Recently we shared our top tips for ensuring your morning routine went as smoothly as possible, giving you every chance to crack on and seize whatever the day was due to throw at you. So it seems only natural that we balance things out a little, and focus on the things that go towards making the end of your day just as calm and productive as the beginning. Without further ado, here are our top tips on how to improve your evening routine in three easy little steps.
Block out stimulations
Your evening routine should be all about one thing. Getting a good night’s sleep. The only way that you will get a good night’s sleep is by unwinding properly, giving your body chance to relax and do what it needs to do. Our bodies are so amazing! In order to fall asleep, we produce a hormone called melatonin. This hormone works by sending sleepy signals to the brain, which is turn allows us to turn off our awake signals and instead start to relax ready for some serious shut eye. The most amazing part of it all is that our bodies can only produce this hormone when the conditions are just right. We need darkness. Now you know why it can be so hard to take afternoon naps!
If we go all the way back to our hunter/ gatherer ancestors, it all makes sense. Back then, we would wake when the sun rose and sleep when it set. Our bodies had a sophisticated circadian rhythm that allowed us to produce the right hormones at the right time, in sync with the natural world. These days though, the signals are a little wonky. Now we have television, light bulbs, screens. Now, our bodies have to fight against natural urges to stay awake for longer and sleep for less. We have movies we want to watch, deadlines we need to meet. We have, in a way, lost our ability to relax and get ready for a good night’s sleep.
This is why blocking out stimulations is so very important. Now, we’re not saying that you should spend your evenings in darkness once the sun has set, and retreat straight to bed in order to get a better routine. But we are saying that you should try to spend your evenings with your bedtime in mind. Try to block as much stimulation as you can. Limit screen use, use blue-blocking glasses (these will filter out the blue light that screens omit, thus helping the body to produce the melatonin it needs for sleep) and light a candle in place of a lamp. We recommend our beautiful artisan hand poured soy eco wax candle in English Lavender for the ultimate in night time relaxation.
Nourish and cleanse the body
It’s such a great idea to end the day pretty much as you started it. Meditation is a wonderful method of relaxation- it will cleanse, nourish and protect the mind, body and soul before sleep. It will help you to take stock of the day’s events, organised your mind so that you can move on, and create a calm and positive environment for sleep.
In a more literal sense, nourishment with food is also important to enable the body to begin it’s nightly recharge ready for the next day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, and instead focus on foods that will nourish and serve your body well.
Similarly, taking a warm bath is another amazing and time-tested way to get the body ready for the night ahead. Use a splash of our amazing Rose Geranium bubble bath to help soothe away any anxieties your day may have brought. A gentle facial massage is another wonderful way to boost your bedtime routine. Check out our new Chamomile and Calendula sensitive facial bar, part of our eco warrior range, for a nourishing yet calming way to treat your skin before bed.
Create a bedtime routine you can stick to
The beauty of human beings is that we are all unique. We are all individuals, with different needs and different tastes. There really is no one size fits all approach that works for much in life, and bedtime routines are no different. There are many different sleep hygiene rules we can recommend (all of the above are great tips!) but ultimately it’s up to you to decide what will work for you. Perhaps an early night isn’t the answer, and instead curling up with a good book is a better way for your body and mind to switch off ready for sleep. Perhaps you need more sleep than the average person, so setting an early bedtime is the solution. Perhaps you find a warm bath too stimulating at night, and sleep better after a cooler shower instead? The point is that your bedtime routine needs to work for you.
Find the steps that help you to relax, unwind and get ready for sleep. There is only one golden rule when it comes to nighttime routines… make sure that you’re prioritising this special time. Plan your evening and ensure that it focuses around the things you need to help you digest the day and move forward into sleep. Once you’ve nailed this, the rest will fall into place.