I have a toddler and a preschooler. When they were infants, all the sleep advice books and blogs I obsessively and desperately read on how to get your baby to sleep insisted on creating and sticking to a “bedtime routine.”
Now that they are a little older, we still have that bedtime routine: Lights in the house are turned off, leaving just the necessary, less abrasive lamps. No screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Bath. Lotion and jammies. Lay in bed with our dim lamp and warm milk and read books together. Turn off all lights, turn on a white noise machine, and mom and dad walk out and close the door.
Kids are asleep within 10 minutes every night.
Yet here’s how my nighttime “routine” goes (if you could even classify it as that):
Stare at my phone, TV, or laptop (sometimes all 3) until I happen to look up at the clock and realize it’s freaking 11:30 pm. Ok, just 5 more minutes….an hour later it’s now close to 12:30 am. Oops. Shut my laptop, turn off the TV, plug in my phone, go put on my pajamas, get in bed, lay there for hours unable to fall asleep even though I KNOW I’m exhausted, and long story long, end up the ultimate zombie of zombies the next day.
So why was I so insistent on having a routine for my kids because I know it gets them to sleep easily, yet for myself, I did the complete opposite?
Talk about “Do as I say, not as I do,” eh?!
It wasn’t until I noticed this “duh” moment that I realized part of the reason why I couldn’t fall asleep was that my brain wasn’t ready to, and it was my own dang fault. Too much stimulation minutes before I got into bed.
I needed a bedtime routine.
If you are having trouble falling asleep once your head finally hits the pillow, it could be because you’re still wound up. You may not have given your body a chance to naturally calm down enough to go to sleep.
If you need help falling asleep once you get in bed, check out this post: Anxiety-Related Insomnia: 6 Ways To Help You Fall Asleep
Below is my nighttime routine I started for myself that has significantly helped me to fall asleep fast when I get in bed at the end of the night.
A Nighttime Routine For Adults To Slow Anxiety, Reduce Insomnia, And Help You Fall Asleep Fast
First things first – Actually set a time for your bedtime!
Instead of just winging it and going to bed whenever your eyelids start to work against you, make sure to go to bed at the same time each night.
An HOUR before your set bedtime, do everything you typically do right before you get into your bed
Eat your last nighttime snack (lol!), brush teeth, put on pajamas, make tomorrows lunch, set and turn on the dishwasher, etc.
Get all your “chores” done long before you actually get into bed. This way you can relax and slow your brain down before you actually curl under the covers.
At least 30 minutes before bedtime (better if 45 minutes) turn off ALL screens
Yes, that includes the TV.
I know. It’s rough. Such a hard life having to turn off your TV 30 minutes before bed! #FirstWorldProblems
But you can do it. I believe in you. 😉
Also, turn your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and leave it that way until you wake up the next morning. (Let close friends and family know that you turn your phone on this setting at night and that if they need to contact you for an emergency all they have to do is call your phone twice within a 15 minute time frame and it will ring through to you.)
Also at least 30 minutes before bedtime, dim all lights
Get a few 10 or 15 watt soft white light bulbs and put them in your lamps. Especially your lamps in your bedroom.
For bedroom lamps, use either darker colored or non transparent lamp shades.
Turn off your brightest lights, such as kitchen lights and center-of-the-room ceiling lights and use your dim lamps instead.
Do something relaxing in order to slow down your brain
Pull out your current book, brain dump into your journal, and/or turn on some calm music. You can either do this while sitting in your bed or in your favorite chair.
When your chosen bedtime rolls around, close your book, turn off your light, and lay down.
I like to listen to slow, spa music as I fall asleep. I set my timer to turn off the music after 30 minutes so that I can have a quiet nights sleep.
Do some Self-Care
Do you have a DIY self-care box full of random things that you know make you feel good, happy, and calm?
If not, you should! They’re super simple to put together. You literally just grab whatever things that you enjoy and put them in a box so that they’re all in one place.
I call my self-care box my, “I’m about to lose my sh*t!” box LOL. Mainly because I use it for times when I’m having a high-anxiety day and, well, I’m about to lose my sh*t!
But you could also have a DIY self-care box set next to your bed and use it in your nightly bedtime routine.
For ideas on what to put in your DIY self-care box, check out what I have in mine HERE. (Feel free to steal as many ideas as you’d like!)
Dive into the world of Essential Oils!
I very recently just got into essential oils and am having fun learning all about how to use them and their benefits! There is a learning curve to using essential oils so be sure to educate yourself before attempting to use them.
Click “Learn How” below to see all the TONS of resources I got from credible experts in natural remedies that have given me the skills and confidence to use herbs & essential oils for staying healthy, supporting the body in illness, non-toxic cleaning, beauty & relaxation, etc. ↓↓
I chose Rocky Mountain Essential Oils to use because:
- I like that they are NOT a multi-level-marketing (MLM) company.
- They have FREE shipping with no minimum order amount.
- They have FREE returns! For a newbie like me who doesn’t know which smells I like and don’t like, it doesn’t get any better than that!
If you’re a new to essential oils like I am, do what I did and start out with diffusing. I have started diffusing the Rocky Mountain Oil lavender essential oil as part of my bedtime routine because lavender is known for its calming abilities and can even encourage restful sleep.
I also purchased this small Lavender Greece roll-on. The lavender roll-on is already diluted with a carrier oil so it’s able to be applied directly to the skin – no diffusing needed! I just roll it on my neck and wrists and enjoy the calming aroma of lavender as I sleep. (It’s great for on the go, too!)
What is something you do for your own bedtime routine? Comment below!
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