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The Importance of Bedtime Prep

Written by Sophie Higgins, Co-Founder of Questae Collective

How does where you sleep make you feel?

You might not think that how your bedroom makes you feel, or what it is your bedroom represents to you, could impact your sleep….but it absolutely could.

If your bedroom doesn’t make you feel good, if you’re not particularly keen on being in your bedroom, and if your bedroom doesn’t feel like a little haven that evokes calm, peace, and tranquillity, a space for you to unwind and chill out, then it could have an effect on how well you sleep, whether that be how well you get to sleep, or how well you stay asleep.

If you think how you feel about your bedroom could be having an impact on your sleep, why not try one, some, or all of the below to make sure you’re getting a restful, dreamy sleep, and to turn your bedroom into a heavenly haven…

De-clutter

get rid of the clutter and the mess, have a good old tidy up, put things away and create space. When I de-clutter physically I find that I also de-clutter mentally, which has a really positive impact on my sleep.

Soft lighting

introduce some soft, ambient lighting to allow your eyes to adjust to night time, calm your nervous system, and allow your sleep hormone, melatonin, to do its thing.

Incense/oil burner

stock up on your favourite incense or essential oils and get some nice calming smells in the room.

Plants or flowers

connect and ground with nature by bringing some lush living greenery or beautiful flowers into your bedroom.

Pictures

surround yourself with pics of your fav places/loved ones/happy moments/ cherished memories.

Favourite colours

integrate some of your favourite calming colours, perhaps with some comfy cushions, beautiful art, or maybe get creative and paint a wall or two.

Get cosy

create comfort with plush cosy blankets and soft cushions.

Devices

devices stimulate our nervous system so try to keep them out of sight in a drawer, or better still, out of your bedroom entirely.

And what about when it comes to that time of night when we’re getting ready for bed and preparing for sleep? Are there things we can do that might be helpful in getting our minds and bodies ready for a restful night?

Now I love my sleep, and generally my sleep is pretty good, but it does go in phases and there are some weeks when I feel like I’m just not getting enough of it, and when I’m not I know there are perhaps some things I could try, and some practices I could maybe implement, that could help me get that much needed rejuvenating shut eye. So with that in mind here are some of my top tips to help you prepare for some dreamy deep sleeps…

Make evenings a work-free zone

stop checking emails, stop replying to emails, turn notifications off on your phone, stop working, and relax.

Screens off

at least 1 hour before bed. The light emitted from screens (ALL screens) stimulates our brain and nervous system, making it difficult to wind down ready for sleep.

Don’t eat late at night

the last thing your body needs to be doing during the night is working hard to digest food. Give it time to rest and repair.

Avoid sugary processed food

sugar stimulates the nervous system, and wreaks havoc on our endocrine system, making us feel wired thanks to those sugar highs and sugar crashes. Definitely not what we want just before we go to bed!

No caffeine past midday

the stimulatory effect of caffeine is also not what we want just before bed. Try to get your coffees in during the morning to ensure the effects have worn off by evening.

Meditation

why not try a guided meditation or yoga nidra just before bed, even 5 or 10 minutes will help you switch from fight or flight to rest and digest.

Breathing

deep diaphragmatic breathing can work wonders for preparing your mind and body for sleep. Give it a go throughout the evening or just before bed, even just 5-10 minutes, or longer if you have the time.

Have a bath

who doesn’t love a relaxing evening bath! Add some magnesium salts, essential oil, and relaxing music for pure bath time bliss.

Get to bed at a reasonable time

I’m talking like 10pm latest! Even if you read for a bit. Snuggle down and prepare your mind and body for a long and restful sleep.

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