I’ve had issues with sleep all my life. After becoming a mom, sleep challenges became worse which forced my family to develop a routine that worked for all of us. We’re finally in an awesome groove, so I’m excited to share with you what is working for us! If you struggle to get restorative sleep, then read on or watch the video below to learn about my 5-step bedtime routine for better sleep. Perhaps you’ll find something in my method that you’ll want to try for yourself.
Address Any Poor Sleep Routine Habits First
My holistic sleep tips will definitely help you, but only if you remove any negative influences first! All of these things can negatively impact your sleep and alter your circadian rhythm:
- screen time
- not getting enough sunshine or activity
- eating a big dinner
- food intolerances
If you want to understand better how they impact your sleep and want help getting back on track, read:
If you’re still not feeling that your sleep is as good as it can be, then hopefully something from my routine will inspire you to make some changes.
My Bedtime Routine For Better Sleep
We know sleep is so important for all physiological functions in the body and for cellular repair. We also need good sleep to maintain our emotional and mental health. Sleep is also an important time for us to tap into our spiritual nature. Even though this may be happening unconsciously, as we bring more attention to our dreams we can actually be bringing more conscious work into our lives through them. (I will be covering this more in the future!)
When I do all these steps in my bedtime routine, it’s guaranteed that I fall asleep quickly and rest deeply throughout the night. It helps me restore on every level of my being – not just by body!
1. Evening Wind Down Routine
The first step is winding down. This is the most extensive part of my routine!
My family goes upstairs to our bedrooms, so our bodies get the cue that we’re getting ready for sleep. My son usually plays in his bedroom or does some crafting. I typically knit for a period of time while I’m sipping on relaxing tea. This is also a time I typically journal or pull some oracle or tarot cards to process the events of the day.
After I’ve done that for myself, then I’ll go into my son’s bedroom and read to him for a long time. He is almost 12 years old and I know many parents don’t do this anymore. This is something that I’ve always believed very strongly in though. It’s a wonderful way for us to reconnect at the end of the day. Reading to him (not asking him to read to me) allows his mind to relax and receive.
(This is also how he learns! I swear that reading to him every single night of his life is why he’s such a strong reader and has a vast vocabulary.)
When my son starts getting sleepy and I say good night to him and then go on to step two.
2. Release Physical Tension Before Getting In Bed
This step is essential for me! If you have a Yang body type – build muscle easily and pool tension in your upper body – then you may need this step too!
I usually release tension in two ways: 1) through using essential oils first and then, 2) a short simple yoga practice.
To help ground my energy to help bring my mind down into my body, I usually use cedar wood, vetiver, or even patchouli essential oils on the soles of the feet. The best place to put essential oils for grounding is under the ball of the foot on the Kidney 1 acupressure point.
Using one of these really viscous dense essential oils helps again to bring your energy down. Just that in itself may help to relieve any tension you’re feeling in the upper body.
I also like to incorporate some cooling oils into my nighttime routine that help relieve neck, upper back, and shoulder tension. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we consider this energy stagnation or heat rising. I typically reach for peppermint essential oil. If I’m really tense, then I will choose wintergreen instead. Wintergreen is the strongest analgesic, so it relieves pain and tension. When I apply these oils I automatically feel like tension is melting off of my body.
Still, I will spend about 10 minutes with a simple yoga practice afterwards which helps me relax further.
Here is thorough yoga practice for sleep that you might be interested in:
I honestly don’t do a yoga session this long at night though, and only spend a short amount of time stretching mindfully until I start yawning. That usually includes opening up the backs of the legs, the hips, the chest, and the shoulders. Anyone who spends time on a computer needs their whole front body opened at the end of the day! I also like to stretch the back of the body to relieve any tension along the spine and the nerves that come out from them. Ending with a long seated forward bend (paschimottanasana) is usually what gets me yawning.
3. Nighttime Energy Clearing & Emotional Release
At this point in my routine, I’m taking time to consciously let go of any roots of discontent. Taking several long slow deep breaths, I bring light down through my body. I intentionally let go of any negative or foreign energy, spiritual intrusions, or energetic darts from my body (this is important for all of you empaths!) I know that this is complete when either i’m feeling completely satisfied or if I have fallen asleep (which I typically do during this phase).
4. Bedtime Forgiveness Practice & Letting Go Of The Past
If I’m still awake at this point, then I’m probably pensive, still thinking about things that have happened during the day. To shift from worry to feeling content, I usually need to do a forgiveness practice. I take the time to forgive myself for saying or doing anything I regret, and forgive anyone who has offended me. I wipe away anything heavy on the heart, so I’m not bringing this into my dreams or the next day.
5. Settling Into Darkness With A Sleep Mask
The final step is to put on my sleep mask and drift away! If I’m already asleep then I may not need it. Typically though, I will wake up at least once during the night to use the bathroom. Sometimes the light of the moon will keep me awake. So at that point I’ll put the sleep mask on. The complete darkness is more conducive to sleep. The gentle pressure on my eyes also helps me relax further. It took me awhile to get used to wearing it. Now that I am, it’s really helpful when I travel (which is when I really have a harder time sleeping).
I hope learning about my sleep routine was interesting for you! Let me know in the comments if you’ve gathered a few tips you could try for yourself and your family to help you all sleep better. As always, feel free to reach out if you need any further support thank you so much for watching friends sweet dreams