5 Bedtime Rituals For Better Sleep That You Can Practice Right Under The Covers
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t have the dire need to scroll through social media every five seconds (and, if that is the case, please teach me self-restraint), wellness routines — especially bedtime routines — are all the rage right now. But, if you ask me, too many of them require you to have a lot of free time in your schedule. Maybe I’m just lazy, but I’d much rather perform bedtime rituals for better sleep from under the covers because, really, who has the time and/or energy for an 11-step skincare routine, a 10-minute meditation, and a 20-minute journaling sesh, all while sipping on a mug full of warm golden milk, before snapping a selfie for the ‘gram, and drifting off to sleep? Certainly not me.
Seriously though, why turn up when you can turn down — your covers, I mean — because what’s more relaxing than spending some much needed R&R time snuggled under your favorite comforter? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that creating a soothing ambiance in the bedroom is everything, not to mention necessary for optimal sleep quality. However, bouncing around from the bedroom to the bathroom, and checking all these seemingly “relaxing” tasks off the list sounds more like a project than anything else.
Of course, if you genuinely enjoy going through the motions of one wellness ritual after another, do you, friend. But for those of you who can’t be bothered with all of that, I'm here to tell you that you can easily practice some calming bedtime rituals from the comfort of your own, well, comforter. Here's how to do it, according to experts.
You Can Meditate Lying Down
If you, like me, tend to associate meditation with sitting up straight and cross-legged on the floor with your palms resting at your sides, erase that image and replace it with one where you’re lying down, snuggled under the covers, with your arms crossed behind your head or cradling a pillow. That’s more like it, right?
Patricia Karpas, co-founder of Meditation Studio and head of content for Muse, tells Elite Daily that the Meditation Studio app recently released a guided meditation that a) promotes deep sleep, and b) is the perfect bedtime ritual for anyone looking to namastay under the covers. The Deep Sleep Collection, she explains, features guided meditations set to soothing music exclusively for the app. With names like Deep Slumber, Bedtime Harmony, Deep Body Relaxation, and Surrender to Sleep, the package was made with the intention to help listeners “release tension, reduce stress, and ease into a peaceful slumber by letting go of the day.” Um, yes please.
Bring Your Sleepytime Beverage To The Bedroom
If you were to catch a glance of my bedside table, you’d see a collection of water glasses and mugs of cold tea. There’s nothing I love more than bringing a hot cup of herbal tea or warm milk with me into the bedroom so that, once I get comfy under the covers with a book in hand, the other is free to grab the handle of my mug whenever I want a sip.
Evidently, I’m onto something with this little mindless habit I’ve picked up over the years. According to Jenn Randazzo, MS, RD, CLT, senior national training manager at Vital Proteins, bringing a cup of tea or hot chocolate into the bedroom is a way to make your bedtime routine a little more indulgent.
Pro tip: If you want to make your beverage of choice even more beneficial to your overall sleep quality, Randazzo suggests adding collagen, like the Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin powder, to your mix. “Glycine [an ingredient in the powder] is an amino acid that’s been linked to improved sleep,” she tells Elite Daily. “I sip on a hot, chamomile tea infused with one serving of Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin as I cozy up under the covers.”
And BTW, the brand also just launched a Sleep Collagen Shot, so for those of you who aren’t so keen on warm sips, this lavender-blueberry shot, packed with sleep-promoting goodies like collagen peptides, melatonin, and magnesium, should do the trick.
Journaling Isn't Always Desk Work
Like meditation, journaling is an extremely personal practice, one that can be done anywhere you feel most comfortable. If that’s lying on your stomach with the pages spread out on your mattress, then so be it.
“Journaling before bed is a great way to wind down at the end of the day and ease your mind,” Randazzo tells Elite Daily, adding that your entries don't necessarily need to include major outpourings of emotions, nor do you have to follow a specific format or prompt.
“It [can] be as simple as writing down to-do lists for the next day, or maybe it’s other stresses in life,” she explains. “Writing things down helps us clear our minds, reduce stress, and lift our mood so we can get a restful night’s sleep.”
Reading, Or Being Read To, Can Help You Clear Your Head
Among my collection of mugs, I personally always make sure there’s a book beside my bed for nighttime reading as well. Trust me, if you’re looking for a nighttime ritual that promotes a quick onset of deep sleep, reading a book, a magazine, or even listening to an audiobook or podcast, is the answer.
During a recent interview with Elite Daily, Alesandra Woolley, executive editor of Mattress Advisor, told me that, because you become so focused on someone else’s storyline when you're reading, you’re distracting yourself from any potentially worrisome thoughts that might've otherwise kept you awake. Woolley’s also a big fan of audiobooks, as honing in on the "consistent rhythm and pace that audiobooks provide can be even more powerful in promoting sleepiness than reading alone," she explains.
You Can Perform An Entire Vinayasa Under The Covers
Sure, something warm to sip on is comforting, and meditation definitely clears your mind, but have you ever experienced a delicious stretch in which your whole body just takes up space and fans out among the sheets? If you haven't, I highly recommend it; it's divine. And, if you enjoy a good stretch just as much as I do, you might want to consider doing some research on bedtime yoga poses, because that's a thing.
Per Yoga Journal, gentle sequences that include poses like child's pose, reclining bound angle pose (where you lie flat on your back with the soles of your feet touching so that your legs form a diamond shape), and reclined twists will relax your body and encourage sleep.