If you’ve been following my blog for a while now you’ll know I’m a big advocate of the importance of sleep. And whilst I’m not going to share my ‘evening routine’ on here (because lets be honest what normal, working woman has time on her hands for the ‘perfect’ routine), I did want to share some of my night-time essentials – and by essentials I mean they come everywhere with me, even on holiday!
Generally, my evening routine goes a bit like this…
I sit in traffic for far too long on my way home from work listening to one of my favourite podcasts (I’ve actually just discovered a new podcast called ‘Hip Hop Saved my Life’ and I am utterly obsessed!). I return home with the best intentions to clean, cook, and workout; but instead play around with my dog or waste too much time on Instagram stories. Most days I finally get out of my work clothes and into my workout gear ready to head for a run; yoga session or, if I’m busy, to blast a 20minute HIIT workout. By this point it’s normally 8pm and I’m only just sitting down to cook & eat dinner with my husband in front of one of our favourite programmes.
Now it’s finally time to start my night time ‘routine’.
As you can see I’m far from ‘perfect’ – which I’m sure a lot of you can relate to. That being said there are several things that I’ve built into my night-time routine, which I simply can’t fall asleep without.
I absolutely love wrapping my hands around a warm cup of tea before my head hits the pillow; the ritual of making a mug usually forms the start of my mindful routine. I boil the kettle, grab my favourite mug and pick from some of my favourite teas which include the soothing Heath & Heather relaxing night time tea (in fact I’m sipping on a mug right now). I then head upstairs with my brew to get into my PJ’s and start my skincare routine.
Once I’ve brushed my teeth and am all tucked up in bed, a good book is a must. I love either a nail-biting, dark novel, like Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, or for some last minute motivation a chapter of a ‘self help’ book. I always try to read for 30minutes before I head to sleep but I’m only human and sometimes Game of Thrones before I close my eyes is a necessity (high five to all the GOT fans reading this).
Just before my mug of tea runs dry I make sure I take my vitamins. At the top of the list is some Magnesium which has been shown to decrease the stress hormone cortisol, helping muscles to relax and in turn calm the body. Since I started taking it I’ve definitely noticed my sleep improve and no longer wake up several times in a night. I find it most important when I’ve had a tough week of training.
Now this little beauty is a new buy for me but one I can no longer live without. If I don’t spray my pillow with this bad boy from thisworks or something similar, I feel really unsettled. Yes, it’s probably just a placebo, and my husband hates the smell – but I just find it so relaxing. The scent of lavender & camomile helps to calm my mind; reminding me to take some deep breaths in order to relax into my bed. After popping on my eye mask (the final essential to my night time routine). I cuddle up to my husband & fur child (Hudson) and blissfully fall into a deep sleep.
For me, finding a night-time routine, even if it’s just the 10minutes before I’m ready to drift off, is integral to getting a good nights sleep; with each step reminding me that it’s time to relax and settle in for the night. I seriously believe in the importance of the last few minutes before you fall to sleep and the effects it has, not only on your sleep, but how you wake in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those mornings when I wake up grumpy (who doesn’t) but I’ve taken a giant leap in the right direction and no longer spend 30minutes snoozing before stomping around in the morning… although I’m sure my husband will disagree 😜
Do you have a pre-sleep routine? Are you religious with it? I’d love to hear in the comments below.