Creating a Sleep Ritual That Works

Creating a Sleep Ritual That Works

Sleep Rituals are a great way to help communicate with our body and mind that it is time to sleep. Doing a ritual consistently helps to set our internal clock, the fantastically named Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, which helps govern our circadian rhythms. Simply, if you consistently apply a Sleep Ritual, you will have an easier time falling asleep at night and wake more energised in the morning.

Before starting to create your Sleep Ritual, a quick note on sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene means creating a space in your home (preferably your bedroom!) that is comfortable to sleep in. Some tips for doing this:

  • Keep your bedroom tidy. An uncluttered space will help you relax.
  • Set your bed in the morning, so when it is time to get into bed, it is ready for you. 
  • Keeping electronics out of the bedroom (phone/ laptop).
  • A dark room at night is beneficial. If you can't make your bedroom dark enough, our Somni Sleep Mask can help! 

Some ideas for a Sleep Ritual:

(everyone is different so we recommend that you spend some time creating a ritual which works for you. The real benefit in a ritual is in the consistent application rather than the content.)

  • Set a time to start your ritual and attempt to begin as close to the same time each night. Generally a sleep ritual will begin 30 mins to 2 hours before sleep.
  • Put your electronics away. Doomscrolling on Social Media has a double negative impact duet to exposure of Blue Light and the increase of stress- a terrible combination just before bed.
  • A bath. A bath can help your body create that sleep magic hormone melatonin.
  • Listen to music.
  • Yoga (Yin or Nidra is recommended) or some stretching.
  • Meditation.
  • Prepare for your day tomorrow. If you are well prepared for your day tomorrow (e.g. you have written your todo list) this will take a weight off your mind when you are trying to get to sleep and perhaps help you with the 3am stress related wake up.
  • Write in a journal. 
  • Read a book.

Some things to avoid before bed:

  • Electronics! I know, we have already mentioned this (twice!), but it is very important!
  • Large meals. A light snack can be beneficial but avoid large heavy meals.
  • Strenuous exercise. Some light exercise such as stretching or yoga can be very beneficial in a Sleep Ritual- just try to avoid the heavy lifting!

In the morning:

  • Aim to wake the same time each day. 
  • Expose yourself to bright light for 2 - 12 minutes. Preferably natural light but it doesn't have to be.
  • Combine your light exposure to some easy exercise like stretching or walking and you have a winning combination. 

One last word:

You don't need to overthink your Sleep Ritual. It should be relaxing and enjoyable. Make it something that you look forward to. Perform it consistently and you will communicate clearly with your body and mind when it is time to start feeling tired and go to sleep.

Sleep well!

Somni- empowering sleep.