Life - May 22, 2020

5 Ways to Switch Your Brain Off At Night

5 Ways To Switch Your Brain Off at Night

Y’all have probably gathered by now that I’m very into getting good sleep and having a strong nightly routine. My sleep and the routine I rely on to help me get that sleep are two things I really try not to sacrifice no matter what day of the week it is.

But it occurred to me recently that I haven’t shared much about what I do before my routine – you know, what I do to decompress and get my brain ready to go into relaxation slash sleep mode. So, in the spirit of doing less (which I’ve been trying to do more of – does that even make sense? LOL), let’s talk about how to switch our brains off!

For me, I have to really consciously focus on winding down because Brighton brain is always running wild, so I think I have some really good insight to offer on this front. If you struggle with stuff like this too, promise me you’ll try some of these tips, k?

Read or Listen to an Audiobook

I love to read. It’s one of my favorite ways to chill out when I’m at home or traveling. I know not everyone is a reader, but it really is one of the best ways to decompress at night or any time, really. A good book just transports your mind and encourages you to take a step away from the stresses of life for a second. I’ve also really enjoyed listening to books as well! Sometimes I’ll set a timer for 30 minutes and fall asleep listening to a book (usually I’ll do this if Duncan has already fallen asleep though!).

I do find that my brain races a bit more when reading self-improvement so I tend to turn to more boring topics (something on finance or a biography) or fiction instead at night! I challenge you to pick up a book sometime in the next week and give it a try. And if you’re looking for something good to read, you can check out eight of my favorite books here.

No phone

This is the HARDEST for me but I sleep the BEST when I do it. Turn off your phone…like seriously, turn it on Airplane Mode and don’t touch it…an hour or even 30 minutes before bed. This lets your mind settle from whatever notifications you might be getting and from all the info of the day. Because the worst is when you get an email right before bed and then can’t stop thinking about work!! Or sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and check my phone, which makes falling back asleep that much harder!

Journal / Do a Brain Dump

Y’all know I’m very passionate about journaling. It’s my time to reflect and just get out anything that’s been weighing on me. I do my journaling during my morning quiet time, but you could easily do it right when you get home to get out any stresses about work before settling into your evening.

Brain dumps are also AMAZING for decluttering your mind. I like to do brain dumps on Sunday to get out any Sunday night anxiety I might be feeling about the week ahead.

Don’t work in bed

Some spaces should just be for you, know what I mean? I totally get that the work day doesn’t always end right at 5 pm and sometimes it has to come home with you. Or, if you’re like me and work from home, it can be hard to draw a line and know when to wrap up for the day.

If you do have to bring work home or work late from home, do it, but go into your office (if you have one) or post up at the dining room table. Your bed is a space that should instantly make you feel relaxed and ready to doze off, not focus in and go to work. If you make bringing work into bed with you a habit, your brain will remember that and no longer turn off when you’re there. Just don’t do it, k?

Stick To A Night Time Routine

I’ll admit, my night time routine is definitely not the same thing every single night. But there are a few things that I like to do to get my mind and body ready for bed and the act of going through that same routine each night helps prepare me for a good nights sleep. My routine has changed a bit since getting married since there are two of us now! But for the most part I try do the majority of these things every single night:

  • Take a bath. I don’t *always* have time for this, but when I do, I feel like it makes the biggest difference in getting relaxed! I love turning on my diffuser while doing so and adding a few bath bombs in there as well! I actually wrote a blog post about the perfect bath here too if you want to check it out!
  • Put on a cozy pair of pajamas that makes me happy. Once I start not loving a pair, I try to get rid of them. There’s something about absolutely LOVING your pajamas that I think makes a big difference! It’s a little detail, but it’s important!
  • Remove makeup, go through skincare routine.
  • Refill my diffuser and diffuse a sleepy time blend – more on that in the next tip! I have fallen in LOVE with this element of my routine and feel like it has really made a big difference. I now look forward to this step every single night!
  • Quick tidy around the bedroom. I don’t go crazy or anything but while turning down the bed and stacking the pillows, I’ll usually spend a little bit of time putting things away that were left out.
  • Moisturize. So this is actually a new step in my routine since getting married and moving to Colorado but now Duncan and I do this every single night together. Our skin has gotten really dry living up here, so we make a point to put lotion on every night before bed!
  • All the OILS! I’m going to make a separate bullet point for this because I feel like it deserves it’s on section! Actually, I could write a whole blog post on this!

Diffuse + Apply Bedtime Oils

You might think its wacky – that’s fine. I did too – ha! But now I truly CANNOT imagine my night time routine without them! And neither can Duncan – he literally asks for them every single night! And I pack some with him when he travels for work!

I can’t tell you the difference this has made in calming my mind at night and helping me fall into a deeper sleep. First, I have a diffuser on my night stand that I add lavender, cedarwood and orange essential oils to. Or sometimes I’ll add a little vetiver in there too – probably my favorite as of late!

I love to get this going in our bedroom at least an hour before we head to bed. This totally makes our bedroom feel like a spa.

I also roll on oils, one of my favorites right now is Tranquil roll on. I’ll put some on my chest, wrists and ankles and I am out like a light. I’ll sometimes put thieves on the bottoms of our feet for immune support. But regardless of what’s going on, I feel like we always make time for putting some of the deep relief roller on our shoulders and neck – it’s literally the BEST feeling and helps calm my mind. And lastly, I’ll put some muscle cream on Duncan’s lower back to help him relax – he has a lot of back pain so this has become something he really enjoys and looks forward to!

Have you tried oils before bed before? I’m still relatively new, but I have been having so much fun learning and experimenting with them. If you’re curious about learning more about essential oils, I’m your girl! We can learn together! Feel free to send me a DM on my oils account here!

How do y’all decompress at night?

I’m always game to learn something new when it comes to this stuff!