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Recently, there’s been an emphasis on social media surrounding morning and nighttime routines. Skincare, meditation, baths and journaling galore.
Seeing these amazing, luxurious processes seems so ideal, but for most of us, it’s not realistic. Between class, work, maintaining a social life and extracurriculars, getting a moment to yourself feels impossible sometimes. However, it is proven that keeping some sort of structure with your time in the morning and before bed can set you up for success.
If you’re looking to implement a routine but don’t have two hours to spare every night, my nighttime routine as a busy student might just be for you!
Wash Your Face.
This may seem self-explanatory, but there have been so many times after long nights of studying that I’m just too tired to do it. It took me a year or two to get to a place where I always do it by habit now. No excuses.
It takes two minutes and we all have two minutes. This, to me, is the most vital step in my nighttime routine because it signals to the rest of my body that we are done for the day, and it’s time to unwind. However in-depth or not in-depth your skincare routine is that follows…wash your face, first.
Lights off, lamp on.
Your body is programmed to sleep when it’s dark, so creating that “mood lighting” is a simple but effective way to ease into nighttime. Leaving a lamp on allows you to read, journal, meditate or do whatever else you include in your nighttime routine. I like using a big pink salt lamp, because of the warm lighting it creates and it’s natural derivatives. You can read about their benefits here, though I really just rely on them for extra coziness and relaxing lighting.
Another thing you can do as far as entering sleep mode is adjusting your laptop display settings to use “Night Shift” between certain times of the day/night to lessen the alertness that electronic screens can create.
Light a Candle.
It’s well-researched that scents have a lot to do with your state of mind, especially when it comes to easing stress, pain and aiding in relaxation. Whether it’s in a candle or an essential oil diffuser, consider adding scents like lavender, vanilla, cedarwood and chamomile to your collection.
If a bath is part of your nighttime routine, try including a few drops of essential oils into the water or bringing your candle into the bath with you and lowering the overhead lights.
This is something that makes waking up in the mornings so much easier. I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m asleep I barely move. I’ll fall asleep with my phone next to me and wake up with it in the exact same spot. While deep sleep is great and necessary, not moving for eight hours can make muscles completely tense up. Stretching before bed, even just for five minutes, will make you feel less tight, less lethargic and more energized come morning. All it takes is five minutes, and you can build up from there if you like how it affects you.
As college students, reading anything other than what we have assigned doesn’t always happen. This is not a step in my routine that I get to stick to every night, because some nights I conk out as soon as I get into bed.
Reading before bed helps to induce sleep on those nights where it doesn’t happen so easily. It also sets up the next day as one where you’re more informed of the world around you or have a new skill you can explore.
Reading doesn’t have to be from a physical book. You can read from your Kindle, news articles on Twitter or a blog that you really enjoy, too. For ultimate relaxation and that feeling of “unplugging,” an actual book is what really puts me in that bedtime mindset.
Lamp off, eye mask on.
The last and best step. Make sure all your lights are off before getting to your peak coziness because we all know how easy it is to fall asleep once we’re there. If you don’t own an eye mask, do yourself a favor and go grab one at Target or order one on Amazon.
The light pressure is comforting, and they make a huge difference in staying asleep and keeping the obnoxious 7 A.M. light from disrupting your routine. Wearing an eye mask also ensures that you won’t be woken up by a late-night Snapchat notification or the glow from your alarm clock.
The best thing about this routine is that the acts are simple. You don’t have to do them in order, and you should customize it to your needs. Bedtime is YOUR time.
Take what you need from the above tips, and leave what you don’t. And, if you miss a step in your routine or skip it every now and then, you’re doing it right and just living your life. Don’t let the thought of a nighttime routine stress you out! You have a lot going on each day, and a nighttime routine should never feel like another task on a to-do list. Breathe in. Breathe out. Envision what your realistic nighttime routine looks like, and start implementing each thing one by one.
Let me know what your guys’ routines look like in the comments! Sleep tight, babes.