November 23, 2020
August 20, 2020

Why You Need a Mindful Evening Routine for Better Sleep

We think you’ll agree when we say that after a long, highly stimulating day, it’s REALLY hard to get into a deep night’s sleep. We’ve all been there, where you tuck yourself in and your mind begins racing with all of the days’ worries. Well, while changing your sleep habits may not be easy, you can still adopt some mindful habits and put your preventable sleep troubles to rest. Just as you would set up a solid morning routine, in order to set your day up for success, a restorative, well-grounded evening routine can be the key to easing you into the REM cycle, the deepest sleep stage. Not only is a good night-time ritual a great opportunity for self-care but also it can really help you let go of the tensions and stresses of the day.

If feeling utterly exhausted yet you're still having trouble falling asleep, sounds familiar to you, we’ve got great news, our team has formulated a simple and mindful nighttime routine. An all-embracing formula that can help set you up for a blissful night’s sleep without needing to make any drastic changes. Let’s dive right in and dial-up your evening routine for better sleep…

Organise Your To-Do List for Tomorrow

Before settling down for the night, take some time to think of five of the most paramount things, you would like to complete or get started tomorrow. Grab a notepad and write them down or if you must make a note on your phone, but we would highly recommend that you avoid this as digital devices can often make it difficult to sleep.

We often lay in bed thinking about all the important things we have to do the next day, so this practice is an effective habit to cultivate and bring a sense of calm knowing what you have to tackle in the morning. This will allow your brain to relax knowing that you can wake with a clear understanding of tomorrows’ priorities.

Ditch Your Electronic Devices Before Bed

We know that it is often far too easy to find yourself endlessly scrolling through social media or answering that one last email while in bed. In fact, according to research from OnePlus, one in four UK adults have trouble sleeping because they spend too long on their phones before bed. Why? The blue light emitted from our electronic devices prevents the body from releasing melatonin, a vital hormone that aids sleep. With that being said, let's set some ground rules when it comes to your phone at bedtime.

Firstly, we recommend that you disconnect from all electronics just 30 minutes before bed. And if you really struggle with those tempting phone notifications, try putting your phone in a different room to completely eradicate any technological distractions. But if that is just too hard right now, then perhaps try turning your phone on ‘night mode’ to stop notifications. Without the constant connectedness to your phone and the ping of every email that we all know too well, your mind will feel more at ease and your body will be ready to slip into slumber.

Reach for the Stars With Some Mindful Stretches

After you've initiated your digital device detox for the night and put your mind at rest, it’s important to take some time for your body. So much so, a clinical review has shown that there is a connection between meditative movements such as yoga, and improves quality of sleep. So with that being said, we recommend for about 10 minutes every night, release some of your aches and pains that you may have taken on from the day, with a few restorative exercises. Nothing too taxing, just enough to get you in a peaceful state before bedtime. Not sure where to start? Try out some of our faves…

Standing Side Reach

This pose will help to loosen up the muscles in your shoulders and back which in turn aid in pain relief and discomfort.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Place both arms overhead, holding both hands together
  • Reach up and lean to your right side.
  • Hold for 30 seconds & repeat on the other side

Child's Pose

This pose helps you relax your body and tune into your breath, which can aid in stress reduction.

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and your big toes touching behind you. Inhale, and as you exhale lay your torso over your thighs
  • Draw your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders to lengthen your neck and spine
  • Rest your forehead on the ground and your arms extended out in front of you
  • Hold for 30–60 seconds

Thread the Needle

This pose stretches the spine while opening the shoulders and is often used to help shoulder and back pain.

  • Start on all fours with your hips over your knees and hands under your shoulders
  • Reach your right arm with your palm facing up, underneath, and across your body
  • Gently reach your left arm in front of you and lean into your right side; you should feel a stretch in the back of your right shoulder.
  • Hold for 30 seconds & repeat on the other side

Breathe Deeply

Now that the body is relaxed, tap inward and embrace the rhythm of the breath. By breathing deeply and mindfully, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system and increase oxygenation of the body. To aid your journey to a restful state through deep breathing, give this breathing pattern a go;

4-7-8 Breathing Pattern

  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the slow count of four
  • Hold your breath for another slow count of seven
  • Exhale slowly exhale through your mouth to the slow count of eight.
  • Repeat the breathing pattern again

Dr. Andrew Weil, master of this technique, advises that practicing this breath is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system producing a calm and de-stressed feeling in the mind and body, just what you need for a good night’s sleep.  

And if you often have difficulty focusing on your breathing, you can hop into bed and wind down completely by using Melo, a mindfulness tool to guide you through breathing exercises. Melo uses both light and haptic feedback as ways to guide you through a number of breathing patterns and cue your body to fall into that moment of calm and a good night’s sleep.

Now you have a few new sleep habits you can implement for a better night’s sleep, carve out some time to put at least one of these mindful actions into place. And let us know in the comments which of these you’ll be trying first.

Turn out the lights.
Sweet dreams.

TheaWellbeing and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material on theawellbeing.com is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health-related programs.

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