Creating a relaxing bedtime routine is as important as having a morning, school or work routine. Routines create good habits and help us maintain skills we need throughout the day and sometimes in life in general. When you do something consistently, it then makes it easier to do even when you are upset, anxious or worried.
So what does your typical bedtime routine look like? Maybe you take a shower, brush your teeth and then read a book. Maybe you watch t.v or surf social media before bed. However, you typically wind down, you most likely have a routine in place.
The problem though with most routines, is that they do not help you calm your mind and aid in a restful night of sleep. Part of getting a good nights sleep consists of helping your mind to unwind and debrief from the day. Here’s the good news, I am going to show you how to create a soothing and relaxing night time routine that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer! Practicing mindfulness is your “go to” secret tool to creating the perfect nights sleep and the most relaxing bedtime routine for you and your children!
What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a term used for being fully present. To be mindful means you are focusing on the here and now, instead of worrying about the past or future. In other words, mindfulness is learning how to engage in the present moment.
There are so many benefits of using mindfulness techniques and exercises before bed. For one, mindful meditation can help reduce insomnia because it calms the mind and body. By relaxing your body and mind, you help to shut off the distracting thoughts that may pop into your head at night. In other words, mindfulness helps to ground you and soothe your mind and body at the same time.
Can you Practice Mindfulness in Bed
Absolutely! In fact, practicing a mindful mediation before bed will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. You can begin by simply adding a mindful mediation into your already established routine. Teaching kid(s) how to wind down is so important and learning about mindfulness and meditation is the perfect way to do this.
Sometimes right before you go to sleep, you may begin to worry about the next day. Maybe you find it hard to go to sleep or stay asleep. This is because as soon as we begin to attempt to go to sleep, that is when our brain quiets down for the day. With this, some of us may experience anxiety because our mind is no longer actively engaging in all of the tasks it was busy doing during the day. This is also a time that our kids can begin to feel a sense of anxiety too, but they may not have the words to express this yet. You may hear them say instead “my belly hurts” or “I can’t go to sleep.”
Relaxing Night Time Routine for Children
One way to help with bedtime worries is to practice a short meditation every night. When you make this a routine, you begin to teach your body how to feel calm instead of worried. Then when you are worried, you will already know what to do. There are so many great meditations available on the internet, but one site that I really love to use is calm.com. I love how this site has many different types of meditations to choose from. (I am not affiliated with this site, nor receive any compensation, I just truly love it). You can do a 2 minute meditation or a 10 minute mediation. No matter how long you choose to mediate before bed, make this a family activity. Do this together with your kids before bed and you will find that this is a perfect addition to your current bedtime routine.
Relaxing Night Time Routine with a 5 Senses Exercise
And for those nights that the whole bedtime routine is not possible, you can try to do a calming activity before bed instead, such as a mindful grounding exercise. One that I love is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 exercise. You begin by getting in a comfortable position and then you focus on 5 things you can see. With each one take a deep breath in between. Then you notice 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and finally 1 thing you can taste, all while focusing in on your breathing.
Bringing your awareness to your senses, helps you to feel grounded and calmer. With teaching your children about grounding, it will provide them with a way to be more present and in the moment.
Whether you choose this grounding exercise or a relaxing mindful meditation, I promise you that you and your children will look forward to your night time routine. You will quickly notice improved sleep and overall improved well-being. Check out the bonus section below for more mindful tips for sleep!
BONUS: Meditation for Sleep and the Benefits by Headspace
- 5 Must Have Mindfulness Books for Kids to Learn How to be Less Stressed
- The Best Summertime Mindfulness Activities
- How to Relax with 3 Outdoor Mindfulness Activities
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