| Kelly Wilson
It’s easy to get caught up in unhealthy behaviors without realizing the huge toll they take on us over time! Because of this, many people overlook the importance of establishing healthy habits, no matter how small.
If you’re looking to adopt a wellness regimen, it’s important to understand that change doesn’t happen all at once. It’s okay to take it slow! Make sure your new positive habits last by integrating them into your lifestyle one-by-one.
The perfect place to start is with a positive evening regimen! Today we’re breaking down all the do’s and don'ts of how you spend the hours leading up to bedtime.
Let’s get the negative stuff out of the way and start with the list of things you SHOULDN’T do before bedtime. We have a pretty good feeling that you’ve already heard a handful of these but haven’t implemented them yet. On the other hand, some of these may surprise you...
DON’T DO THIS BEFORE BED:
1. Use Electronics
This is a BIG one. Resist the urge to mindlessly scroll before bedtime, turn off the TV, and end your text convos. Here’s why (as if you didn’t already know): The white light from your device is telling your body that it’s still daytime. We know what you’re thinking… What about night shift? Putting electronics away a couple hours before bed is about more than just the white light. It’s also about reducing stimulation and encouraging your body to wind down before bed!
2. Drink Coffee
Even decaf. Why? Because some decaf coffees actually contain small amounts of caffeine. Bummer, right? To make matters worse, not all herbal teas are actually caffeine-free either… and hot chocolate also contains caffeine. *Womp womp.* Keep reading for a good alternative!
3. Go to the Gym
Exercise is a great way to tire your body out and ensure better sleep. But here’s the catch: Working out before bed may actually make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Cardio increases the heart rate and boosts energy levels, so it’s best to do these workouts at least a few hours before bedtime.
4. Try to Settle an Argument
It’s ideal to go to bed in a happy state of mind, but it’s not something that should be forced. If you’re having an argument with a friend, significant other, or family member, it might be best to leave it ‘til tomorrow. Trying to resolve a fight before bedtime is more likely to leave you ruminating and negatively affect your sleep. Tackle the discussion when you’re rested the next day. That’s when you’ll be more likely to work through the problem, rather than just skim over it.
5. Turn Up the Heat
As tempting as it is to turn up the heat a few degrees after the sun sets — resist! It’s natural for our bodies to become tired when the temperature drops, so cranking the thermostat may disrupt your natural rhythm. While this may not come as a surprise, here’s something that might shock you… a hot bath before bed also isn’t a great idea. Forget what you’ve been told about taking a hot bath to relax at night. In reality, soaking in warm water at the end of the day will spike your body temperature and disrupt your sleep.
Alright — Now that we’ve covered all the stuff you’ve been doing wrong, let’s talk about how you can improve your nighttime routine!
DO THIS INSTEAD:
Curling up with a good book is the perfect activity before drifting off to sleep. Book being the key word here. Remember what we just said about putting electronics away a couple hours before bedtime? That rule also includes e-readers. (So sorry.) Another tip: Make the most of your reading time by creating the perfect, relaxing environment. Stock up on duvets, blankets, and comfy pillows. If you live in an urban environment, consider getting black-out shades and a white noise generator. This will set the tone for a good night’s sleep.
2. Practice Yoga/Meditate
While cardio workouts may not be the best activity just before bed, those who like to move their bodies before they sleep may benefit from a gentle yoga practice. This will help the muscles relax, release tension, reduce anxiety, and alleviate pain. End your practice with a 10-20 minute meditation that will slow down the breath and prepare the mind for sleep. You get bonus points if you put on the perfect calming playlist!
3. Drink Bone Broth
Bone broth: The perfect supplement for decaf coffee, herbal tea, or hot chocolate — especially at night. Did you know that our bone broth elixirs contain an amino acid that supports good sleep? Studies have shown that glycine, when consumed with dinner or before bed, will help you fall asleep faster and promote a more restful sleep... Just another reason bone broth is an important part of a healthy diet!
Journaling is a healthy habit no matter the time of day, but did you know that putting some thoughts down on paper before bed can improve your sleep quality? But rather than journaling about frustrations at work or an argument with a loved one, keep a gratitude journal. There’s no sense in getting all riled up before bed, and writing down a few things you’re thankful for will put you in a positive mindset as you drift off to sleep.
5. Practice Self-Care
Every night, make a point to do one thing that falls under the ‘self-care’ umbrella. Establish an all-natural skincare routine (we love Moon Wash and Moon Glow), use an aromatherapy oil diffuser, put on your favorite pajamas, and always remember to use the bathroom before curling up in bed.
Remember what we said before: Change doesn’t happen overnight! Make steps toward a healthier you by implementing these bedtime rituals as you’re ready and you’ll be more likely to see them through. It’s okay to take your time so long as you keep moving forward. You got this! 🙌
The OWL Family