The most common question that I get is how do I get a good night’s sleep?
Lately, a lot of people struggle with chronic fatigue. They get 6-8 hours of sleep, and yet they don’t feel energized in the mornings. A few years ago, I also struggled with this issue. I read up on a lot of studies and tried to maintain different habits to improve the quality of sleep that I was getting. Although some of them worked, and some didn’t help at all, with a few improvements of my own I discovered a few simple habits that helped me wake up energized and ready to seize the day instead of snoozing the alarm for a few extra minutes of sleep. And today I will be sharing my 4 step evening routine for restoring energy with you!
1. Prepare Properly
Before I turn in for the night and start my evening routine, I always make sure I have a good, nourishing dinner a few hours before I go to sleep. I make it a rule to not eat for at least 2-3 hours before I go to sleep because it disturbs my sleeping pattern, often resulting in restless nights.
Also, before I start my evening routine, I make sure I write down anything I might have forgotten on my to-do list, I do a final check of my emails, and then I turn off all the electronic gadgets. Then, I am ready to start my evening routine.
2. Thought Cleanse
One of the things that often kept me awake at night was something that we all struggle with – worry. I worried about what tomorrow may bring and what I did during the day - re-evaluating everything I had said during the day, how I said it and how it might be misinterpreted. And sometimes, a lot of the thoughts I had were about past situations that had happened ages ago, and that stirred negative emotions that I had experienced back then.
I often wondered – why do I do this to myself?
One day, it finally clicked in my head that with the busy lifestyle I lead, I probably don’t have as much time as I need to process what has happened to me and what is happening to me. I started with this train of thought: When I don’t take the time I need for myself, my thoughts go through my mind unchecked, and my emotions stir from those unconscious thoughts. Sleeping is an unconscious act, so whenever I try to sleep, the thoughts start pouring in because it’s an unconscious habit that I have created.
That is why every night I indulge in a little thought cleanse before I go on with my evening routine. To do this habit, I simply took a journal and a pen and started writing down my negative thoughts. Each time I finish a page, I leave the backside of the page empty, and I continue onto the next page if I need to. I let all of my thoughts go on completely unfiltered, and I write down everything that comes to mind.
Then, I get up, make myself a cup of tea and take a few deep breaths before continuing. It’s important to take a few minutes to distance yourself before you continue with the next step. I choose to make tea because tea calms me down and also helps me to improve my sleep, but you can do whatever you want in those few minutes.
Once my tea is finished, I sit down and go through what I wrote. I read, and I underline thoughts that make me the most upset. Then on the back of that page, I try to turn those thoughts into something positive or figure out the root of those thoughts. Most of the times that I do this, I realize that many of the negative thoughts I have are based on assumptions I made at some point during the day instead of facts. Once I dismantle a negative thought to its core, the negative thought loses its power over me.
3. Take A Bath
Because we all lead more stressful lives these days, it’s only natural for that stress to pile up. And although it’s exhausting to constantly be under pressure and stress, it doesn’t help to fall asleep at all. In fact, I have found that the more exhausted I am, the more desperate the need to sleep and reset, the less likely it is that I will fall asleep and rest.
The thought cleanse does help to relieve stress and anxiety, however, what it lacked was a way for my body to unclench and relax. That’s why every evening right after my thought cleanse, I take a warm bath to relieve piled up tension in my body.
When I feel especially stressed out, I also like to give myself a massage starting from my fingertips, hands, upwards to my arms, my shoulders, neck, and then my hips, thighs, legs, ankles, and feet.
4. Meditate Before You Turn In For The Night
And lastly, when I finally lay down in bed, I want to end my evening routine on a high note by meditating. Releasing the negative thoughts, and the tension that is keeping me away from a good night’s rest only makes room to invite better, improved energy that will re-energize my body during my sleep, and help me wake up ready to seize the day. Because I am trying to fall asleep I like to make the meditation as simple as possible.
I usually wrap my Natural Amethyst and Rose Quartz Lotus Mala on my hand, then place my hands on my thighs and close my eyes. I love to use this mala because the mix of amethyst and rose quartz simply radiates with a soothing, gentle energy that helps me nourish myself. Then, I take deep breaths. I take a breath for four seconds, then I hold my breath for four seconds, and then I exhale for four seconds. After I have completed this breathing exercise 10 times, I focus on the blood pulsing through my body.
Then I raise my hand with the Amethyst and Rose Quartz Mala, and place my hand on my forehead, with the mala touching my forehead. I take a few deep breaths, trying to harness the positive, soothing energy from my Amethyst and Rose Quartz Mala. Then, when I feel ready, I turn in for the night and enjoy a peaceful, energizing sleep.
Keep in mind that these steps can take a little or as long as you like - since we are often busy, you might not have enough time to do them all for a long time. You might also find that only some of these work best for you, so you can stop trying the other suggestions and then you will have more time for what does work and help you sleep better. You can tailor it specifically to you!
Let me know what you think, and if you will try these tips!