To anyone who has had a newborn wake you up hourly through the night, the phrase ‘sleeping like a baby’ will seem as ludicrous as it does to the 16million adults in the UK who experience regular sleep problems. Like babies, adults struggling with sleep can greatly benefit from implementing a night routine to gently prepare the body and mind for a long restful night’s slumber. Here we look at why a calming evening routine is important, and how introducing a regular night time regime can help you achieve that long restful night’s sleep you so crave.
Why is A Regular Evening Routine Important?
Some people compare the action of falling asleep to being like a light bulb switching off. In reality, the action of falling asleep is much more akin to a dimmer switch; our body needs time to slow down, relax and prepare itself for a long uninterrupted night’s sleep. If our head is whirring with thoughts and our body pumped with energy, achieving a sound night’s sleep will be near-impossible.
The importance of getting enough sleep is vital – a restorative night’s sleep is pivotal to our overall health and wellbeing and without it we feel tired, irritable and unwell. Most people need around eight hours’ sleep to feel like they are ready to face whatever the day might throw at them, but the stresses associated with modern life in the UK means that many of us get much less than that. It is now more important than ever to practice a healthy night time routine to help the body and mind disconnect, slow down and ready itself for rest.
Your activities during the evening can have a huge impact on your ability to fall (and stay) asleep. Taking the time to breathe more slowly, rest the brain, consciously disconnect from the busy world around us and teach our body that sleep time is approaching can be the difference between insomnia and blissful rest. By incorporating a healthy night time routine into our daily lives, we enable a smoother passage to achieving sleep, and give our bodies a better chance of resting more deeply.
8 Suggestions for a Calming Night Time Routine
Understanding how different activities, foods and environmental factors affect the body and its ability to ‘switch off’ is the first step in achieving a peaceful slumber. Maybe you enjoy a long soak in the bath or perhaps a sunset walk is more your thing… We hope you enjoy our suggestions of bedtime habits to incorporate into your own personal night time routine that can help you achieve that deep inner restfulness you dream of. Feeling more rested and in control shouldn’t be a luxury reserved for the lucky few – achieving a better quality (and length) of sleep will vastly improve your mood, your health and your life.
1. Cut Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system and whilst it affects different people in different ways, most of us experience an increase in energy and alertness after consuming caffeine. Consuming caffeine late in the day can over-stimulate the body and mind making it more difficult to ‘switch off’ and fall asleep. Having caffeine even 6 hours before bedtime can disrupt your rest. Even if you fall asleep easily, a body that is stimulated by caffeine often finds it difficult to go back to sleep if woken during the night. Whilst perhaps best-known as being a component found in coffee, caffeine can also be found in sugary drinks, chocolate and tea so be careful what you consume as part of your night time routine if sleep is what you desire!
2. Start Your Wind Down Early
You don’t have to wait until bedtime to start your evening routine. Starting your wind down earlier in the day can be the key to achieving a more restful night’s sleep. Consider doing away with anything which causes you stress earlier in the day; turn off work email notifications at dinner time, get into your comfortable clothes when you get home and ensure that your mind and body are given the chance to achieve peace before bedtime comes.
3. Dim the Lights
Our ancestors naturally used to know it was time to sleep when the sun dipped beneath the horizon and darkness fell. These days our bodies are stimulated by artificial lights which can affect levels of melatonin (the hormone required for sleep) which profoundly affects our natural circadian rhythms and negatively impacts our sleep-wake cycle. Dimming the lights as part of our night time routine will encourage the pineal gland in the brain to initiate production of melatonin, which in turn encourages us to feel drowsy and ready for sleep.
4. Lose the Blue Light
The light emitted by most smartphones, tablets, computer monitors and televisions is within the blue spectrum and so regularly called blue light. Similar to dimming the lights in your home, it is also important to lose any sources of blue light if you want to achieve a long, satisfying night’s sleep. Blue light is deemed so detrimental to sleep that makers of certain smartphones such as Apple and Microsoft are now updating systems with a ‘blue light block’ night time mode. The easier answer is to cancel out using digital devices in the rundown to bedtime completely.
5. Try CBD for Sleep
Incorporating a natural botanical supplement like CBD into a healthy lifestyle can provide the most restful night’s sleep you’ve had in years. Our ‘Night’ pure CBD oil is a carefully formulated complex blend of natural botanicals, terpenes and organically-grown Swiss hemp-derived CBD to create a beautifully relaxing nighttime formula. A deficiency in Zinc can contribute to insomnia so we have blended this nutrient (along with calming chamomile and lavender) to make this best-selling gentle tincture extremely effective when used as part of a regular night-time routine. If you long to feel that inner zest in the mornings following a deep, restorative sleep, try our Night remedy (you’ll be glad you started it today).
6. Avoid Alcohol
Whilst it may seem that alcohol relaxes you and gets you into a sleepy state faster, alcohol is actually a stimulant and your body has to work hard to process it during the night. This is the reason many of us feel unrested and extra sleepy after we’ve enjoyed a few drinks the night before- our body is working to eradicate the substance from its system and so doesn’t achieve full rest. Eradicating alcohol as part of your night time routine and remaining hydrated will ensure your body gets the rest it needs.
7. Eat a Healthy Dinner
Eating a heavy, rich dinner right before bed can lead to indigestion and discomfort. Choosing a clean, fresh healthy diet can improve the quality of your sleep and ensure a healthier state of mind. Also, being overweight can trigger sleep problems as your body is forced to work harder to breathe and rest. Snoring and sleep apnea are issues often experienced by overweight individuals so adopting a healthy eating regime can really help improve sleep quality and offer the blissful rest all bodies need.
8. Night Time Skin Care Routine
Most of us incorporate good hygiene into our night-time routines with regular teeth brushing and face washing as standard. However, also using a night cream infused with CBD oil is perfect for those longing to feel that inner zest in the mornings following a deep, restorative sleep. When coupled with our night time CBD blend of botanicals, those seeking inner restfulness can finally feel rested, in control and ready to seize the day. Soothing, calming and powerful, using our CBD skin care range as part of your night time routine means that you can look forward to clean, healthy-looking beautiful skin which feels comfortable and hydrated (and you’ll feel more rested too!).
9. Meditate and Practice Mindfulness
Using your mind to help you unwind and achieve peaceful rest can be incredibly powerful. Focusing on the ‘now’ and putting all worries about the past (or future) behind you is key to achieving a good night’s sleep. Easier said than done for some, using a yoga teacher or meditation guide to finely hone your technique will ensure that you are able to reach a level of mindfulness which facilitates sleep as part of your night time routine. Take just 5 minutes each evening to think about things which make you happy, or visualise a calming colour flooding each part of your body in turn… some mindfulness techniques involve journaling to better organise your mind and leaving it free to unwind. Whatever your technique, meditating can really help to achieve peace of mind (to which sleep will follow).
How to Stick to a Night Time Routine
As with diet, exercise and anything which requires a little extra time out of our already busy lives, sticking to a night time routine can sometimes fall by the wayside, even if our initial intentions are good. Once you start a good routine and see the benefits, hopefully it should spur you on to keep going. The proof is in the pudding afterall! If however you need a little help sticking to a night time routine, try these simple tips:
Set a Reminder
Try setting an alarm or reminder on your phone around 4pm (or whenever you have worked out works best for you) that you need to start the unwind from your day. This alarm will remind you when to stop drinking caffeine, start turning off your email notifications and consciously start to let your mind relax. If you like to have a herbal tea or you take your CBD oil half an hour before bed, set a reminder so that you don’t forget. After a few weeks you probably won’t need to set an alarm any more as it will become as habitual as brushing your teeth, but starting out as you mean to go on is easier if you have reminders in place.
Have a Clear Plan
It might be a good idea to write out your night time routine plan so it serves as an illustrative reminder of the practices you want to include. Turning off your smartphone, getting into your comfy clothes and having a soak in a nice hot bath all seem so simple, but you will stick to the plan more if you have it written down and you set your night time routine intentions. Why not stick your plan on the fridge or somewhere else you frequent so that you see it regularly?
Start Small and Make Your Goals Achievable
Setting your intentions for a good healthy night time routine shouldn’t seem overwhelming or add to any anxieties you might have. If you start small and implement daily changes which are practical and achievable, you are more likely to stick to a routine and make it work for you.
If there are any tips for sleep which we haven’t explored which help you to achieve a restful night time routine then please share them with us over on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. We can’t wait to hear from you!