Create a Restoring Nighttime Ritual With These 7 Relaxing Habits – this post is sponsored by my friends at Aloha
You’re finally curled up in bed, Netflix streaming, exhausted, when you realize you forgot to take off your makeup. What’s one night? Seriously. The show drags a little and without fully realizing it you’ve been sucked into the late night instagram vortex. An hour passes and you can’t believe you’re still awake. “WTF I thought I was going to be early tonight?” Frustrated you shut everything off and close your eyes.
Suddenly the flood gates open. Everything you’ve been carrying in your head bursts into your mind. Everything you did wrong today and are anxious about tomorrow. Before you know it, your alarm is going off. It’s already time to wake up and you feel even more tired then when you went to sleep.
Somehow with herculean effort you plunge yourself into the ice cold air (seriously why is it always so cold when you wake up?!). And just like that you’re onto the next day, feeling like you needed coffee two hours ago.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been there. I still am there some days, because finding peace, relaxation and ultimately better sleep, at night doesn’t happen by accident. God I wish it did.
We hear a lot about the morning ritual, for good reason. It sets the tone of your day. However, I’d argue, equally if not more, important than the morning ritual is the pre-morning ritual. Aka: the nighttime ritual. So underrated, so important and so flipping hard to be consistent with.
Today I’m not coming at you with a proclamation of what you must do. I’m coming at you as a lover of the night time ritual and still slips up.
How we start and begin our day matters so much. Along with drinking more water it’s honestly one of the biggest areas of focus in my life right now. The good news, it’s actually kind of fun! For me, these rituals are one of the keys to my self care. It’s taking the extra time and effort to feel good because I love myself and I deserve peace at night and vibrant joyful energy in the morning.
Today I wanted to share some practical tools, which when I apply them, have made a big impact on my rest and subsequently my energy the next day.
The first key is to create the ritual
The first step to all of this is identifying what’s important to you. I’ll be sharing my nighttime ritual building blocks. You can emphasize or deemphasize their importance based on your values, goals, tendencies and lifestyle.
For me, I like going to bed on the early side. I need a lot of sleep to be happy. Like 8 or angry. I’m also kind of lazy. I know that if I push off my night time routine right until I’m actually tired it probably won’t happen. I know that when 8pm rolls around I should stop working and start slowing things down.
It’s also super important to have the right perspective and mindset. I can easily let this positive act of self care turn into a chore if I don’t check my attitude. I like to remind myself I’m doing a favor for tomorrow Georgie. Also, I remind myself I’m not missing anything when I turn off my computer and put my phone on airplane mode. The attitude that this ritual is a good and fun thing helps me keep it up.
Know yourself, adjust accordingly.
The second key is to Set a bedtime (that fits YOU)
To make this work you have to start with the end in mind. How much sleep do you need? When are you waking up? When is it lights out?
For example, I like to be asleep by 11. I like to do my night time routine in a leisurely pace, so I start winding down between 8 and 9. If you’re a night owl that’s awesome, as long as you know what time to start slowing down and turning off.
It takes a while to work out the timing, so be patient and adjust accordingly.
Now that you know your style and your bed time, here are my favorite building blocks for a peaceful and restorative nighttime routine that makes falling asleep a positive experience.
Nighttime Ritual Building Blocks
1.) drink an herbal tea
I’m a beverage gal. Coffee and lemon water in the morning, water all day, matcha or chai in the afternoon and sometimes a kombucha here and there. At night, my beverage of choice is a beautiful herbal tea.
I’ve been loving Aloha’s sleepy tea. It’s this scrumptious combination of chamomile, lavender, and valerian root.
the full ingredients are: Lemon Balm Leaf*, Rooibos Herb*, Chamomile Herb*, Lavender Flower*, Valerian Root*, Hops Flower* (*organic)
God I love all things lavender. The warmth of the tea and the herbs are so comforting. It feels like such a treat to snuggle under a fuzzy blanket and sip tea. Serious zen moment. Having this kind of ritual helps train your brain when certain things are going to happen. So for example, drinking an herbal tea every night will signal to your brain you’re in slow down mode. The key here is the consistency.
You can check out their line of teas here: Aloha
Real talk – I won’t judge if you have a small army of half empty tea mugs on your night stand – hehe.
2.) Dim the lights at night
Our body’s natural circadian rhythms, which help us feel alert and tired based on the sun, can get thrown off when we have a brightly lit room at night. It’s a simple switch, but making sure you don’t have your place lit up during your nighttime routine is a subtle but powerful shift.
3.) do a brain dump before you go to bed
This one is HUGE. If I want to be energized and productive the next day and not go to sleep with 1000 racing thoughts, I have to do a brain dump. Whether it’s making sure my calendar is up to date, clearing out urgent emails, making tomorrow’s to-do list or just writing out any extra ideas/thoughts that are bouncing around, this practice has been a game changer. I can go to sleep easier knowing that when I wake up I’m not scrambling.
4.) make the next morning easy
I love this one (when I do it.) Whether it’s laying your outfit out, making a lunch you’re actually excited about eating, packing your work bag, whatever it is, make the morning that much easier by doing those rushed tasks at night.
5.) Take off your makeup
I’ve learned this the hard way too many times. It’s always worth it. It does make a big difference in your skin. Find products that you love and excite you and put joy into your skin care routine. And as an emergency measure when you’re feeling extra lazy (I’m talking to myself here) put some face wipes by your bed.
6.) put your phone on airplane mode and put it in another room
I’m sadly addicted to my phone. I know if I get sucked it, my time is sucked up. “I’m just going to check this one thing…” turns into a hour of lost time doing nothing. When it’s time to stop working I turn off the computer and turn my phone onto airplane mode and just put it away.
I would 100% recommend buying an old school alarm so you can keep your phone in the other room. Otherwise, it’s just so tempting. Not to mention blue light can keep you wired and tired making it harder to fall asleep when you finally shut down.
I’m trying, emphasis on trying, to really keep any video or tv watching to just the living room. It helps keep my bedroom associated with sleep and relaxation. And honestly I just don’t need to fall asleep watching something.
7.) light a candle or use an essential oil diffuser
I think scent is one of the most underrated mood boosters. I’m a recent born again candle enthusiast and a brand new oil diffuser owner. Both are so wonderful. For me, lavender or like earthy pine scents are my go to always and especially for relaxing evenings.
- Start your routine BEFORE you’re tired, otherwise it just doesn’t get done
- Create a ritual you love, not just one that you think you have to do
- Keep your devices out of the bedroom, you just don’t need them. Really.
Happy relaxing lovelies!
Thank you so much to post sponsor, Aloha. I’ve been loving all their teas, especially because they’re created with a purpose in mind, like sleep, energy, or immunity.