There’s nothing like the feeling of getting a good night’s sleep: you feel energised, refreshed, clear and ready to take on the day. When we sleep, our bodies repair and recharge, which helps us thrive.
Getting your eight hours of rest each night is not just about clocking in the hours on the pillow. It’s about embracing the essential, life-enhancing benefits of quality shut eye.
Often, this requires more than just a comfortable bed – it involves cultivating a calming atmosphere and a consistent routine that signals your body and mind that it’s time to wind down.
As someone who has struggled with sleep issues in the past, I know how important it is to have a calming nighttime routine. Not only does it help me fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, but it also sets the tone for a peaceful and restful night.
Here’s what my nightly sleep ritual looks like…
- Phone on airplane mode: My ritual begins with a simple act—switching my phone to airplane mode. This intentional disconnection from the digital chaos allows me to connect more deeply with myself, carving out a sacred space for quiet reflection.
- Legs up the wall: Next comes a restorative yoga pose: legs up the wall. This gentle inversion soothes my nervous system, dissolving the day’s stress and inviting calm.
- One pan dinner: Simplicity reigns supreme in my evening kitchen. A one-pan dinner – easy, nourishing, and a feast for the senses. It’s a mindful act of self-care, preparing a meal that fuels both body and soul. Including protein in your dinner can help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent any sudden drops during the night that could disrupt your sleep¹. Introducing proteins such as chicken, fish or tofu into your evening meal is key for supported sleep. Try our One Pan Lemon Herb Chicken from the JSHealth App for a zesty, delicious and stress-free dinner!
- Night walk under the stars: Post-dinner, I love to go for a night walk under the starry sky. The cosmos brings me a profound sense of peace, grounding me in the beauty of the present moment and signalling my mind and body that it is almost time for bed.
- Soothing sips: My favourite nighttime brew is a warm chamomile tea. Its calming qualities help to quieten my mind and prepare my body for restful sleep.
- Gratitude practice: This simple act cultivates a positive mindset and nurtures a soul-nourished heart. Before drifting off to sleep, I like to reflect on three things I’m grateful for from the day. It can be as small as a kind gesture or a delicious meal, or something bigger like an accomplishment or a meaningful conversation
- Sweetness for the soul: Dark chocolate is my go-to evening sweet treat. It contains magnesium and tryptophan which can help with relaxation and sleep. Treating ourselves to something we enjoy is an important form of self care!
- Lavender bubble bath: I love to wind down in a bath infused with lavender and Epsom salts. The relaxing aroma coupled with the therapeutic salts creates a sensory experience that rejuvenates both body and mind.
- Nighttime supplementation: As part of my nightly ritual, I take magnesium before bedtime. Known for its muscle relaxation and energy production support, it’s a wonderful way to prepare the body for rest and rejuvenation. Taking a multi-strain probiotic supplement also helps to maintain balance in my gut microbiome which has been linked to improved sleep quality².
- Rewatch favourite TV show: Familiarity breeds comfort! I love to revisit episodes of my favourite TV shows before bed. The familiarity and nostalgia help me relax and ease into sleep.
- Don an eye mask: The darkness helps tell my body and mind it is time to rest. Wearing an eye mask blocks out any light that may disrupt my sleep, allowing me to drift off more easily.
Remember that creating your nighttime rituals should be deeply personal to you – reflecting what brings you peace and calm. It should be your sacred time to unwind and let go of the day’s stress.
I hope these suggestions inspire you to create your own calming evening routine.
- Zhou, J., Kim, J.E., Armstrong, C.L., Chen, N. and Campbell, W.W. (2016). Higher-protein diets improve indexes of sleep in energy-restricted overweight and obese adults: results from 2 randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103(3), pp.766–774. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.124669.
- Irwin, C., McCartney, D., Desbrow, B. and Khalesi, S. (2020). Effects of probiotics and paraprobiotics on subjective and objective sleep metrics: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-020-0656-x.