Beginning and ending each day with strong intentions is a game changer. I’ve seen the benefits of my mindful morning rituals firsthand—waking up early, meditating, and drinking a matcha—and since I’ve started incorporating evening rituals into my daily routine, I’ve found they’re equally as important.
A wind-down routine at the end of the day helps to decompress and de-stress so you can rest soundly through the night. When you sandwich your day with empowering, supportive rituals, no matter how messy all the things in the middle are, you can go to sleep knowing you did your best with what you can control.
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for establishing your morning and evening routines, so find what resonates with you. Below are my personal nighttime rituals, and maybe I can inspire you to create your own!
1. Stop using technology an hour before bed.
This is by far one of the most valuable shifts I’ve made in my routine. My boyfriend and I don’t allow phones or computers into our bedroom, so our technology stays out in the kitchen to charge. When you use your phone before bed, you’re sending signals to your brain to stay awake—not get ready for sleep. So for me, I cut off technology usage typically after 9 p.m. to promote a better night’s rest and to limit blue light exposure. This is a good time to get in your pajamas—I love my Sleepy Jones set—which helps me switch into a committed mindset for bedtime.
2. Release tension with bedtime stretches or meditation.
You don’t have to go full-on yogi for this—I definitely don’t! I find that meditating or doing just a few simple stretches while sitting on my new Casper mattress that I got during the Sleep-In@Nordstrom Pop-In does the job. Stretching with all the extra support under my hips helps to release any tension I might have held onto throughout the day, and the softness under my shoulders helps my body relax, so in turn, I sleep better. Here are a few stretches I like to do:
- Seated wide-legged forward bend: Sit down with your legs out wide in a V, flex your feet, rotating your inner thighs outward, root down through your tailbone, and grow taller through the crown of your head as you start to hinge at your hips. Lead with your heart, keeping your spine nice and long. You should feel the stretch in your hamstrings, inner thighs and calves.
- Seated side stretches: Sit in a cross-legged position, place your right hand down by your side, and grow taller through the crown of your head. Sweep your left arm up and over to feel your left side body open up. Repeat on the other side.
- Pigeon: Starting from downward facing dog, bring your right leg through, placing your knee by your right hand and align the right heel over towards the left hip. Keep your back leg long and keep your hips even as you relax your weight through the middle of your hips. Stay here, or start to hinge at the hips, folding forward. You can rest on your forearms or fold all the way forward. Listen to your body as your hips start to open up.
- Supine spinal twist: Lay on your back with your arms out long, bring your knees into your chest, and pick up your hips and scoot them over to the left as you twist over, letting your knees fall to the right. Keep your shoulders plugged into the earth. Gaze is over the left shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
- Happy baby: Lay on your back, bring your knees wide into your chest, and take your hands and reach for the outside edges of your feet, driving your knees in towards your armpits and rooting down through your lower back. Feel your hips and inner thighs open as you create a resistance by pressing your feet into your hands and driving your knees closer to your arm pits.
3. Decompress with a book.
Since I’m off my phone and laptop the last hour before bed, I usually spend that time in my room reading a book. This year has been all about learning and growing for me, so curling up in my airy linen sheets from Casper and filling my brain with inspiring books in the self-help category encourages me to relax while also giving me plenty to dream about. (Check out this list of must-reads on mbg’s short list this summer.)
4. Take a magnesium supplement.
When I went on my gut-healing journey, my doctor suggested I take magnesium to help with the inflammation in my gut and to improve my sleep quality. Magnesium has so many benefits, and it has helped me with all of the above. You can get magnesium from taking a supplement, using a spray (I like The Nue Co’s Magnesium Ease Unknot Muscles Body Spray) directly on sore or tight muscles, or eating green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Keep in mind that things like coffee, sugar, and birth control can deplete your magnesium levels. Taking a nightly magnesium supplement to help promote a sense of calm is a definite essential in my evening routine.
5. Invest in quality goods to promote better sleep.
All of the stretching and meditating in the world won’t help you sleep if you’re not sleeping on a quality mattress. Of course, I love my Casper mattress because it’s supportive in all the right places for proper alignment, so I know I’ll wake up feeling physically well rested without any aches or backpains. (My dog has a Casper bed, too!) I throw my hair up in a bun using my Silke hair ties (less damaging for hair), apply my favorite lavender essential oil blend to my temples and the bottoms of my feet, and I fall into the cloud that is my bed.