By: Alexis Atkins
Terry Tempest Williams, an American author and activist, is quoted as saying, “rituals are the formulas by which harmony is restored.”
The act of sleeping falls directly into this realm of ritual. Not only is it a habitual practice, but sleep is needed to revive our mind, body and spirit back to a state of harmony. When we emphasize the importance of bedtime and how it can improve our quality of life, we can promote a higher level of peace in our daily lives.
This article explores six things that you can do before bed to inspire peace and encourage a full night’s rest.
- Brush Your Teeth: Brushing your teeth before bed has numerous health benefits. It can keep tooth decay, gum disease, stinky breath and plaque at bay. It’s also very ritualistic in itself. It’s a process that involves moving your brush in rhythmic cyclical motions. But there’s also a psychological benefit to brushing your teeth before bed. For example, brushing your teeth at night signals to your brain that you are done eating. Going to bed with good oral health can remove the regents of the foods that you ate that day. This, in turn, prepares you to be fresh for the next day. As with anything that relates to our body, we never want to place anything in our mouths that can be potentially toxic. This is extremely important when we are going to sleep because a product could leave residue on our teeth overnight. Opt for non-toxic oral care products like Garner’s Garden Remineralizing Tooth Powder or Sirrah Smiles’ Sirrah Natural Toothpaste.
- Turn Down The Lights: Light can drastically change the vibe of a room. Bright, sunlight promotes energy. While low light can create a more relaxed environment. When you are winding down for bedtime, turn off any lights that you aren’t using. For the light, you may need, opt for dim lighting or even non-toxic candles to give you enough light to finish your nighttime routine. We can’t talk about the effects of light without mentioning technology, specifically our cellphones. We are all guilty of scrolling incessantly on social media into the night. But the truth is, the blue light that our phones emit disrupt our sleep. The blue light signals to our brain that it’s still daytime and subsequently keeps us awake scrolling, restless and sleep-deprived. Luckily, tech pioneers have developed phone features that can shift the color of light that our phones emit to an orange-toned light. Make it a habit to use this feature on your phone by turning on this feature an hour before your bedtime.
- Use Aromatherapy: Just like the effect of light, aromatherapy can change the entire ambiance of a room. From candles to essential oils, there are a variety of ways that you can use aromatherapy to inspire peace in your nighttime routine. Look for aromatherapy products that are natural and use pure essential oils instead of synthetic essential oils. Key oils that encourage sleep include lavender, valerian, chamomile, and peppermint oil.
- Leave It In The Journal: After creating a calm space, grab your journal and do a quick check-in with yourself. One major thing that can keep us up at night is our lingering anxieties. This can range from being anxious about the things that you didn't complete to the things that you are anticipating the next day or even next week. Typically, the weight of our responsibilities settles on our minds at night. Spend a few minutes each night before bed to journal. It could be about three things you are thankful or that brought you joy that day. Then, counteract that list by including three things that you’d like to work on tomorrow. By listing these small goals out for the next day, you can place your mind at ease by giving the next day a sense of order and focus.
- Stretch It All Out: Gentle stretching can do wonders for your body at night. It allows you to become self-aware of how your body is, acknowledge how you feel and in many ways it allows you to unload the weight of the day. Use this stretching time to focus on your breathing. Keep your stretches simple and low stress. Child’s pose, neck stretches, and bear hugs are perfect pre-bed stretches.
- Take A Moment To Meditate: Last but not least, meditate. Meditation can come in many forms. Whether you love listening to nature sounds or sitting in silence, spend the last moments before you settle in under your cozy covers to meditate. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, minimize anxiety and increase mental clarity. But most importantly, meditation can lend it’s hand to create a peaceful harmony by creating total mind and body awareness.
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