The Nighttime Ritual You Should Adopt Before Going To Bed

When you imagine a nightly beauty ritual, you probably picture Marsha Brady counting to 100 while she brushes out her long locks in front of a doll house style vanity. While many people don’t take the time to prepare for their beauty sleep like days of old, it’s still important to prepare for your beauty sleep and create a nighttime ritual. Also, beauty sleep isn’t just for women! Your epidermis is the largest organ on your body and taking care of it isn’t gender specific.

1) Invest in high quality skincare products

While we live in a world that exposes us to various environmental toxins throughout the day, getting your snooze on is a great time to detox your skin. High-quality doesn’t have to mean the most expensive skincare products. There are over 1,000 (toxic) ingredients that are banned from being used in skincare in the EU and only 11 banned in the USA, so when I say high quality, I mean organic and toxin free. Be weary of claims that indicate skincare is natural, because the term “natural” doesn’t have many restrictions on it. Find a skincare company that sources their ingredients ethically, and who doesn’t test on animals. One of my favorite companies is Neal’s Yard Remedies from the U.K. Once you find your favorite high quality skincare line, you’re not only making your investment into your own health, but also a commitment to the environment as well.

2) Hydrate well 
Dehydration begins during the night. Because you’re (hopefully) getting a full 7-9 hours of sleep each night, the body is utilizing water for repair and body function. It’s important to drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day (half your body weight in ounces), but before bed make sure you’re hydrated. This can also be accomplished by sipping on herbal tea before bed as well. One of my favorite’s is valerian tea. Valerian root has been used for centuries by herbalist to help achieve a restful night’s sleep and help relieve anxiety. Remember if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s important to check with your doctor before using any herbal supplements.

Organic Skincare

3) Invest in a “me time” ritual
A lot of people are too busy to justify taking time out for “me time” or consider self-care as a form of vanity. It’s important to remember that self-care is just as important to your overall health as eating healthy and making time for the gym. Create this ritual to prepare for bed anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours before bed. This includes taking a relaxing shower or bath, and incorporating your skincare practice, as well as beginning the electronics detox (tuning out of electronics before bed). Add relaxing essential oil’s to your diffuser in your bedroom to help create the ambient, beauty sleep inducing environment.
One of my favorite “me time” rituals is after a long day, diffusing Eucalyptus essential oils in my bathroom diffuser (I have a diffuser in each room) and take a long, steamy, relaxing shower. I follow up with my nightly skincare ritual which includes a gentle cleanser, toner, and nighttime moisturizer or concentrate, like my all time favorite Beauty Sleep Concentrate from Neal’s Yard Remedies.
After pampering yourself before bed, I like to cozy up with a warm cuppa Valerian tea, and while I don’t necessarily follow my electronics detox, I do watch tv. But I make it a point to watch “happy” tv, not anything that will induce anxiety or keep me up all night (i.e. horror movies, the news, etc.

4) Practice your sleep hygiene
It’s important to have a full 7-9 hours of sleep during the night. This doesn’t include sleeping 7-9+ hours after a night of too much Vodka, this is a healthy, restful, restorative 7-9 hours. With today’s technology, you can invest in a fitness tracker that can monitor and even score your “sleep hygiene” and help you determine how efficiently you’re sleeping throughout the night. Poor sleep can cause puffy eyes, your skin to age faster, and less efficient skin recovery from environmental factors. The side effects mentioned here are just just skin related, the overall restorative properties of healthy sleep are too many to count.

5) Invest in a great pillow
It’s important to have a great pillow to help aid in your healthy sleep habits. Head to your local store to find the perfect pillow for you. This is one of those times that buying online is not the best option because you get to engage your senses and see, feel, and touch to find the perfect pillow. Goldie Locks was on to something when she was finding that perfect bed. It’s well worth the investment and you’re not going out to buy a pillow every month, so it’s worth the nominal investment.

Developing a beauty sleep ritual is a great way to relax and pamper yourself while really helping your body restore and help you to age well. You can come up with your own routine for what works with your lifestyle and preferences, but the important take away is to actually create a routine, and follow it nightly. Sleep hygiene is crucial to the aging process, and a critical element to overall health.

-Kurt Stradtman, CFNC, CPT

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