7 Simple Nighttime Rituals to Get You Ready for a Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s rest is important for physical and mental health, but it’s not always easy to achieve. These simple nighttime rituals are tasks and activities you can do before bed to get you ready to rest.

Soft light is very soothing in the evening – source

Find out the importance of a good night’s rest and how to improve your sleep today with this list of simple nighttime rituals. Plus, get some quick tips to improve the overall quality of sleep with ease!

What is a Nighttime Routine

A nighttime routine consists of a series of steps and activities performed around the same time right up until bedtime. This prepares your body for sleep, can help improve the quality of your sleep, and helps you fall asleep faster. 

Many individuals struggle with some form of insomnia, about 1 in 3 adults in the United States. Poor sleep comes with many negative health consequences, therefore it’s important to cultivate a good nighttime routine that can help you rest easier.

Importance of Sleep

Sleep is vital for both mental and physical health. A variety of bodily processes and functions happen when we are asleep. This includes repairing muscles, removing toxins, and improving brain health. While we sleep, our body even works to reduce cortisol levels which can help reduce stress during the day. 

Consequences of not getting enough sleep include lack of cognitive function, reduced memory, lowered learning ability, reduced strength, and lower immunity.

7 Simple Nighttime Rituals to Get Ready for Bed

Here are seven nighttime rituals that can help you get ready for bed and give you a good night’s rest. These rituals are simple, yet highly effective, so try them out and watch how sleep comes with ease.

1. Dim the Lights

As the sun goes down, it might be normal to think we need to illuminate our homes with more light, but this is not the case. A simple nighttime ritual you can start doing is dimming the lights after 6 pm. This can help regulate your internal clock, particularly the light-dependent function that regulates melatonin production. Melatonin is needed to regulate sleep but is not produced when there’s light. Lowering the light levels helps signal to the body to prepare this chemical and rest.

2. Drink 

A simple nighttime ritual can be drinking something warm that relaxes you. No, not alcohol, or anything caffeinated like coffee or green tea. Try drinking something like herbal tea. Many of these contain relaxing properties, such as chamomile or lavender tea. You can even try drinking warm milk with a little snack if you’re hungry to prevent midnight snacking later on.

3. Move

Soft, gentle movement can be very beneficial for the body, especially before bed. This can be something soothing like yoga. Yoga stretches out tight muscles and helps to clear the mind, making it a perfect activity to do before bed. Another great option is to go for a small walk. This short walk can help you unplug from technology and calm the mind. Exposure to the dimming evening light can also help prepare the body for rest.

4. Scent 

Certain scents can invoke tranquility and peace. This has been shown in some aromatherapy studies that have been conducted. While aromatherapy is probably not going to cure a serious disease, some scents like lavender can have very beneficial and relaxing effects on the mind and body.

5.  Meditate 

Meditation is a surefire way to invite a sense of inner peace into your life. It could be done at any time of the day, but it may be beneficial to meditate at night. This is a slow, easy, and gentle habit that clears the mind, calms the body, and helps you unwind from a busy day.

6. Read

Or should I say, reread. Reading, especially physical books, can help relax the mind. Usually. If you’re reading something thrilling or action-packed, it may be difficult to put down the book and go to bed. However, if you’re reading something you’ve read before, you can relax into the story and go to bed without wondering what’s going to happen next. 

Another option is to read something that is not as stimulating for the imagination, something nonengaging and uninteresting. Read the history of [fill in the blank] and make it a topic you aren’t too keen on (I tried to read the history of the Roman Empire once and it kept me up all night).

7. Box Breathe

Box breathing is a form of inhalation and exhalation that can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which relaxes the mind and body. This consists of breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 4 seconds, breathing out for 4 seconds, and holding for 4 seconds. You then repeat this as many times as you need to, until your mind and body feel relaxed and at peace. It’s a good habit to do right before going to bed as it clears the mind and promotes deep rest.

Quick Tips for Sleep

Here are some easy tips you can use to help improve the quality of sleep, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep for longer. Plus check out this guide to decrease insomnia and increase rest.

  • Reduce technology use – the blue light from technology can reduce sleepiness, therefore it’s important to reduce technology use in the hours leading up to bed.
  • No caffeine after 5 – try not to drink anything with caffeine in it after 5 pm, as caffeine is a stimulant that can increase feelings of alertness and reduce sleepiness.
  • Calming activities – along with these simple nighttime rituals, try to include calming activities before bed. This can be taking a warm shower, going for a slow walk, or drinking warm milk.
  • Cool the room – a colder temperature may indicate to the brain that it is time to rest. 

The Takeaway

Sleep is vital for overall health. This means we should do everything possible to improve our quality of sleep when we can. These simple nighttime rituals can help you get a good night’s rest and improve the quality of your sleep greatly.

Remember that health comes from within. Eat nutrient-dense food, move your body, and care for your mental health. Daily habits are the building blocks for emotional, mental, and physical health. As shown above, take care of your gut health! Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here.

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