In part one a few weeks ago, we talked about how darkness played an important role in getting a good night’s rest. Now, let’s look at how key nightly rituals can factor into things.
There are a few things you can do in advance of bedtime each night to promote an optimal night’s sleep. If you approach any combination of these things as a sort of nightly ritual, you have an excellent chance of consistently getting great rest.
1. Aromatherapy: Whether you use incense, scented candles or oils, or even some of that aromatherapy linen spray on your sheets and pillow cases, relaxing aromas are a well-known sleeping aid.
2. Relaxing music: Listening to some light, relaxing music is an excellent way to unwind and decompress before going to sleep. Check out some of the old stand-bys in the classical realm, some light jazz or even some new age type of ambient music.
3. White noise: Whether it’s the hum of a fan or space heater, or the drone of a waterfall or ocean from your bedside sound-soother device, these kind of monotonous sounds can help you sleep more deeply. One reason is because they tend to mask other arbitrary sounds that might otherwise distract you. Another is because some folks are able to reach consistently deeper levels of sleep through these kind of steady soundscapes. However, I would not recommend sleeping to any kind of music, TV or radio, simply because some part of your subconscious will actively be evaluating, discerning, critiquing, etc., and this could affect the depth of your sleep.
4. Lighting: We alluded to the idea of dim or ambient lighting in part one. Think about all the array of options you have with candles, lava lamps, regular lamps, different colored bulbs, etc. Setting up a particular lighting scheme every night before bed will set the stage for a good night’s rest.
5. Brain-Diet: Although I know this can be a tough one to follow logistically speaking, try to refrain from watching any kind of local news, violent movies, or anything else particularly graphic or stimulating prior to bedtime. These images tend to create a tumultuous undercurrent in our heads (even if we’re not fully aware of it), making it more difficult to sink into those deeper, more restful states of sleep.