the benefits of having a nighttime routine

Photography by Sophie Kannberg

Fall is a time of reflection.

Sure, sweaters, foliage and pumpkin spice lattes often shape our perception of the season, but it’s a sense of reflection that defines it. 

In other words, now is a time to reevaluate how we are caring for ourselves. The onset of colder temperatures often comes with other problems: maybe our workloads are off the charts, our sleep is lacking, routines are off; the list goes on.  

So, now is the time to stand back and take a look. Here, we’re starting with a routine we believe is a little more feasible: the lovely night routine.

The real truth is that no one can procure a night routine that’s universal, and if you would like to browse for ideas on what face mask to use and what tea to drink, we’d suggest youtube.  However, after a bit of conversational research, we’ve got a few noteworthy ideas for a cozy night’s rest. And don’t worry, we didn’t forget a little fall flair.

Turn off your phone/laptop/anything bright 

Yes, we’ve all heard it a million times before, and yes, we still do it.  But, it is clinically proven that UV light decreases melatonin production, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Night shift and dark mode may help, but they still inhibit sleep. Try finishing up all your electronic tasks an hour to a half an hour before your ready for bed to fall asleep with ease

Read before bed

If you have time, a book may be the best place to land stray thoughts before bed.  Plus, there is something oh so fall about cozying up with a book before sleep.

Listen to a podcast that is not thought provoking

The goal of listening to a podcast before bed is to ease your mind into sleep, not throw it into fermor. Maybe a political podcast isn’t the best choice for relaxation. Instead, try mindless story like the podcast “Nothing much happens,” which lulls you into sleep with stories that do as its name suggests. The stories change with the seasons, so you might find yourself drifting off ready to dream of autumn days.

Switch to fall scents

Whatever your go to (essential oils, diffusers or lotions), find a way to incorporate fall scents into your nightly routine. Scent is so soothing to us, and fall selections can help you feel present during this time of year.

Listen to fall music

Our music choice is a reflection of the times. Whatever the choice style, there’s an autumn playlist that can bring anyone down for rest. Might we suggest indie for this time of year? Its depth and breezy notes reflect the weight and change of autumn, or at least that’s a fancy way to put it. ‘In the feels’ is another way. Sometimes listening to music is the best way to get ready for rest.

Moisturize

As the cold winds rush in, don’t forget to give your skin the extra moisture it needs. It will definitely thank you in a few months.

Journal

Perhaps the best tool for self-reflection, journaling is a power on its own. Whether you recount the events of your day or dream up plans for tomorrow, practicing it can relax you and prepare for sleep.

And there we are, just a couple small practices, fall style for getting your best sleep. As we near the end of the semester here at Kent, it is worthwhile to revisit and revise our routines.  We all owe ourselves a bit of reflection.

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