Stressbuster Challenge: Create a Bedtime Routine

Bah! It's Sunday! Let's talk about sleep. How many of you guys get "enough" sleep? What is enough? What does that even mean? 5 hours is fine, right? 

If you: 

  • have difficulty waking up each morning 
  • rarely ever wake up naturally (without snoozing 5 million times)
  • are still groggy after an hour of getting up
  • have dark circles under your eyes or have puffy eyes 
  • drink a lot of caffeine to even function "normally" 
  • have a difficult time concentrating, remembering things, or staying alert during the day
  • fall asleep during the meditation portion in yoga class (nama-zzzzzz)
  • feel anxious or depressed 
  • are experiencing unexplained weight gain or have a difficult time losing weight to reach a healthy one
  • or even feel like you have "adapted well" to 5 or 6 hours of sleep may be suffering from sleep deprivation.

Of course, they say that 7-8 hours of sleep is ideal, but this sounds impossible for some of us who regularly get maybe 5 hours, and only when we're lucky.  So we all know that sleep dep is bad. What can we do about it? Reasonably? 

Stressbuster Challenge of the week: Set up a bedtime routine.

A routine helps to rewire your brain so that once you engage in those routine activities, you are already priming yourself for bed. This will help you fall (and stay) asleep more easily. Try to begin your routine at around the same time every night, but if that's not possible, no big deal. That can be your next goal to work towards. For now, I'll give you an example of a bedtime routine: Moi's. 

  1. Somewhere between 11pm and 12am (I am working on the "same time every night" thing as well!) - Remove makeup, brush my teeth, floss, light a candle, shower.
  2. Somewhere between 11:30pm and 12:30am - Put lotion on, take my contacts off, towel dry my hair. 
  3. By 12:30am - Sit in bed, usually mess around on Facebook and Instagram (I know, I'm working on not doing this, too.) 
  4. By 12:45am - Lights out, talk to the boyfriend for a little bit. 
  5. By 1am - I am usually asleep. 

For me, the candle I light in the shower and the smell of shampoo/conditioner/soap provides very soothing aromatherapy for me, and I have associated those smells with bedtime. Sometimes, my boyfriend will shower before me, leaving the bathroom smelling like "bedtime," and that will kickstart my own bedtime routine. Another conditioned response example is when I take my contacts off and wear my glasses, I immediately get sleepy. Even when I have to wear my glasses during the day, it takes almost half the day for my brain to rewire from "bedtime" to "wake up!" I may not always be able to get the 7-8 hours of sleep, but with this routine, my 6.5 hours are at least restful ones.

So start rewiring your brain tonight and begin your week on a (relatively more) restful note! 

What is your bedtime routine? Do you think you'll be able to keep it going for the whole week? Why or why not?