PRACTICAL TIPS TO HELP YOU SLEEP GREAT TONIGHT
6 MIN READ
Let’s be honest, great sleep is like a unicorn. It’s highly sought after, hard to capture, and debatably fictitious…
All jokes aside, regardless of your lifestyle; whether you’re a new mom (like me), or your partner snores, or you have loud roommates, or even if you live alone but you can’t seem to shut your brain off, getting quality sleep can feel like the equivalent to taking down a behemoth.
The problem is, sleep is one of the most important things we do in a day. It supports cellular turnover, which yes, helps prevent premature aging of your skin, but it also helps keep your brain sharp.
Sleep also plays a major role in your mental wellness.
Quality sleep plays a significant role in improving your mood, reducing anxious feelings, and supporting your ability to cope with, and handle, tough or stressful situations.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation can amplify anxiety, weaken your stress response, and, according to some research, worsen or exacerbate certain mental health issues, like depression.
Poor sleep can also cause collagen degradation and dehydrate your skin, not to mention weaken your immune system and increase inflammation.
But, you already knew all of that.
Okay, enough with the terror tactics – you get it. Sleep is like gold, but knowing that doesn’t help you get more of it. In fact, dwelling on the importance of sleep on sleepless nights might just stress you out and cause you to be more tired, and we do not want that!
So, here’s a mini nighttime routine to try out tonight that should make a marked difference in your ability to fall and stay asleep. Give it a try and report back to me tomorrow.
Three Enjoyable Rituals to Practice Tonight to Help You Fall Asleep Faster
STEP ONE: Hot Bath or Shower
One of the reasons you may struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep is your body temperature may be too high. Our brains have come to associate a drop in temperature with the onset of night – and a drop in your body temperature is a key signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
Now, you’re probably wondering how a hot bath or shower could help lower your core body temperature. When you expose your body to heat, your body enters a cooling mode where it sends the blood from deep within your core to the surface and extremities to eject excess heat. This continues well after you are out of the bath or shower, and helps cool your internal temperature to prepare you for sleep.
Oh, and a nice side benefit of the heat exposure is it helps you relieve physical tension from your body and promote relaxation.
You can also take this a step further and bathe or shower by candlelight with meditation music. I guarantee this home made spa-like experience will send you off to dream land in no time.
STEP TWO: Facial Massage with Prism PM Oil Cleanser
So many of us hold tension in our jaws – I know I do – which can lead to a plethora of issues, including headaches, TMJ, dental problems, and overdeveloped jaw muscles. While a hot bath or shower is great for loosening other tense muscles, your facial muscles need some extra TLC.
After your bath, run a washcloth under hot water, wring it out, then place it over your face. This helps open your pores and prime your skin to both be detoxed and absorb the nutrients from the oil cleanser. Leave the cloth on your face for 30-60 seconds then remove it, and dispense STUNN’s Prism PM oil cleanser directly onto your face or onto your fingertips, then begin the massage.
Start along your jawline and gently massage upwards, moving your fingers in a small circular motion along the contours of your jaw. Continue this motion up into the hollows of your cheeks, under and above your cheekbones, SUPER gently along your orbital bone, and up towards your temples. Then, move to the sides of your nose, then upwards from your temples and working along your eyebrows to the top of your hairline.
Once you’re done, gently remove the cleanser with the same warm, wet washcloth you primed your face with.
The goal of this is to release tension, so go at your own pace and focus on certain areas more than others. This can take as long or as short as works for you. There is no real right or wrong way of performing this facial massage, just be mindful of the pressure you use and be very delicate around your eye area.
Our microbiome friendly, nighttime oil cleanser, Prism, was formulated specifically to be used at night to remove makeup and pollution, while providing restorative benefits to support collagen and elastin production and promote cell turnover.
STEP THREE: Mental Dump
One of the primary reasons so many of us struggle with sleep is because we can’t turn our brains off and quiet our minds. All of the things that happened (or didn’t happen) over the last twenty-four hours, all of the little and big stressors that have compiled over the last few weeks (months, years…), and of course, the existential worries that LOVE to creep in right before we fall asleep, come together to whirl around our brain and keep us awake.
This is a tool that I learned decades ago, and have been using ever since.
To start, get into bed – this is the very last step, and is intended to be the last conscious thing you do before you intend to fall asleep, so be sure you’re ready to go to sleep before you start this exercise.
Now, you can go as deep with this as works for you, but I recommend starting with at least six deep breaths, then visualizing yourself sitting by a peaceful stream. Focus on grounding your body to the earth (your bed) and the calm feeling of being connected that comes from that.
When you’re ready, mentally take stock of all the nitty gritty things that are weighing on you, then one by one, visualize yourself putting those things in tiny, little boats and allowing them to float away down the stream, one at a time.
As you release each thing, you can use a mantra like “I release all that no longer serves me, and trust that I will be able to handle what tomorrow brings.” or “I release this thing for today, and trust that it will return to be tomorrow if need be.”
Continue this visualization until all the little stressors have been addressed, then focus on your breath and allow your mind to wander, passively watching whatever scenes unfold in your mind’s eye. If anything pops up that stresses you out, take it back to the stream and let it go again. Before you know it, you should be asleep.
Give this three step routine a try tonight and let me know how it goes. If you want to take this a step further, here are a few additional things you can do to amplify this routine and secure your sleep tonight.
Five quick tips to help you sleep better:
- Make sure your room is as dark as possible.
- Avoid looking at your phone, ideally one-two hours before bed – if that’s not possible try not to look at your phone in bed.
- Play white noise on a loop or wear earplugs to block out sound distractions.
- Make sure your room is cool – the ideal temperature should be around 65 degrees.
- Pee before you get into bed.
My last tip is to be patient with yourself, and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go well. Know that there is always tomorrow night to try again.
And, if you’re a new mom like me or if you are going through menopause or something else that makes sleeping extra elusive, do not fixate on all the negative aspects of sleep deprivation. Instead, try treating yourself with as much love and care as possible.