Even though we’ve rung in a new year, we wouldn’t blame you if you still feel stuck in a loop of remnants from last year’s unnamable damage. It has been a slow grind, and the loss of what we once thought to be normal is dawning on all of us in different ways. That’s why you may not be sleeping great these days (or weeks, or months). If that’s you, then maybe you would benefit from trying out some of these evening routines to ease you into a better night’s sleep. Building a nighttime routine is important, as our bodies need some form of consistency, you can pick some of these options here and then add your own to the process.
I know everyone recommends practicing gratitude, and I always pushed it aside as such a minor thing. But when I started to keep a gratitude journal about a month and a half ago, my outlook on life actually changed. I know it sounds weird, but for 45 days, I forced myself to write a list of at least 5 things I was grateful for that day, and ending my day on a grateful note actually made me feel better. The mental health benefits of gratitude have been proven by scientists, but actually making it a habit and writing down things you are grateful for in a journal, can actually reduce some inflammation that can trigger pain and discomfort. It takes 21 days to build a habit, so why not try it out now.
Get in a bath
Yes, you heard that right. Getting in a hot bath before sleeping helps relax your muscles, uplift your mood, and actually makes you feel sleepy. You can experiment with bath bombs, Epsom salts and essential oils. Bring your laptop in with you and watch something funny or soothing while you soak. Or even better, listen to your favorite playlist. This will guarantee that you will head straight to bed and may actually have a restful night of sleep.
Don’t get in bed unless you’re tired
We’re all victims of this: we get in bed a couple of hours before falling asleep, binge-watching series’ or reading/scrolling on our phones. But according to science, this actually makes you more anxious and makes your bed associated with noise, when in fact it should be associated with calm and restfulness. Try to force yourself to only move to the bed once you’re ready to sleep.