Our days are so filled with noise, stimuli, stressors both big and small, and running to-do lists that by the time we get home in the evenings it may be hard to simply turn it all off. Perhaps you wake up already listing the most important tasks of the day, you rush through breakfast, barely make it to the train, accomplish all that you can at the office while still trying to maintain some semblance of peace. By the time dinner time rolls around you're too sapped to do anything other than order off Postmates, or put something into the microwave and throw your feet up in exhaustion.
Does this routine sound familiar?
It's hard. Since these things are so connected, not getting enough quality sleep then in turn affects how you start your day, how you start your day determines your mood, how you interact with others, what you eat (Fun fact: "People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels"), and how you feel by the time you arrive home to do it all over again.
Human beings are the only mammals on the planet that voluntarily and willingly delay sleep. When does it stop?
If you're interested in re-charging your batteries in a healthy and safe way, I strongly recommend creating a night time routine. This routine will look different for everyone, and the length and steps are totally up to you. That's the beauty: it's a sacred time of night that is reserved just for you, and you alone.
What's my night time routine like?
It's lavish. Hear me out. I discovered Per Purr, an organic, all natural and female-owned beauty brand almost two years ago. And to be honest, their attention to detail and genuine respect for nature and its natural gifts makes them a one-stop-shop for relaxation. I try to find my moments of bliss in the mundane. I only use soaps that not only smell good, but are also moisturizing and ideally, all natural. Here are some you may want to check out. The honey and ginger soap os calling my name.
After a hot shower with some aromatic, natural soap I can already feel my muscles starting to relax. I then take some time to moisturize. I prefer oils to creams as I feel they last longer on my skin. My favorite from Per Purr is the Relax Oil. OMG. Its base is hazelnut oil and it's filled with magnesium that helps sooth irritated skin. Then here's also marigold and chamomille. The lavender is what does it for me though: I rub some on my temples and I'm almost guaranteed to fall straight to sleep.
Although I prefer to jounral in the mornings, I try to stretch and deep breathe before bed. It's cathartic, and who doesn't want to inhale lavender and verbena before floating away into the sweetest of slumbers.
How do you get started?
First, think about when you feel most grounded and present?
Is it when you're sipping tea, or warm water with lemon and ginger? Is there a song that always calms your nerves? Is it taking the extra time to brush or braid your hair, or take your make up off and treat your skin? What gives you that "mmmmm, this is nice" feeling?
Then build on that. There are some components of a night time routine that are scientifically proven to aid in a better night's rest.
Exercise: consistent exercise before bed has been proven to aid in not only falling asleep, but having a more restful night's sleep too. Do you need to run 3 miles before bed? Of course not, but do what makes your body feel good.
Stretching: all that tension and stress become concentrated in targeted areas like our shoulders, upper-back, and jaw. When we stretch we release that tension and return elasticity to our over-worked muscles.
Warm beverages: while drinking coffee before bed is ill-advised, having warm water and lemon, or tea (without caffeine) can also be a soothing part of your night time ritual.
Meditation / Moments of silence: When was the last time you spent 5 to 10 minutes without your phone, or music and in complete silence? The best way to wind down from a long day is to be silent and... put the phone away.
Deep breathing: take 10 Deep breaths and tell me how you feel afterwards.
There you have it! I promise you that all of these things are connected: sleep, health, wealth, mental and physical well-being. When you reserve just 10 minutes a night to fully decompress, you'll notice a domino effect, but in the best way possible!
It's not asking too much when it's your health on the line, is it?
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.