"A well established sleep is essential for our physical and mental health"
Sleep Foundation, July 2020
What is a sleep ritual or routine?
While we might think that doing 2 or 3 things before bed like having a bath, brushing our teeth and putting our pj's on might seem like a ritual, these are actually simples steps that get you into bed rather than a ritual or routine.
The difference being that a ritual is something you tell yourself is going to happen without fail, like a religious ceremony consisting of a series of actions. Sure it takes some commitment in the early stages to get some consistency however the benefits do pay off.
How can I start a sleep ritual?
One of the easiest ways to start a sleep ritual (or form any new habit) is to break it down into smaller simple steps known as "tiny habits".
Start by selecting a specific time that you want to commit to be in bed and ready to sleep by. The best way to pick a time for bed is by working backwards from the time you need to be awake by. Allow yourself 7.5hrs of sleep each night and this will give you the time you will be in bed by.
Next it's time to think about the activities you want to do before you feel ready for bed. Start by writing each activity on a post it note and placing them all in front of you. When you have them all written down see if any can be combined or are similar tasks, removing any duplicates. You know have a list of your tasks ready.
The next step is to try and arrange them in an efficient order, if there are certain activities that are completed in the same room (the bathroom for example) you can group them together to begin to create an order that is the most time efficient. You can use our examples below to help you get creative.
The key to success is to enjoy the process and focus on the benefits not the activities you are not allowed to do, focus on the gains from embedding a new bedtime ritual into your life. Focus on each day at a time and if at first you do not succeed there's always tomorrow night. Over time the ritual will become second nature and you should find you wake feeling much more rested and ready for the day ahead.
Things to do before bed
- Have a bath or shower
- Brush your teeth
- Journal your day
- Make a list for the next day
- Drink a sleep tea
- Turn on your oil diffuser
- Turn your alarm on and leave your phone away from your bed
- Turn your phone into Night Mode to reduce light pollution
- Don't watch TV 1hr before bed unless your using blue light blocking glasses