The original title of this blog post was "How to Make an Bedtime Routine", but I was afraid I would get a swarm of sleep-deprived mothers commenting about how this was NO HELP getting their babies to rest. Although many of these suggestions will help those sleepy tots as well, I didn't want to be misleading.
But this got me thinking... most parents have a set of rituals and expectations for their children at bedtime. Why is this? We don't want to accidentally forget something, that "Oh gosh, I haven't bathed my child in 4 days" feeling. But we also want to instill a sense of comfort. There's calm that comes from following a routine. We feel its a given, expected idea with children, but yet with ourselves as adults we don't. I want to give you a glimpse into some ideas for an adult evening routine before bed that will help keep you organized and hopefully support better sleep as well.
You mix and match and reorder these ideas however you please to fit your needs. (And if you have kids, you could include them in many of these, or do them once they go to bed. Regardless, you DO have the time to take a few minutes to try at least one new idea!) It's important to remember though, that these ideas are do be done after all your chores and work are completed. I'm the queen of bringing work home, but get it all out of the way and THEN follow your bedtime routine. Don't sprinkle it in between. It's less efficient and your brain is going to still be moving at lightning speed when you're trying to fall asleep.
Let's Go! Here are some ideas for your Evening Routine.
If you're a nighttime shower type of person, go ahead and get that done! Face washing, teeth brushing, go ahead and get that out of the way. Heavens, may I suggest maybe take ten minutes for a relaxing BATH even! Yes.
Many times while I'm in the shower, I will have a cup of tea brewing to have when I get out. Warm tea is comforting. I'll add a drop of lemon essential oil or the protective blend if I don't feel up to par.
I will set out my clothes for the next day and hang them in the bathroom with my shoes even. I am very much a morning person, however, this means I generally rush out of the house and get to work because I know it is the time of day I'll be most productive. I do not want to start my day just starring at my closet. On the days I don't have my clothes picked out it is just my luck, I'll throw on something casual and forget about a big meeting or WORSE forget a teachers' jeans day and wear a dress! Oh the horror!! When I'm really on top of it, I'll actually lay out my whole work week on Sunday evening when I'm putting away laundry.
Next, I head to the kitchen to set out my and my husband's doTERRA supplements for the next morning. This takes about 10 seconds because I already have them portioned out by day at the beginning of each month. More on this in a later blog! Scott's go in a ring tray next to the sink so that he'll actually remember to take them. Sometimes his car keys get laid on top!
I add water and essential oils into my diffuser with the sleep blend of my choosing. I switch up my blend every so often. My favorite go-to though is definitely Peace and Roman Chamomile. In an upcoming post, I'll explain why diffusing is so beneficial to support sleep as well as some of my other favorite sleep blends. (Learn more about essential oils here.)
Kiss my husband goodnight if he's not already passed out. I then turn on my fan, hop into bed and text my dad goodnight... because that's what we do. Then I sit on facebook or my email for two hours in bed and wonder why I can't sleep well. NO!
Then I grab my journal and favorite pen that I keep on my nightstand for easy access, and I take a few minutes to journal. Read about 4 different ways to journal here!
By this time, if my eyes aren't already struggling to stay open... those essential oils piping through the air are no joke, I may read a few pages from a book. A real, paper book with pages and ink. As much as I love reading on my devices, I seem to be able to stay up and read a whole book in one night on them. If I want to sleep, I go old-school.
Nine out of ten times, I'm now asleep. Yay! If not, then I'm going to turn on some soft music or white sound to drift off to.
Not that different from your childhood or your children's sleep routine, is it?! If you expected it for the people you love and care for most, then you should consider expecting it of yourself.
I'm really into learning about sleep and why it's so important to our physical and emotional health, so I'm sure you'll be hearing LOTS more about that here at Balance Bravely.
SHARE IN THE COMMENTS: What's ONE thing you could do differently or more routinely before bed that would support better sleep or sanity? It could be from this list or another idea that it sparked for you.
We can do it, we can make time for it, we can be more balanced.
Go Be Brave Friends!