Creating a positive night routine is really important to achieving a good night's sleep followed by a productive day. Running your business, especially a creative one, makes sleeping somewhat challenging, as it seems at night I do my best thinking and planning. Suddenly all my creative juices get flowing and my brain won't switch off the minute my head hits the pillow. So I require as much help as possible when it comes to a good night's sleep.
I think sleep is extremely important and under rated by millions of us. I believe it is something a lot of people struggle with, which in turn can have a huge impact on our health, the way we deal with our day to day lives and the people in it.
So in order to make a positive change to your sleep pattern and with it create a positive uplifting morning routine that sets you up for the day, I have found some simple yet effective ways that have helped me.
Starting with my bedroom, last week I posted about bed styling which gives some tips on the type of sheets that are breathable and feel better on our skin. You can read this here.
Certain colours according to the art of Feng Shui are also better for sleep, such as blue. There is a lot of scientific research that goes into determining which colours are better and the impact they have on us. Earthy tones and soft muted colours are great for the bedroom, so nothing too bright or bold.
Blue is seen as a calming colour and is known to reduce our heart rate and blood pressure. It is the most popular bedroom colour and really does aid sleep.
Yellow is the second best colour as it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which also produces a relaxed, calm state. I would advise a pastel yellow, not bright sunshine yellow as this may over stimulate.
Green is also a good bedroom colour as long as it is pastel or light, not neon or bold. It is linked to love, marriage and positive energy which equally creates a calm surrounding in the bedroom.
Purple is not good for the bedroom, it increases the likelihood of nightmares and over stimulates the brain which makes it difficult to settle down at the end of a busy day.
Red is also not a great colour for the bedroom for similar reasons to purple - it over stimulates and is a passionate, energetic colour which increases blood pressure and is therefore not conducive with a good nights sleep.
Your bedroom is your sanctuary and therefore should feel clam and relaxing. This can only be achieved if it is free from any clutter. So make sure the room is clear and organised, before hopping into bed.
Upholstered and wooden bed frames are also better than metal and if possible place your bed central to the room and don't have your bed in line with the door, as this is said to pull your energy throughout the night and we want to restore it.
I would also advise that you don't sleep with the crown of your head facing north as it throws the earth's magnetic field out and can increase blood pressure and cholesterol. Facing South East will increase creativity and improve communication, sleeping South West will enhance calm and make you feel at peace. Try to maximise airflow as much as possible for a better night's sleep, as this allows the negative energy to release and positive energy to flow, adjustable shutters are great for this.
Having a good night time routine will also help. Now I am no expert but there are a few things that I have been doing recently which have definitely helped. So I start with no caffeine after 3pm and generally switch to cold water or hot water with lemon and mint. At the end of the day I reflect on what I wanted to achieve that day and if I have actually achieved it and if not I scheduled it for the next day. I always complete my planner for the following day the evening before, that way I know what I need to do and I make a plan to do it. This means I don't have to worry when the lights go out about what I haven't done and instead I can forget about it as I have a plan in place.
I have also reduced the amount of screen time I have before bed. This has been a difficult one, especially switching off from work at a reasonable time. However because my routine has helped with sleep it has also allowed me to wake up earlier and therefore I still get the same amount done if not more, as I am now more productive in the morning.
I take a hot bath with epsom salts and bath oil or pop in the hot tub, this gives me time to think and decompress from the day's activities. It also gives me time to think of anything else I might need to do that I hadn't realised or might have forgotten. I write these down when I get out so they don't need to take anymore brain space.
After getting out of the bath, I clean my teeth, put retinol on, then moisturise. The retinol is prescribed by Dr Sam Bunting, who is a genius and I cannot recommend her services enough if you are suffering from any acne or rosacea. Let me know in the comments or drop me a message here, if you want to know more about this and my skin journey. I also use her cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen but obviously not for bed.
I then give myself some time to read, generally fiction, or I watch tv, so I don't over stimulate my brain like self care or business books might. Then I settle into bed and listen to a meditation or night time story using the Insight-Timer app. This has been revolutionary - a friend of mine recommended it and it is amazing. There are a lot of free stories and meditations of varying lengths on there and the soothing voices get me to sleep in no time.
I am also a big fan of fresh sheets; I mean who isn't so they get changed every Sunday which generally means I get the best night's sleep on a Sunday ready for a busy week, fresh week, fresh start. All this helps me calm my brain to switch off and drift off. I must admit for someone that has struggled to get to sleep in the past, this routine seems to be working well for me. By getting to sleep earlier, it means I don't feel so tried in the morning and allows me to set the alarm that little bit earlier. I will post my morning routine next week and how that has changed since I have been working from home a lot more and getting up much earlier.
I would love to hear what tips and tricks you have for a good nights sleep and if you do decide to try my routine let me know in the comments below if it worked for you.