By Megan Cahn
From our never-ending to-do lists to the constant juggle of work, family and friends, life can be pretty demanding. With all that is on our plates, and our minds, when we crawl into bed at night, sleep doesn’t always come easy – no matter how exhausted we may be. So, we’ve put together five tips that’ll make your evening routine more relaxing, so you can fall asleep right away and feel rejuvenated when you wake…
Wash Your Face Right Away
Try doing your nightly skincare routine right when you get home, yes, before you plop in front of the TV or cook dinner. You’ll thank yourself when bedtime rolls around and you remember that your work is behind you. Instead of dragging yourself off the couch and through your nightly regimen when your eyelids are heavy (or just skipping it entirely), you’ll have set yourself up for a seamless transition into sleep mode. You may even find yourself enjoying the process and giving your skin a little extra attention. Face massage, anyone?
Use Skincare That’ll Deliver Results Overnight
Speaking of treating yourself, Clark’s Botanicals has two overnight skin-care products that’ll feel luxurious when you apply them in the evening and work wonders all night. The Deep Moisture Mask is nourishing and hydrating, and after a stressful day – which can affect your complexion as well as your mood – it will rebalance and bring your skin back to a healthy state. You can apply a generous layer and leave it on for 15-20 minutes while you watch “Wild Wild Country” or you can apply a thin layer and leave it on while you sleep. If you’re looking for something that will rejuvenate and help you wake up looking better than you did the day before (who isn’t?), the Retinol Rescue Overnight Cream is your best bet. Its combination of colloidal oatmeal, high potency and time-released retinol and Vitamin C will give you a softer look to start the day. Just knowing that alone might set you up for a more peaceful slumber.
Fill Your Bedroom with Plants
Try and keep your room minimal and clutter-free, so it feels like a soothing escape from the outside world. Having beautiful plants in there will add to the oasis-like atmosphere, and can actually help you get a better night’s sleep. According to a NASA study, spider and snake plants, as well as peace lilies and aloe, release oxygen at night and can help purify the air. Jasmine Absolute is the hero ingredient in Clark’s Botanicals products, and can also do its magic in plant form. A potted jasmine, lavender is great too, will not only fill your space with a soothing aroma, they both been proven to help induce sleep and decrease anxiety.
Clark’s Botanical founder, Francesco Clark, de-stresses from the day and sets the mood for sleep with nightly meditation using a three-part breath. While in the ICU after his crippling spinal cord injury in 2002, a yogi friend taught him the technique and he’s been incorporating it into his nightly routine along with self-guided meditation ever since. “Our days can be so frenetic,” says Francesco. “It’s important to pause and regroup and bring myself back to neutral at the end of the day.”
Laying down in bed, with each breath in, Francesco imagines a healing color along with all the good things he wants to bring into his body. With each breathe out, he thinks of a different color and visualizes exhaling any negativity from the day. He also suggests imagining a “safe space” — your ideal place for serenity, with someone who unconditionally loves you by your side. “I think of a beach I visited in Hawaii with this massive 200-year-old tree,” says Francesco. “I imagine my childhood dog with me. He just wants to love me, and doesn't want anything back, so that’s inherently calming.”Francesco does this for about 30 minutes every night, but you will benefit from any type or amount of meditation.
Buy an Alarm Clock
The New Yorker recently published a series of hilarious, but maybe a little too close to home, cartoons titled “Reasons I Can’t Sleep” and our phones played a leading role. Studies show that the blue light emulating from our screens increases cortisol to the brain. This makes us more alert and less likely to produce melatonin, thus disrupting our sleep patterns and the quality of our sleep. Phones need a bedtime too, it’s good to stay away from screens for at least an hour before before saying goodnight. You’ll never regret missing a few Instagram stories in favor of digging into a good book, the paper kind. To really seal the deal, why not keep your phone out of your bedroom all together? Let it charge in the living room so you’re not tempted to check your email before bed and invest in a good old-fashioned alarm clock – they really do still make them.