By Wei Ren
How seriously do you take creating the perfect environment to ensure the best sleep possible? The sheets, the pillow, the book, the hot bath… Like everything else, I believe a sleep routine needs to be practiced, especially after realizing how important getting a great night of sleep is. Here, I’ll explore all of the little elements that help me achieve my optimal and most restful beauty sleep.
A preference in bedding
The first essential thing to figure out is your personal preference for bedding. I’ve tried many different materials when it comes to sheets—it’s like trying different styles of shoes. I know sneakers are my forever go-to shoes, just like linen is my number one choice for bedding. Linen fabrics help me stay cool in the summer and warm me up when the nights turn chilly. The feel of the fabric creates a sense of home and security.
And no matter what type of sleeper you are, a good pillow is worth exploring (and potentially splurging on). The type of pillow you purchase depends on what type of sleeper you are. I’m a side sleeper and love to bury my face in the pillow. Also, my shoulders are wide, so I need a high-profile pillow that has more form and gives me a lot of support. I recently discovered one that is perfect for side sleepers—the unique design supports your forehead and jaw, and the part near your face is contoured to minimize contact. Silk pillowcases are also a game-changer: they help to cut down on facial creases, lines, and imprints as you sleep. The less your skin grips onto your pillowcase, the less likely it is you’ll wind up with permanent fine lines from your sleeping position.
Finding your optimal sleep temperature might be the most crucial element of all. Many studies show that, for most people, 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) is the best temperature for sleep. My husband recently got a cooling pad to help him stay cool during the night, but I like my side to stay warm. For me, a weighted or heavy blanket is essential, and I have found that it dramatically improves my sleep. You might find that something as simple as the right bedding can go an incredibly long way toward achieving a great night of beauty rest.
Indulging in a hot bath
My bedtime routine is all about getting my mind and body ready for a great night of sleep. I usually start things off with a hot shower, or if I am feeling extra tired, I’ll wind everything down a bit early, dim the lights, light a candle, and have a good soak in my tub. The hot water helps to change your body’s core temperature, and then when you get out of the shower, your body temperature drops. This cool-down mimics what your body naturally experiences at night when it’s time to start getting sleepy.
I know a lot of people love lavender and find that it helps them relax. For me, I prefer a clean bath product and lotion that do not have any scent. I believe all of your senses need to be more mellow before bedtime. Just like you try to avoid getting stimulated by looking at your phone or iPad, I suggest giving your nose a break as well. For me, it’s made a difference.
As a couple that’s been married for nearly ten years, my husband and I make a point to find time to reconnect and catch each other up on our days. We’re both busy with work during the day, and we’ve found that the fifteen to thirty minutes we use to connect before bed has become a favorite and cherished ritual. We lie face to face, eye to eye, and talk. Our topics vary each night; sometimes we’re chatting about what’s going on in each other’s lives, updates revolving around friends, or sometimes it’s just dreaming together about a trip we want to take. This isn’t only a great way to end your day, but it also helps us stay strong as a couple.
In my single days, I’d start my sleep routine by putting in a great pair of earplugs and wearing an eye mask. As the sounds of the day disappeared and I settled into my dark and peaceful world, I’d shift my focus to quieting my mind, repeating a single word mantra, or just focusing on my breath. Within a few minutes, I’d feel myself relaxing, and then before I knew it, I was out.
When it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for sleep, there’s no one answer for everyone. We each have our own unique lives and bodies. Listening to and understanding your own needs and preferences is the key to finding the great night of rest you need and deserve. Sleep well, my friends.
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