There could be many things contributing to why you’re feeling restless at night. The main reasons being stress, too much social media consumption, bright lights, noise, sugary foods, etc. In today’s post, I’m sharing my tips and tricks that I believe are effective to achieving a restful night of sleep.
- Set The Mood. Back in the day, I used to fall asleep listening to the ‘Quiet Fire’ radio show on Magic 95.9 (if you’re from Baltimore then you know what I’m talking about). The ‘Quiet Fire’ radio show played all the best classic R&B slow jams. So, using music as a means to relax has always been my thing. Turn on your favorite tunes, light a candle or an incense, and just catch a vibe.
- Pop Dat Bubbly (Bubble Bath). After a long day, it’s always great to soak away all the stress, aches, and pains you may have. A good bath soak will help soothe those tired muscles. A personal favorite is the Dr. Teal’s- ‘Restore and Replenish Pink Himalayan mineral soak with their Lavender ‘Soothe & Sleep’ Foaming Bath. After my baths, I like to lather up in the Bath & Body Works- ‘Chamomile & Bergamot’ Lotion. My favorite scents to help promote sleep (whether as a candle, spray, incense, oil, or a lotion) are lavender, eucalyptus, sandalwood, ylang ylang, patchouli, and black chamomile.
- Eucalyptus Spearmint: Eucalyptus oil clears the mind. Spearmint oil soothes and uplifts.
- Orange Ginger: Orange oil invigorates and uplifts. Ginger oil energizes your senses.
- Lavender Vanilla: Lavender oil inspires tranquility. Vanilla absolutely calms the mind to encourage relaxation.
- Eucalyptus Tea: Eucalyptus oil clears the mind. Tea extract calms feelings of uncertainty.
- Black Chamomile: Chamomile oil creates a sense of well-being. Bergamot oil calms the mind and body. – (Bath & Body Works- Aromatherapy Scents).
- **4/20 friendly**- Indulge in your favorite indica strain. This step compliments very well with step 1 and 2. If you are a beginner, please start low and slow on the THC or opt for CBD gummies or CBD oil. Melatonin sleep gummies are a good option as well is you do not want to smoke. “Indica strains come from the cannabis indica plant, which is generally shorter and bushier than their sativa counterpart. Traditionally, indica strains are associated with more of a body high that makes you feel relaxed. They’re often recommended for people seeking strains to help with pain, insomnia, nausea, or poor appetite.” – (Health Line). A strain that I’m loving right now is a hybrid called: Peanut Butter Breath which is a descendant of a combination from a sleep aid and pain relief strain, thank me later. Read Peanut Butter Breath info and reviews. Please be aware of the potential side effects of products high in THC:
- feelings of anxiety or paranoia
- increased appetite
- dry mouth
- dry eyes
- rapid heart rate
- slowed reaction time
- coordination issues
- Eat a very light snack. I know eating before bed is usually a no-no, but I honestly still do it sometimes. It would suck going to bed hungry right? I’m not saying go pull out a whole steak and shrimp dinner, but some fruits (and maybe some yogurt) will do just fine. Tea flavors such as chamomile and lavender are great sleep aids.
- Set aside time to “wind down” before bed. If you have an iPhone, there’s a great feature called ‘Sleep Focus’, and within that feature you can set your phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’. You can customize your sleep schedule and set your wake-up alarm. This feature will silence your notifications including phone calls and text messages. For reference, my ‘Do Not Disturb’ hours during the weekday are 9:00pm to 6:00am with a wake-up alarm at 4:45am. I plan to at least be in the bed and/or sleep by 9:45pm. On weekends, it’s 11:00pm to 7:00am or I’ll just have the feature turned off completely. Make sure all your chores, studying, homework, routines, and eating dinner is finished before you start winding down to ensure you are ready to relax for the rest of the night without anything lingering on your mind or to-do list.
- Bedtime Movement. Movement not only energizes you, but it can help you relax as well. If you’re really tired by this point, I would highly recommend doing a quick bedtime stretch and yoga routine while you’re IN the bed. 15 minutes is just enough time for yoga and 5 minutes for mediation (guided or not). This step is all about relaxing your mind. Yin Yoga is more ideal for bedtime because it’s the most gentle and relaxing. Also, if you want, you can do a little dancing to tire yourself out even more or for the grown folks- have some “Secks” and you can just skip step 7 and go straight to sleep 😉. “Sexual activity causes the body to release extra oxytocin, the so-called love hormone that helps people feel connected to one another. The body also secretes more prolactin, another feel-good hormone, in response to sexual activity. (Prolactin levels spike the most when orgasm occurs during sexual intercourse.) After sex, these hormones tend to act like sedatives, causing both men and women to feel sleepy and relaxed. Sex also decreases the amount of circulating cortisol in the blood; cortisol is a stress hormone associated with the fight-or-flight response.” – (Health Grades)
- Read for at least 30 minutes. If you’re still feeling a bit restless at this point, grab a book. It doesn’t have to be the best book ever but something that will keep you engaged long enough and has a lot of pages. “Reading before bed helps you focus your mind and promotes a positive outlook. When you read before bed, your mind is focused on the story instead of your worries and stress.” When you read, your brain reaches a relaxed state that allows you to more quickly fall asleep, according to a 2012 study published by American Academy: Sleep and Neuroscience. Reading is a low-intensity activity, which means it allows your brain to relax and slow down, helping you fall asleep.”– (Books and Wisdom).
(These are all my personal favorites)
Bedtime stretches, affirmations, yoga and healing meditations:
Some bedtime playlists to Check Out:
“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Till next time,