We hear a lot about the value and benefits in having creating and practicing our morning rituals, but what about at the end of the day? If we’re aiming to start the day in a way that support our health and wellbeing, shouldn’t we also aim to end the day with a set of rituals that support our health and wellbeing, too?

Having a good bedtime routine has been shown to help reduce late night stress or a ‘busy mind’ and contribute to relaxation and preparation for sleep.

Here are some 6 tips you can incorporate into your evening to help create a healthy and beneficial ritual.

1. Set a time

Aim to start your evening ritual around the same time every evening. Decide on a bedtime that best works for you (you ideally don’t want to go to sleep any later than 10pm to reduce the risk of impacting a restorative sleep) and then begin what I like to call your ‘evening wind down’ anytime from 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed. Try not have your weekend vary too much either, as this can impact your sleep cycle and natural circadian rhythm.

2. Engage in relaxing activities

While understandably we try to get the most out of our day, there comes a time where a cut-off point from ‘doing’ must be made so that we can enter a calming and ideal pre-bedtime state of just ‘being’. That might be watching or reading something relaxing or perhaps having a nice conversation with your partner, a friend or family member. Or even listening to some music. Aim to dim the house lights or keep them to a minimum and enjoy a warming cuppa of choice (herbal tea, chai or healthy hot chocolate).

You may also like to take some magnesium orally or topically. Magnesium helps in maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Adding magnesium to your evening routine can help relax your nervous system and therefore improve the quality of your sleep.

3. Take a bath or hot shower

Ever sat or lay out in the warm sun for a while and felt yourself get sleepy? Or felt ready to take a nap after a sauna? That kind of warmth is comforting and relaxing, which can lead to a feeling of sleepiness. If you struggle to switch off before bed, try taking a warm bath or hot shower to help entice those bedtime yawns.

4. Take your time

More often than not, we go from being busy and stimulated to brushing our teeth and getting in our PJ’s and somehow attempting to go straight to sleep. The purpose of an evening routine is to slow down and take your time. This includes any pre-bed skin or beauty routines. Really be present and pay attention to what you are doing. It can help tell your body you are ready for sleep!

5. Use aromas in the bedroom

Lighting a candle, burning some incense, essential oils or even using a natural ingredient room spray as you prepare for bed can all help entice relaxation and sleep. While some might be sensitive to certain smells, they don’t have to be overpowering to work.

One of the best and most common ingredients is lavender. A soothing scent, a gentler way to use it is via an oil diffuser or simply taking a few sniffs and deep breaths straight from the essential oil bottle as you tuck yourself into bed. You may also like to invest in a lavender heat pillow for an extras dose of warmth and relaxation.

6. Switch off tech

While watching TV, scrolling through your phone or even working on your computer for leisure may seem relaxing, they all emit a strong blue light that tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime – suppressing melatonin production and in turn affecting your ability to fall asleep. Try to switch off from any devices at least an hour before bed and aim to not take any of these devices into the bedroom. A better option is to read a book, journal some gratitude or listen to a meditation.

However if you must, it’s well worth investing in a pair of night time blue light blocking glasses to lessen the exposure to the blue light. You can also take it a step further in refraining from artificial light and invest in blue light blocking bulbs and lamps for the bedroom.

“Any ritual is an opportunity for transformation”

If you have any questions or queries you’d love to have answered, please reach out to me at carla@happinessco.org and I’d be more than happy to help.

Carla Thomas,
Holistic Health Coach & Wellness Coordinator at Happiness Co