Taking care of yourself is very crucial to your overall health and well-being. Indulging in Self-care activities before sleeping assists us to relax, manage the stresses of the day, and improve our mood. This can lead us to a night of peaceful sleep.
Why is Self-care Important Before Bed?
When we prioritize taking care of ourselves, we are more likely to feel energetic and motivated the next day. Hence, taking time for self-care before bed is essential for a happier and healthier life. There are various ways to self-care before bed.
Here are 07 of my favorite self-care activities to do before bed. I hope they can help you to improve your life as they did for me.
Practising Mindfulness Activities
Mindfulness exercises such as meditating and deep breathing help people to instill the consciousness of the present moment, control their thoughts and emotions, and better their general well-being. These exercises can also be particularly helpful in sleep improvement and relaxation.
When we meditate, we focus our attention on our breath (deep breathing) or a specific object. The purpose of meditation is to calm the mind and reduce stress. I also had a time when my head was filled with stressful thoughts due to workplace issues. This caused me sleeping issues and I badly wanted to get rid of this. What I did was, I tried meditating.
There are two chemicals called dopamine and serotine that promote relaxation and happiness. Regular meditation can help our body to release the said feel-good chemicals into our bodies and this can definitely help to improve sleep quality. Since I’m having first-hand experience in meditating and getting better sleep, I can guarantee you that meditating is a great tool to achieve blissful sleep.
Adopting a Skincare Routine
We cannot forget skincare when we talk about self-care activities. It is important to have a consistent skincare routine prior to bed. Taking care of your skin can help to remove oil, dirt, and makeup from your skin. Unclean skin can lead to acne, wrinkles, and clogged pores. When taking care of your skin, it is really important to consider your skin type such as oily, sensitive, or dry skin.
Carefully choose the right products that match your skin type. Always avoid products that contain harsh chemicals. Pick gentle cleansers, serums, and moisturizers.
Stretching and Yoga
Stretching and yoga poses are widely acknowledged to reduce stress and promote relaxation which will aid your body and mind to have a peaceful sleep. Below, I have listed several benefits of stretching and yoga poses in detail.
- Muscle Relaxation – Stretching and yoga poses are able to release tension and relax tight muscles, which is helpful to relieve physical discomfort and promote overall body relaxation.
- Relieving Stress – When you are in a stressful situation, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that can disturb sleep. Yoga and stretching have been shown to keep you in check of your cortisol levels, ultimately gifting you with a more relaxed state.
- Increased Oxygen Circulation – Stretching and yoga poses can improve your oxygen circulation, allowing your muscles and tissues to bring fresh oxygen and nutrients which promotes relaxation and reduce discomfort.
- Calming the mind – Yoga and stretching are directly connected with soothing the mind and reducing mental tension, which makes it easier to fall asleep fast and stay asleep. Breathing techniques used in yoga can help quiet the busy mind and promote overall relaxation.
On the whole, stretching and yoga poses are designed to help release tension in the body. And as mentioned above, incorporating a daily self-care routine of stretching and yoga poses before sleep can definitely help you to have a good night’s sleep and to wake up feeling more refreshed and energized in the morning.
Incorporating a reading habit prior to hitting bed is one of the most effective self-care activities that you can utilize to end your night. Reading has various benefits for our physical and mental health.
I have experienced that reading helps to relieve my stress and anxiety. When I’m reading in bed before I’m going to sleep, I slowly relax and I feel that my mind prepares me for a peaceful sleep. I feel that reading diverts attention from daily struggles, allowing my mind to focus on something enjoyable and engaging. The ultimate result of this is relaxation.
I don’t use e-books because blue light radiating from electronic devices can disrupt the production of melatonin, which can disturb sleep. Since physical books do not emit blue light, it is a better option for nighttime reading. After all, isn’t it wonderful to touch and feel a book after a heavy day?
Reading can improve our memory and concentration. This will help us to maintain a sharp and active mind and you will be able to see significant improvements in overall well-being and quality of life if you can adopt this self-care habit before bed.
Listening to Soothing / Calm Music
One of my favorite self-care things to do before bed is, listen to calm and soothing music. For centuries, music has always been used as an effective remedy to heal the mind, body, and soul.
Why can music have a calming effect before bed? First, music is able to slow down our breathing and heart rate, which can instantly help us to feel more at ease. I have experienced that when I’m listening to more melodic or calm music particularly, this effect works instantly.
In addition to making us more relaxed, music can also aid to distract us from daily stresses and worries that we are facing. Whenever I’m unable to sleep, I listen to soothing music. I find that slowly, I can shift my attention away from anxious thoughts and drift off easily into a peaceful sleep while listening to calming music.
Further, music can also create powerful emotions within us. There are some songs that evoke my past positive and beautiful memories and listening to them makes me nostalgic.
I’m certain that you also have experienced this if you love music the same as I do. Before bed, often immerse yourself in music that can craft positive feelings within you and it will leave your mind relaxed, happier, and more comfortable leading you to a blissful sleep.
Another self-care activity that you can do prior to bed is practicing gratitude. Gratitude is helpful for our mental and emotional well-being. Appreciating the positive side of our life helps us to focus our attention away from negativity which is beneficial in relieving stress, improving relationships, and increasing happiness.
I also have incorporated practicing gratitude into a nightly routine. It is simple and effective to evoke feelings of gratitude. If you are really into this, you can maintain a gratitude journal. You can write down three things that went well during the day. Even small things such as kind words from a friend or a free meal can be a reason for you to offer gratitude.
The aim is to shift your focus away from negative thoughts and feelings, and towards the positive things in your life before sleeping.
Setting Intentions for the Next Day
It is really important to set intentions for the next day prior to sleep. I always take a few moments to set clear intentions for the next day before I go to sleep. I plan how I should spend the next day, my goals, and things I need to do to develop myself. This gives me a clear direction that helps me to stay focused and productive throughout the following day.
Setting intentions today for the next day can help in numerous ways. For instance, it can reduce the stress that will occur the following day. It can improve your productivity by allowing you to prioritize tasks earlier, enhance motivation, improve creativity by assigning clear objectives for the next day, and eventually will improve your both mental and physical well-being.
In summary, self-care activities are important for promoting good mental and physical health. All mentioned self-care activities can enhance your overall well-being and lead a happier, healthier life. So, why not try some of these self-care activities for yourself and see how they can improve your life? Your mind and body will thank you!