some practices to incorporate as you begin establishing a ritual of your own..
- Be deliberate with your PJ's- Find something comfy and consistent that you can wear to bed each night. Be mindful of the fabric and fit. How does it feel on your body? Make it something you look forward to putting on. Changing into this special sleepwear signals your body that it's time to start winding down.
- Streeeeetch- Do some simple stretching or a basic yoga sequence to prepare your body for the upcoming hours of non-use. Focus on alignment and general loosening up vs. exertion.
- Listen to soothing music- Lighter sounds, such as classical music, help the mind relax. Experiment with what sounds feel best.
- Drink a glass of cherry juice- This is a less common pre-bedtime ritual, but definitely one worth considering. Tart cherries are high in melatonin, the same hormone that helps your body induce sleep. Try having a cup about an hour before you'd like to zonk out. Bring on the yawning!
- Write out tomorrow's to-dos- All too often our sleep is disturbed by pesky anxieties about tomorrow. Try tackling these anxieties head on before they even have the chance to creep into your dreams. Write out a list of tomorrow's to-do's, helping to clear your mind and provide some itnernal organization. Rest assured they'll be there in the am.