Sleep is one of the single most important activities we do daily.
It recharges us, makes sense of our memories, repairs our bodies; it’s a big deal.
However, the daily grind means it can be hard for us to get to sleep and stay asleep too.
Plus, we are told that we must have 8 hours sleep a night, stick to the sleep cycles, it’s exhausting to keep up.
Thankfully, a trusty bed time routine will definitely help you on your way to a more restful night’s sleep.
Let’s dive into 9 sleep relaxation hacks to send you off to the land of nod.
Small disclaimer: I have included affiliate links in this post which means that if you click on a link and buy an item, I earn a small amount of money.
9 ways to improve sleep relaxation
1. A consistent bedtime routine is key
It’s Friday night, the wine is flowing, Netflix is on and it’s gone way past your 10pm bedtime. You know the drill.
Consistency can be so difficult when it comes to the weekend, or just general life situations. However, keeping to your evening ritual daily will help you get a good night’s kip.
As humans we are habitual, creatures of comfort and routine. Your body grows accustomed to your weekday habits so when we ignore this over a weekend, come Sunday it seems to be a chore to drift off.
Try your best to keep your sleep schedule everyday, where possible. Sometimes we can’t. That’s ok. No need to beat yourself up. We all fall off the wagon, hey, we’re only human.
2. Organise the next morning
A top tip I learnt from my dad, is to always get your clothes, work bag, food etc ready the night before. This is especially true if you have to be up super early or time management is a work in progress.
It takes 15 minutes. Simply lay out your clothes, put tech on charge, prep food, sort work or school bags – these little things allow you peace of mind, knowing that you will have a relaxing morning to wake up to.
3. Indulge in a warm bath or shower
This could be my favourite part of my winding down routine. Nothing beats a bath to relax your muscles and soul after a non-stop day.
I suggest you add essential oils to your bath, I love Aromatherapy’s Deep Rest oil and I light a candle, turn off the lights and breathe in the calming scents. You can choose any oils but I prefer sleep inducing oils like Lavender, Chamomile, Clary Sage or Valerian.
You can take a book with you, listen to an audiobook, or my personal fave is listening to soothing sounds on my Calm app.
No bath? No problem. Take it to the shower. If you want to add essential oils, add drops to a wash cloth, put on the shower floor, so that the water slightly dampens it but not in direct contact of the flow of water. Turn the temperature up so it gets nice and steamy, turn back to desired heat and enjoy.
4. Keep your bedroom cool
Temperature impacts our bedtime. If it’s too hot we toss and turn and if it’s too cold, well, we reach for nearby socks and jumpers and then wake up boiling in the night. Sometimes it feels like we can’t win.
The ideal temperature is a cool 16-18°C (60-65°F) I leave my window open slightly all day (even in winter) as it maintains a cool temperature.
You can change your duvet through the seasons to keep the perfect balance.
Oh top tip, if you are always cold make sure you wear socks to bed.
5. Prepare your bedroom
Creating the right atmosphere for sleep, will tell your brain you are ready to go to sleep.
I have a diffuser which I cannot recommend enough. I put 3 drops of Lavender oil in about an hour before bed. Have your bath or shower and when you enter your bedroom, the relaxing scent will be instantly calming.
Low lighting is also key. Using soft light lamps set a cosy and soothing mood. I use a Himalayan Salt Lamp for our light source..
Now I do have my phone in the room but on a console table, no where near reaching distance. I like to hear soothing sounds so I use the Calm App to have nature sounds playing as I drift off. You can use a timer for it to switch off after an hour or two.
6. It’s all in the sheets
Ever stayed at a hotel and thought, man, these sheets are so comfortable and you cannot wait to get into bed and snuggle in? We’ve all been there so why not invest and bring that feeling to your bedroom?
Choose pillows that are comfortable, a mattress that suits you – a great hack I learnt is to lie down and try to slide your hand into the curve at the bottom of your spine. If it slides in too easily, it is too soft and if you cannot get it in at all, it is too hard. You want to be able to slide your hand with a bit of resistance.
I recently bought a silk pillowcase which is so soft and also great for your skin as it’s not too harsh. A win – win.
Having fresh, clean sheets on your bed makes sleep relaxation easy so make sure you change them regularly.
7. Avoid technology
Nowadays, this is a huge problem. As a society we are constantly entertained, apps vying for our attention and anyone can contact us 24 hours a day. Not to mention most people use their phone as their alarm clock.
Studies have shown that exposure to blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, our sleep hormone. We want this to be releasing before we get into bed so that we can switch off more easily. But, how is this possible if we are still stimulating our brains when we are in bed?!
Limiting access to phones, TV, Ipads etc, at least an hour if not, two, before bed will help you on your way to sleep relaxation. By the time you have taken a bath, got yourself ready for the next day and for bed, you’ll have spent at least an hour away from technology!
8. Black out the light
On the topic of melatonin, let’s talk black out.
We need to ensure that our rooms are dark and no obvious light will interrupt our sleep. Buying black out blinds or curtains will make sure that your room is as black as midnight on a moonless night. Or you could get yourself a silk eye mask that’ll do the trick just fine.
You could always snag yourself a light up alarm clock which will brighten your room gradually in the morning so you wake up naturally. Say goodbye to the pesky Smart Phone alarm clock blaring in your ear.
9. Read a book or Journal in bed
Instead of scrolling aimlessly on your phone or watching Youtube, how about getting lost in a good book or trying your hand at journalling?
Every night, I spend at least half hour reading and then I will journal just before turning my lamp off.
Journalling is a great way to reflect upon your day and even write down all the things that are playing on your mind for tomorrow. Getting it down on paper means your brain is more likely to switch off.
Gratitude journaling is lovely way to end your day – check out my tips for being more grateful.
Not much of a writer or too tired to journal? No problem – try thinking of all the things you are grateful for. How wonderful is it to fall asleep thinking of all the positives in your life. You’ll find that you have nice dreams and wake up happier!
Add these accessories to your Sleep Relaxation routine
Please don’t feel like you have to follow all of these or change your routine straight away.
Pick the things that struck a chord with you and add maybe 1 -2 things first and try it out.
The take home is to find your sleep relaxation routine, unique to you and hopefully these notes have helped inspire in some way.
Comment below with any tips you have or is there anything you will try?