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Relaxing Rituals to Reduce Stress Before Bedtime

January 04, 2018

A lot of us just climb into bed and hope for the best when it comes to our nightly sleep.

Yet, there is so much more you can do to reduce stress and get the rest you need.

Relaxing rituals calm nervous tension and ease your body into a more peaceful state for sleep.

In today’s world, we all work hard. It’s important to honor your hard work by providing your body with rejuvenating rest.

Sleep rituals give your body the signal that it’s finally time for rest and rejuvenation!

Here are a few rituals you can use to de-stress at the end of a long day and prepare for a healthy sleep.

Relaxing Bedtime Rituals

Start your rituals about an hour before your actual bedtime. If you’re a parent, you probably already do this for your children. Bedtime rituals work just as well for adults!

Cut off snack time about an hour after dinner so indigestion doesn’t keep you up. Instead, have a “sleepy” tea blend with herbs like chamomile, spearmint, or passionflower.

Turn Down The Lights And Unplug.

For better sleep, turn off the TV and your smart phone. Research shows that the lights in LED devices trigger stress and interrupt sleep.

If you use your phone alarm to wake up, put it on “do not disturb” mode so you’re not bothered by random notifications or calls.

Take A Relaxing Bath.

A hot bath washes the day away, eases stress, and relaxes tight muscles and aching joints.

Add a few drops of aromatherapy oils like lavender or frankincense to enhance the experience.

Give yourself a quick facial for extra pampering. I use creams with rose oil, an aloe/seaweed mask, or an egg white-based tightening cream.

Get Comfortable.

Put on your most comfortable sleep attire. Loose fitting, light sleepwear works best for most people.

If you sleep hot, skip layers in favor of loose tanks or shorts. If you’re cold at night, grab an extra blanket or wear some cozy socks.

Create A Sacred Space For Sleep.

Uncluttered spaces are the best choice for most people. Sleeping in a big mess can make you feel scattered or overwhelmed.

Think minimalist for high quality sleep. Most people do well with neutral colors in their sleep space.

Customize the area with a few of your favorite things.

Set The Temperature.

Most people sleep better if it’s slightly cool. Open a window for fresh air or set your thermostat to your temperature preference.

Definitely take a few minutes to get the temperature right or your sleep may suffer.

Turn On Soothing Music.

Listening to new age or ambient music works for people who sleep better with background noise.

Another option is to follow a guided meditation for sleep. If you have stress related insomnia, a mindfulness meditation practice can make a big difference.

Bedtime Yoga.

Do some light yoga stretches to relieve end of the day restlessness and muscle stress, especially if you sit for work or if you have a long commute.

A few of my favorite nighttime yoga poses are: happy baby, child’s pose, spinal twist, corpse pose.

Practice Controlled Breathing.

Take calm breaths, breathing in slowly from your stomach. Actively release the stress and tension your body is holding on to.

Breathe out stress. Breathe in rest. Envision your future as bright, healthy, and prosperous.

Say Positive Affirmations.

Use your mind-body connection to get a better sleep. Here are a few examples of sleep affirmations that can help:

  • My body is calm and relaxed.
  • I’m ready for a deep, restorative sleep.
  • I will sleep deeply and soundly.
  • I’m at peace with my day and open to rest.

Sleep Deep

Our bodies are not designed to be on the go 24-7. The body’s repair mechanisms only work effectively if we get enough sleep.

Honor the importance of your sleep by practicing a few of these relaxing rituals at bedtime.

Get your whole family involved. Most kids love bedtime rituals. Your partner and even your pets will like being included, too.



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Crain, E. (2014, Dec.) 10 bedtime rituals for better sleep. Retrieved from Huffington Post,
Gregoire, C. (2016, May). 10 of the best yoga poses for sleep. Retrieved from Huffington Post,
Kessler, C. (2013, Feb.). How artificial light is wrecking your sleep and what to do about it. Let’s take back your health. Retrieved from