Stop moving: 5 steps to a more relaxed night

It’s to the surprise of absolutely nobody that if we get a good night’s sleep, we will end up waking much more refreshed and ready for the day ahead. You could go ahead and implement loads of hacks into your sleeping routine, but that’s really only half of it. If you’re not building up some positive habits at night, that expensive memory foam mattress might go to waste.

I’ve already told you about how I spend my mornings. What do I do to wind down?

#1 Sleepy tea is the way

Look, I can’t stand an English Breakfast Tea. I must be in the tiniest percentile of the UK who can’t drink them – they just taste pretty vile, plain and simple. I’m the same with green tea, it’s just gross. Herbal tea, on the other hand, is absolutely divine. I’d say the same for what I call sleepy tea.

You know those boxes of tea bags that contain lavender and camomile? Those are designed to send you off to sleep by relaxing you with all of the various ingredients inside.

Now, important question: do they work? Who knows. But they don’t contain any caffeine and are lovely and warm to drink on a winter’s night without opening the hot chocolate powder, so I think they’re pretty healthy for you, too. Regardless, I’ll take the placebo effect of believing that they make me nice and relaxed.

Here’s the type that I usually go for:*

#2 Screen time = a bad time

Oh my God, so original, Josh. Limit your screen time before bed, Josh – wow, who’d have thought?

But, you know what? Chuck out any of the pseudo-science that suggests blue light filters might be good for you and, focusing only on my experiences here, I genuinely do feel more relaxed if I’ve limited my screen time for up to an hour before I get into bed. Maybe it’s another placebo – I feel that lots of people have suggested this so, by following suit, surely I must be relaxed?

Now, is this impractical? Do I sometimes sit in bed while doom scrolling? Obviously. But trying to cut down or spending a few nights a week where you use your phone less in the evenings shouldn’t be that hard. Go on, give it a go and see whether you do feel any more relaxed in the evenings. What’s the worst that could happen?

#3 Trade the screen for a book

Yeah, okay, I know that this isn’t exactly original either, but I genuinely feel so much better about myself when I’ve spent a chunk of time reading before drifting off. It makes me feel more relaxed, which makes sleep much easier. Plus, my goal as always this year is to read more; 50 pages before bed is the easiest way to do this, since there are zero distractions.

Couple this one with a sleepy tea and you’re describing one very dreamy scenario.

#4 Low level lighting

Nobody likes the Big Light. The Big Light is for cooking and looking for lost keys. Turning on a set of three lamps all around the living room will increase the place’s ambience tenfold, but it could also make you feel much more relaxed.

Throw in a candle or two that you’ve nicked from your new, very productive, desk setup, and you’ll be feeling ready for bed long before it’s time to climb the wooden hill.

#5 Lotions and potions

If we’re applying day cream to prevent the aging process in the morning, it makes sense that we should be rehydrating the skin on our faces before going to bed. Use a cleanser to wipe away the day’s oils and apply a rich night cream that’ll soak into your skin overnight.

This is the one that I use.* It’s pretty affordable and feels great. Because I apply it every night, doing so gets me in the right mindset for sleep.

What do you do to relax every night? I’d love to hear about your routines in the comments below.

Anything marked with an * are affiliate links and may generate a small kickback for me at no extra cost to you.

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