*Blog post created in cooperation with MeroWings. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.
I just recently read an article on how lack of sleep affects our health and body in the short- as well as in the long-term. This was quite a wake-up call for me, as I’m usually a rather ‘bad sleeper’, especially after a long and stressful day. Sometimes it can be hard to ‘turn off’ and stop thinking about the things that happened during the day or still need to get done. Hence, we need night time habits that help us unwind and chill out after a hectic and tense day.
How a night time routine can improve your sleep
For a pretty long time, my only night time routine consisted of changing into comfy clothes and binge-watching Netflix until I fell asleep on the couch. But there are actually more indulging and healthy habits that help you to unwind, sleep and – as a result – feel better.
That’s why I created the following list of 10 things to incorporate into your night time routine to find rest and relaxation. The MeroWings products that were kindly gifted to me, were honestly a game changer in increasing my wellbeing in the evenings. Their nature inspired design and versatility bring so much comfort into my home, which is why I want to introduce you to them in this article as well.
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
1. Take a walk outside in the park or nature.
Many of us are working from home for several months now, spending the days in our own four walls all day long. This is why I appreciate a gentle, nice walk outside in nature right after finishing work. The little change of scenery helps to clear my mind, relax and ring in the end of the day. I prefer to have slow walks in the park, where I pay attention to all the little things and nature around me or listen to one of my favourite podcasts. Sometimes I also love to go running, because it helps me to drain all excess energy. The main thing is to just go outside and get some fresh air!
2. Read a book to unwind your mind.
It’s scientifically proven that losing yourself in a book can eliminate worries and stresses of your everyday life. It doesn’t matter what book you end up with – a romantic novel, self-help nonfiction or fantasy story – as long as you enjoy it. I’m currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and am looking forward to some quiet minutes of reading before going to sleep every day. And if I wasn’t tired before, sleepiness kicks in then!
The MeroWings Grace Wings Cushion is my favourite allrounder for maximum comfort: Most times I use the ergonomic shaped pillow as a neck cushion, as it holds my head comfortably in place – perfect for watching TV, reading or just snuggling in!
3. Reflect on your day and practice gratitude.
I can’t stress this enough, but keeping a (gratitude) journal is one of the most impactful things you can do to end your day before going to bed. It’s as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for or happened during the day. And believe me, there’s something good in every day! Extra tip: Place your journal right on your bedside table – that way, you will make practicing gratitude a daily habit!
4. Light a candle and set a relaxing mood.
I don’t know about you, but lighting candles just makes me so happy and instantly puts me in a relaxing mood. It gives a calming vibe and atmosphere to your home, while the dimmed lights prepare your body for the night time ahead. My by far favourite candle at the moment is Forêt by the French florist and designer Christian Tortu. As I’m living in the city, I usually miss out time in real nature, which is why I love to kind of bring it into my home. I wish you could smell the scent of the forest with notes of resin, pine tree needles, leaves and freshly cut grass! The candle leaves a harmonious and natural scent, what makes it perfect for even sensitive people like me.
Candle: Forêts by Christian Tortu (via MeroWings) | Cushions: MeroWings Birch Annual Ring & Birch Tree Log
5. Spend quality time with your loved ones and pets.
Although sometimes I spend 24/7 with my partner as we are both working from home, we actually don’t have much shared time during the day. That’s why it’s important to schedule some quality time together in the evenings in order to chat about your day, get some snuggles, cook or watch a Netflix show together.
Another important antidote to relieve stress for me is to interact with my cat. Science proves that there’s a valid reason for that: Studies have shown that pets reduce blood pressure and stress hormones. In addition, snuggling up with your furry friend or learning new skills together strengthens your bond and gives you an immediate boost of happiness!
Due to their optical illusion, the MeroWings Birch Tree Cushions bring elements of nature to our home while blending in perfectly with the rest of the interior. Moreover, they are the most cosy pillows you can image!
6. Take time for personal projects or hobbies.
I can calm down the best when spending time on projects and things I love doing. This can be anything from playing the piano, drawing or working on the blog. During Corona lockdown, I even re-discovered adult colouring books. I highly recommend to give them a try, as colouring can help you to focus in a way similar to meditation. You can allow your mind to shut off stressful thoughts – perfect for sleep, right?
7. Watch an episode of your favourite TV show.
As mentioned in the beginning, I sometimes find myself binge-watching Netflix the whole evening. I then go to bed, feeling bad not having used my time in a better, more beneficial way. Nonetheless, there’s nothing wrong with watching one or two episodes of your favourite TV show or catching up with your favorite YouTuber as long as it helps you to unwind and relax. Let your mind take a break from everyday life. My currently go-to shows are House, The Sinner and Jane the Virgin (yes, Telenovelas usually help best!).
8. Take a warm bath or shower.
Another way to unwind and induce sleepiness is relaxing with a warm shower or bath. Add some essential oils like lavender and slip into your comfy pjs afterwards. Pro tip: Light some candles and listen to relaxing music. There’s nothing better and I can’t wait for the colder months to make this a regular habit again!
9. Listen to nature sounds and try meditation.
As a townie I’m used to permanent traffic noises – not necessarily the sounds that put you to sleep, right? That’s why I love to put on some acoustic nature sounds as soon as I’m going to bed. It helps me to fall asleep whenever my thoughts are going round in circles. Just listen to the soothing sound of rain falling on leaves or breaking waves on the beach. Why not combine it with a short yet mindful session of meditation? It’s one of the best things you can do before bed to clear your mind and turn your focus inward. Try it out and make it a daily habit to recognise long-term effects!
“Joy” is the second biggest version of MeroWings’ Wings Cushions. I love using it as a backrest in bed when reading or even as a sleeping pillow. Due to it’s shape, it gives the best snugly, comfy feeling and increases your wellbeing almost immediately!
10. Unplug and go to bed at a reasonable time.
We’ve all been there: We’re already in bed, but can’t stop scrolling mindlessly through our news and social media feeds. And lo and behold, another 20 minutes have passed. I usually have a hard time putting away my phone in the evenings – although it’s proven that blue light from electronic devices is actually pretty bad for your sleep. So I now try to establish new habits little by little to reduce screen time right before bed. It also empowers you to be more aware of the present moment!
Additionally, I try to go to bed earlier in order to get enough sleep and feel more rested. But again, set little goals when trying to change your habits. This makes the changeover much easier and will manifest in the long-term (the same applies to screen time, by the way)!
Find a night time routine that feels good and suits your lifestyle
A relaxing night time routine is essential for getting a good night’s rest. Without time for some self care and relaxation, you’re likely going to feel burnt out, exhausted or overwhelmed. The key is to find something that helps you to sleep better and wake up well rested. The right products can support you in this matter, which is why I’m so happy to have partnered up with MeroWings. Their products bring so much value and became an integral part of my relaxation and night time routine. What I appreciate most is the combination of quality, nature inspired aesthetic designs as well as orientation on individual and environmental needs (more information here).
Of course, realistically I don’t do all of the mentioned things every single night. Sometimes my evenings still consist of watching Netflix for hours – and that’s ok! But when I take time for ‘real’ self-care, I actually wonder why I don’t do it every single night. It makes me sleep better, but also longer. And after all, there’s no better feeling than knowing you make yourself and your sleep a priority.
With much love,