My Beauty Sleep Routine
And when I mean beauty, I mean beauty inside and out. Let's talk about how much sleep rocks and how to make your routine better!
I only really started having trouble falling asleep (and staying asleep) mid-way through college -- especially now. I've been tending to sip on caffeine later and later, as well as staying up much later than I used. My anxiety has gotten so bad that it actually is starting to keep me up as well, and on top of all that I have back aches. Thus, I've incorporated a couple necessary things that I include in my routine (or at least desperately try to keep in my routine) every night. Some of these are products I use, others are practices that I try to keep up with.
Especially this semester, having evening classes and nearly a full schedule every day, I'm making a point to not skip out on these bedtime routines, because they are so important in making sure I continue to value sleep. Sleep is such an important and necessary part of self-care for young adults/college students. When we were little, we had bed-times and nap-times, and although we admittedly hated them, we had a set routine that was enforced by parents/guardians. So sleep is definitely part of making sure you're caring for yourself when you're coming of age.
Making Bed Time™ a Ritual
I think the best way to look at bed time as a spiritual moment. That might seem a bit over the top but think about it -- being a college student means staying up all night and that's what we're always taught is the only way to "succeed". I say NAH, I'm nearing 23 and I'm proud to say that I need my beauty sleep and I cherish Bed Time. How do you make Bed Time™ a special routine? FIrst off, make sure the place you sleep, your bedroom/bed area, is only for sleeping and sex. I've heard this advice from therapists to best friends and it's a great first step in getting a good night's sleep.
Cut out Electronics // My room used to be my everything -- my TV room, my computer room, everything. Now as I've gotten older, I now took the TV out and only occasionally bring my computer into the room -- because sometimes it's okay to just watch a bit of Netflix before bed on the weekends. But overall, cutting out electronics as much as possible will really make bed time more of a ritual and not just something you "have to do." I'm even considering during the work/school week to take my phone out of the room or move it across the room., Which seems SO HARD to do, because i've gotten so used to it.
Wind Down // Another key thing to making sleep time a ritualistic thing, is don't just rush into bed. For me that's always been just anxiety inducing. Maybe when we were younger we didn't care and just could fall right into bed because we've tuckered ourselves out from running around all day, but now that we're fully grown and fully anxious adults, not really gonna happen. Don't skip brushing your teeth, don't skip your skin care routine, and if you're an evening shower-er or bath taker, don't skip that either. The way I make sure I do this is giving myself a bed-time! And that's not always going to be followed, but for me it's between 10:30 and 11:30. So I would start getting ready for bed around 10 or 10:30. That way I give myself time to wind down. Not just go to bed, but also allow my body and mind to thoroughly calm the heck down so that I am more prepared to clonk out. Ultimately the goal is that once you're all ready in your pj's to jump into bed, you still have a bit more time to meditate, read, do some stretching, or whatever it is you need to do before you lay down.
1. Makeup Remover: This all-natural makeup remover from S.W. Basics is my favorite makeup remover I've ever had. And the recipe is so simple, I'm pretty sure that if I'm ever especially broke I could figure out how to make it myself. The only ingredients in it are sweet almond oil, organic extra-virgin olive oil, and a little jojoba oil. It's especially nice to leave on before bed, which I like to do sometimes in lieu of moisturizer because it honestly does the trick.
2. Burt's Bee's Cleanser: I start with this lovely cleanser by Burt's Bee's. It not only gently exfoliates but also cleans off your makeup in the process! I'm glad I finally found a good cleanser that actually gets me excited to clean off my makeup because I need something super nice when I'm feeling especially lazy on some evenings.
2. Glossier Rich Moisturizer: This moisturizer is honestly one of my favorite products by Glossier as far as skin care goes. I was skeptical about it at first, but the thickness of this product is exactly what I need in the winter and it feels so nice before bed.
3. Vaseline "Rosy Lips" Lip Therapy: My lips get SO insanely dry and irritated in the winter, and especially in the evening. So having a good chapstick/lip moisturizer is a must. I used to use just general chapstick and keep that next to my bed but it honestly wasn't enough to tackle the dryness that the winter brought. I stumbled across this balm from Vaseline and it's honestly my new favorite thing.
4. Coconut Oil + Lavender Spray: And to top it off, along with my general aromatherapy including essential oils, I've always liked using some kind of face spray that helps me relax. I found this lovely face/hair spray with coconut oil and lavender from a local shop in Cleveland, Oceanne. It's a perfect way to end the day. The coconut oil helps my skin and hair and the lavender relaxes me and forces my brain to calm down.
Okay, maybe not the best title. But I don't know what else to call it. I feel like evryone should devote at least a couple of minutes to do something; i.e. meditations, stretching, yoga, reading, etc before bed that's not work related, social media related or school related. Chances are that if you're a student/part time millennial worker or whatever, you're on your feet and running your brain from dawn until dusk. That's why once you feel nice and fresh after your skin routine and teeth brushing, try as best you can to not try and work on anything else you need to work on. Put your phone on vibrate/silent and remove your laptop from your room so you're not even thinking about it. Here's what I've been trying to do:
Aromatherapy // I use my lovely diffuser from Sparoom to breathe in some essential oils every night. This hasn't become a real routine until recently but now I use that combined with deep breathing and maybe a guided meditation from Calm. Overall, aromatherapy is really something that is so helpful in all parts of my day, especially before bed. I use the Chill Pill essential oils before bed or the Stem Soaps lavender essential oils rol-on as well. Honestly this is the one thing that I've incorporated into my sleep routine that I've seen real results. Distracting your nose with lovely scents is the best way to make your brain de-stress before bed. I even hang a little bag full of lavender above my pillow as well (My mom brought it back to me from Europe but I'm sure it can easily be made at home tbh).
10-20 minutes of stretching // I've been super behind on this, but if I kept up with it I'm pretty sure I'd feel like a new woman every night and morning. My neck and back have been getting more and more tense lately and unfortunately they tend to feel really painful after a long day and even after I sleep. Even if you aren't experience back pain, I think it's a good idea to do some kind of stretching/yoga routine before going to bed. Think about it, your body is laying stiff for 6+ hours, so it's definitely good to stretch it out before laying down -- same with the morning.
Deep Breathing // And of course, I end with some deep breathing and meditation. I think using whatever tactic is best for you is perfect. Personally, I like to open up the Calm app and use the breathe in, breathe out bubble -- where it shows shows you how many seconds to breathe in, hold and release your breathe. A couple of these always help for some night time anxiety.