FORGET MORNING ROUTINES...
We've heard it all before.
Let's make night time routines great again.
Picture this. You've come home after a long, hard day at work. You're ready to kick your shoes off and wind down for the night. You're stressed, a bit agitated and know you have to DO IT ALL AGAIN TOMORROW. YAY :/
You also know you're probably not going to get the quantity or quality of sleep you actually need to fully recharge, rejuvenate and recover.
It's really an endless cycle in modern life.
This is why it's so important to create a simple yet solid ritual or routine we can follow each night to help us reduce stress, and get our brains and bodies ready for a deep, restful sleep.
As such we want to delve into our ULTIMATE 10-Step Night Time Ritual.
Our 10-Step Night time ritual
1. Daily reflection (journal or vlog) 🤳
Throughout the day we encounter many positive and negative situations. We are emotional beings and hold onto all these emotions without really expressing them we can lead to build up of stress and anxiety.
A simple practice of taking 2-3 minutes to reflect on your day can help to confront any emotion or stress you're holding on to.
You can do this by writing in a journal, or something we prefer, is taking a 2-3 minute video on your phone.
Talk about your day, the good and the bad, and how you're feeling and where you're at. The added benefit of doing a video reflection is that you can always look back at how you were feeling on certain days many months or years later. Seeing the personal growth and progression is awesome!
2. Meditate for 10 minutes 🧘
This follows on from the reflection. A guided meditation practice using a simple software application like Headspace or Calm can help you relax, get out of your own head and focus on your breathing.
This will help you get into an alpha brain wave state where you can think freely and creatively and also reduce stress significantly.
Meditation has been shown to increase gray matter density in the brain, reduce anxiety and even upregulate genes for longevity and downregulate genes responsible for inflammation.
Pro tip: During your meditation, really focus on breathing deeply e.g. using a box breathing technique. Also visualise getting outside of yourself and looking down on yourself from a 3rd person perspective.
3. Gratitude journal.✍️
A gratitude journal is a nice way to put your mind into a calm and positive state and think about the good things that happened in your day.
It's too easy to spend most of your day thinking negatively about yourself. Through gratitude practice, we can literally rewire our brain to be more positive and happy.
You will also notice that throughout the day, you will start to look for little moments to be more grateful for.
4. Read for 20-30 minutes 📚
Pick up a good book that interests you! We prefer non-fiction. But if you love delving into a good fiction book to wind down then that's not an issue.
Reading is a great way to learn something new or get immersed in a story, all while improving your vocabulary and helping you wind down at the end of a day.
5. Put lavender essential oils on 🪔
Using a lavender scent with an essential oil diffuser can help create a calming and relaxing scent in your room.
It may sound like B.S or hippie pseudoscience but it really does work.
There are even clinical studies showing lavender can improve the quality of your sleep.
6. Put on some blue blockers 🕶️
You know those nerdy, orange-tinged glasses all the biohackers on social media are wearing? Yeah, those.
Blue-blocker glasses use special filters in the lenses to block blue light from passing through.
This is useful because blue light (from screens, computers, phones etc) later at night is known to inhibit melatonin production. Melatonin is a natural hormone your body produces to regulate your circadian rhythm and provide a quality sleep.
7. Turn off your phone or all social media 📵
This is relatively obvious. When you're on your phone and social media you're constantly bombarded with notifications and requests. You're constantly tempted to scroll your Instagram feed and get that sweet, sweet dopamine hit. You're probably unknowingly comparing yourself to other peoples lives and feeling bad about it too.
What does this all equal? MORE STRESS. MORE ANXIETY. Exactly what we want to avoid.
Turn your phone off or at least disable your social media 2-3 hours before bed every night and you will actually be able to relax for once. Give it a shot.
8. Sip on Calm Nootropic or warm chamomile tea ☕
Until recently, we use to drink a chamomile tea every night to help calm the nervous system and improve sleep. This is a great and cheap option. Chamomile contains the compound apigenin which is largely responsible for the calming effect.
But, now, we have Calm Hot Chocolate Nootropic.
Calm is our delicious hot chocolate, with high quality MCT's, real cocoa, and vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients to support relaxation, anti-stress and better sleep. Oh and it also contains chamomile extract too.
It tastes awesome, and really helps you wind down at the end of the night.
We recommend sipping on it about 1 hour before bed.
9. Turn off all bright lights 💡
This is similar to the issue with the blue lights at night.
Bright lights or high intensity light makes it very hard to sleep as your brain and body still thinks its day time.
You should aim to remove all lights and make your room as dark as possible to get the best quality sleep.
10. Play some calming tunes 🎵
We recommend some relaxed Lo-Fi music.
You can also opt in for binaural beats or isochronic tones which may actually help your brainwaves get into slower, more calming frequencies.
A good resource to use is Brain.Fm which lets you play a variety of Lo-Fi music, or meditation and sleep sounds that actually help your brain achieve these calm states of mind.