Sleep

7 Big on Health Bedtime Habits

I bet you focus on all the things you do all day when it comes to healthy eating, heart-inducing exercise, and positive social interaction. However, what you do right before bedtime also affects your health in many ways. Here are seven health-focused habits to work into your nightly bedtime ritual..

1. Wash Off That Makeup

I understand the need to just roll into bed, make-up and all. However, leaving all of the make-up and grime on that you’ve collected throughout the day not only clogs your pores—it also causes early aging in the form of crow’s feet and wrinkles.

So that next time you’re too beat to cleanse and moisturize before you hit the hay, consider what a night of sleeping in your make-up does to your skin. Make-up blocks pores—trapping all sorts of free radicals and environmental toxins under the skin. Plus, if your pores are blocked they produce less sebum, naturally moisturizing oils, wearing down collagen and leading to an early appearance of fine lines.


2. Get Zen

You might think meditation or breathing exercises are reserved for yogis and the hippy sect. However, integrating a few calming meditation exercises into your before-bedtime routine will melt away the day’s stresses and prepare your body and mind for slumber.

Simply sit cross-legged (or in a comfortable position) on your bed, close your eyes, clear your mind and focus on your breathing. You can use your thumb and forefinger on the right hand to pinch your right nostril closed while you breath into your left, then pinch your left nostril closed and exhale fully through the right nostril. Complete a few rounds of inhalation and exhalation on both sides while concentrating on your breathing.


3. Clean Your Teeth and Mouth

Your mom always reminded you to brush your teeth before bedtime so maybe the habit has slipped since you’ve moved out on your own. However, going to bed without cleaning your teeth and mouth can cause tooth and gum decay, leaving your mouth a hotbed for harmful bacteria.

Brushing and flossing will help prevent oral decay, bacterial infection, and prevent cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease (as bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to the lungs). Remember, you only have one set of pearly whites so do your part to protect yours!


4. Record Your Gratitude

There is power in thinking about all the things you’re grateful for—however, the act of actually taking the time to record your gratitude in a journal is even more positive. Practice an exercise in gratitude each night before you go to sleep and you will drift off with less stress and awake more positively.

It’s so easy to let our family, friends, pet, job, freedom get swept up in life’s daily grind. In order to not take your life for granted, keep a journal bedside and take 5 minutes each night to write down what you’re grateful for. When you’re having a bad day, read a few recent entries. Trust me; your day will improve tenfold by calling attention to the good in your life.


5. Prepare for Tomorrow

Is your typical morning a whirlwind of stress? Do you launch yourself from bed, speed through a shower, get dressed and eat breakfast while battling traffic on the way to work? No wonder you’re stressed when the day hasn’t even started!

Save yourself some stress and time by preparing for tomorrow tonight. Pick out and set a power outfit on your bed stand, make your lunch and tuck it in the fridge, shower and dry your hair the night before so you wake up fresh and ready to take on the day!


6. Read a Positive Message

Logging off the laptop, turning off the television, and setting your smart phone to mute an hour before bedtime will do you a world of good by easing your body and mind into slumber. If you still require something to occupy your mind before bed, pick up a book with a positive message.

Avoid spine-tingling horror, edge of seat mystery, or epic fantasy as those won’t put you in a sleepy mode. Instead reach for a feel good empowering novel or a self-improvement book that aligns with your own goals. This way you fall asleep in a positive frame of mind and take those messages with you into the next day.


7. Have a Good Stretch

I encourage a good healthy full body stretch before bed and first thing in the morning to ease the tension from your neck, back, and shoulders as you improve joint movement and flexibility in the process.

Stretching is a good physical and emotional stress reliever. Combine stretching with your nightly meditation and breathing exercises to wash away the stress from the day and prepare your body and mind for a peaceful night’s sleep.

 

 

 

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