My Nightly Routine
Most people honor their morning routines; slowly waking up, meditating, journaling, drinking their morning elixir, having a nutritious breakfast, moving their bodies, then out the door. It's a way for people to transition from sleep to a positive and productive day. Heck, people say that the most successful people have a morning routine. I struggled for so long to find a morning routine that was realistic and felt right for me. I tried it all; meditating, journaling, bedroom yoga, breathing exercises, technology free zone, eating breakfast sitting down; the list goes on. I became obsessed with other people's morning routines that it stressed me out to find one for myself. Then I realized, 1. morning routines are not worth stressing over and 2. I didn't have a hard time transitioning from sleep to my day; I struggled with transitioning from my day to sleep.
During college, I had the hardest time sleeping. I would be awake for hours on end wondering why I couldn't fall asleep. I would toss and turn until magically, I would fall asleep (sometimes). Insomnia is real, peeps. I tried horrible drugs (ZzzQuil, NyQuil, harmful Sleep Inducers, etc.) that did not work. This continuously happened for months; I was maybe getting 4-5 hours of good sleep a night. It got so bad I remember this night vividly:
It was 2 a.m. and I had been staring at my clock for almost 3 hours. I had not slept 1 minute. I was so tired, frustrated, delirious, sad, and just over it. I felt like I was going insane. I began to cry. Crying because I couldn't sleep? Yes. I was that overwhelmed and that tired that my body's response was to cry. I cried for hours. The last time I looked at the clock, it was 6 a.m.
In that moment, I was done. I had enough. I needed to change something. At the time, I was seeing a therapist. Luckily, I had an appointment scheduled with her that morning. I explained to her what was going on and that I needed to cure this. To be honest, she didn't really help; she just explained that my anxiety was coming on at night. I felt like saying, "Duh, clearly."
Anyway, growing up, my mom (hey mama!) always emphasized to my sister and me that lavender induced relaxation. She would buy us lavender bunches or lavender sacks wherever she saw them. I remembered this and rushed to the store to find everything lavender. I bought lavender pillow mist, lavender body lotion, calming lavender tea, an eye mask, and ear plugs.
This was not an easy transition. It took a few weeks for this new routine to sink in. I spent an extra 15 minutes each night making myself feel safe and relaxed and allowing my body to fully unwind before dozing off. The scents, the feelings, the vibes reminded me of stepping into a spa. Maybe a sleep spa? I'll take it! I kid you not, these added 15 minutes before my head hit the pillow made a huge difference. Not only did I fall asleep, I stayed asleep. These small remedies allowed me to remain relaxed throughout the entire night. Sounds dumb? Give it a try and I know you will enjoy the feeling it brings.
Today, I still do this routine every single night because it worked for me. Take away the ear plugs and eye mask and add a non toxic skin care routine--this is how I transition from my day to sleep. It is just as important to unwind at the end of the day as it is to kickstart your day with a "productive morning routine". Here's what my nightly routine looks like today:
First, I enjoy a cup of hot tea (either digestion tea or calming tea) and change into my cotton pajamas and "fuzzy blanket" robe. After drinking my tea, I brush my teeth.
Then, I wash my face. I have always had such sensitive skin so I stick to basic Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Dr. Bronner's bar soap to cleanse. (This is my most recent switch! Did you know Dove soap is toxic?!)
Next, I lather my face with various non toxic moisturizers. I use organic, non toxic, natural, never been tested on animals, safe products because I believe that everything you put on your body should be equally as good if you put it in your body. Does that make sense? First, I apply Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer. After the nutrient moisturizer, I massage Eye Firming Cream onto my eye area. Next, I move onto Cocokind Matcha Stick for my under eyes, my eyelids, and my lips.
Now it gets fun. Before I jump into bed, I generously apply lavender body oil to my arms, legs, and chest. I spray my face and breath in Saje Wellness Lavender Relaxing mist and spritz my pillow, sheets, and comforter with lavender mist. This method works for me. Lavender soothes me, relaxes me, zens me out, and allows me to let go.
Now, I challenge you to take a step back and ask yourself, "Do I allow myself to fully unwind at bed time?" If the answer is no, give this a try. This may not be for everyone but it might lead you to find something that does work for you. Like I mentioned before, it is just as important to unwind at the end of the as it is to kickstart your day with a "productive morning routine". Successful people also have to sleep.