Now more than ever bedtime rituals are as important as sleep itself.
What Do You Do Before Bed?
Surf the net? Check your Instagram? Listen to the news? Obsessively read about Coronavirus? Worry about the health of family and friends?
The last things you do before you doze off will have a huge impact on not just the quality of your sleep but also your mood and energy level the following day.
These days, time appears to have frozen. Days are long and mentally exhausting and with all the chaos in the world, you might find it difficult to drift off to sleep even if you are tired. That’s why it’s essential to have bedtime rituals ( just like morning rituals) to help unwind and prepare your body and mind for a night of healing sleep.
Not sure which rituals you should adopt? Here are our 3 top recommendations.
I. Disconnect from The News
Yes, there’s a lot of things happening in the world right now and we understand that you wish to stay abreast. But no matter how much you stay updated, it’s never going to be enough. Plus, your obsession with the news and all that’s happening in real-time, is affecting your mental health and aggravating your stress and anxiety levels. That’s why make it a habit to check the news once a day for 20 min and then stop. Avoid talking with friends and family about the virus and find new topics to discuss. Easier said than done? Sure it is. But this is one of the most influential things you can do to get a good night’s sleep. Allow your brain to wind-down and instead, do something which will release the day’s tension from the body and mind. How about a quick workout? Practice some Yoga Nidra? Remind yourself that this a phase and it will pass too. In the meanwhile, you must take care of your mind and body to stay balanced and focussed.
II. Unplug Completely
It’s not just about disconnecting from the news. But you should unplug entirely. Research has revealed that any kind of screen time before bed does you more harm than good. The blue light emitted from the phone mimicks the intensity of sunlight which instructs your body to stop creating melatonin, a crucial hormone that controls your circadian rhythm and directs your body when it’s time to awaken and when it’s time to rest. This could result in not only deprived sleep, but also vision problems, cancer, and depression. So, no more checking email, browsing your social media apps and playing games on your phone just before going to sleep.
III. Let Go
When the day is over, you should decompress and practice letting go. The world seems like an intimidating place right now and probably you’re scared of the future, and that’s okay. Fear is not a harmful emotion but only until you keep it under control. Remind yourself that you are doing your best and understand at a deep level, that getting aggravated over things you can’t control, will do no good. Yes, there might be plenty of things on your mind, but you have just 24 hours in a day. Stop panicking, stressing and practice mindfulness by meditating for 15-20 min before bed. Yoga Nidra is the easiest way to quieten your mind and relax the body before hitting the bed.
The above-mentioned ritual may seem too simple but it’s 100% effective. You can also customize your bedtime rituals by adding a few more steps such as taking a warm shower, preparing your next day’s schedule, journaling and taking a few moments to introspect about your life. You should also avoid caffeine and post-dinner snacking.
During these times, when the feeling of loneliness is gripping everyone, a soothing bedtime ritual will not only balance your mind and body but will also break the addiction of constantly looking at your phone or computer for entertainment or distraction. Initially, it might be hard to follow through but with a little bit of persistence, it will become second nature like brushing your teeth.