Creating a Healthy Evening Routine
Sleep plays a tremendous role in our health; it is recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Growth hormones are released during sleep, but only if you go to bed on time. This growth hormone is released in the body sometime between 9pm and midnight after going to sleep. If you go to bed at midnight or later, you miss it. Many people call this hormone the anti-aging hormone. It’s what helps young ones to grow strong and for us older ones to stay young! Growth hormones are crucial for the body to heal, repair and grow healthy new cells and tissues.
Falling asleep on time, staying asleep throughout the night, and getting good restorative sleep is easier said than done. This is why having an evening routine is helpful for having good sleep. There are so many things in the world today that distract us and keep our bodies from doing what they are designed to do. God designed the earth, the sun and people to work and function together. We are designed to get up when the sun rises and go to bed shortly after the sun sets. One reason we know this is because after the sun sets, our body produces melatonin that drips into our spinal cord which makes us sleepy. If you are not outside and you are using fake lighting that stresses and fools the nervous system (tv, video games, cell phones, etc.), then your body may not produce melatonin properly. One reason we have such an insomnia problem is America is that we use technology and don’t live out in the world God designed for us! Here are a few ways to create an evening routine which will help you get healing and restorative sleep...
Make A Plan & Stick To It:
- Create a sleep schedule: Decide on a time between 9-10pm that you will go to bed and a time you will wake up in the morning (even on weekends). If this is hard for you, try creating a bedtime alarm on your phone just like you would a morning alarm to remind yourself that it's time for bed. This feature is actually built in on iPhones automatically.
1 Hour Before Bed:
- Don't stimulate your brain before bed: Try taking an hour before your bedtime to prepare for sleep. Turn off all electronics like computers, iPads, TVs, and silence your phones. If you must look at one of your devices, try wearing Blue Light Blocking Glasses, or if you use a device that has "Night Shift" Mode, make sure that's enabled. If you want to take this even further, our family likes to turn off all the lights once the sun goes down and just use candles. Use this time to connect with your family by telling stories, reading books, praying & worshiping together and watch how this will help more aspects of your life than just sleep.
- Stretch: Doing some light stretching or calming Pilates poses can actually help your body release physical and emotional tension that could prevent you from getting a good night sleep. Stretching can also help alleviate tight and sore muscles from working out, stiffness from sitting at a desk, or chronic pain from an injury. If you suffer from tightness and pain in the back or neck, focus on stretching your legs. When you are stretching, make sure you BREATHE. Take long and deep inhales and on every exhale try to stretch a little deeper. This will not only make your stretching time more beneficial, but breathing can single-handedly calm and relax the body.
- Get mineralized: Many people are deficient in minerals including magnesium. Our body is made up of minerals, and they are needed for us to function properly, especially when we are trying to sleep. Before bed, drink CALM magnesium, add magnesium chloride to a foot soak or bath, or dilute liquid magnesium chloride with water or carrier oil (like coconut) and rub or spray it on the bottom of your feet.
- Relax: Using essential oils can help your body and mind calm down and relax. We enjoy using lavender, bergamot, holy basil, chamomile, or Serenity blend before bed. You can start diffusing this an hour before bed so that everyone reaps the benefits, add it to your magnesium bath, foot soak, or simply mix a few drops with a carrier oil (like coconut) and rub it on the bottom of your feet.
- Journal, Meditate in Scriptures & Pray: If you are someone that struggles with worry or anxiety, set aside a few minutes each night before bed to journal your thoughts and feelings, and then give it to the Lord in prayer. Try meditating on a verse that brings you comfort and peace. Take time to write down what you're grateful for and thank God for what He has given you.
- Don't Eat: Stay away from eating food before bed especially junk food, sugar, or carbs that will stimulate the body and increase blood sugar levels.
Creating a Peaceful Bedroom:
- Make your bedroom BLACK: Put up blackout curtains and cover any other source of light (even a flickering alarm clock).
- White Noise: If you live in the city, getting a white noise machine may be incredibly helpful to block out stimulating noises while creating a peaceful environment for you to sleep and stay asleep.
- Start Diffusing: Get a diffuser for your room so you can have the benefits of essential oils all night.
- Get Grounded: Purchase a grounding bed sheet to put at the foot of your bed so that you are grounding while you're asleep.
- Get Comfy: Use natural and breathable bedding and clothing such as cotton or linen and stay away from synthetic materials. This will help you breathe at night so that you won't get too hot or too cold. Also, switch to all natural laundry detergent like this one and never use fabric softener. Laundry cleaning products, especially fabric softener is filled with harmful chemicals. We use Wool Drying Balls to help naturally soften fabrics. Here are some of our favorites:
Calming Foot Rub Recipe:
- 4 oz of oil or body lotion. Our favorites are Banyan Botanicals Organic Ashwagandha Bala Oil, Coconut Oil, or Alaffia Shea Butter
- 4 tablespoons of magnesium oil
- 12 drops of your favorite essential oil or sleep blend like doTERRA Serenity
- Combine all ingredients in a jar until well blended.