At the end of a long day, you likely have very little energy to take care of yourself before you head to bed. However, taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to ensure you get a good night’s sleep so that you’ve got plenty of energy to take on the world. Though some parts of a nightly care routine are certainly optional, here are four nightly self-care steps you never want to skip.
Wash Your Face
Whether you’re male or female, your face takes a lot of abuse throughout the day. That’s why, before you head to bed, it’s important to wash your face. Washing your face removes all of the body oil, dirt, make-up, and everything else that accumulates on your face while you’re out and about. If you leave these substances on your face overnight, you could experience breakouts and find it harder to sleep. If you are in an area with low humidity, it’s a good idea to apply a facial moisturizer after you wash your face to prevent your sensitive facial skin from drying out.
Brush Your Teeth
If you’ve ever had to lie to your dentist about how often you brush your teeth, tonight is a great opportunity to begin actually brushing your teeth as much as you should. Though twice-daily brushing is certainly preferred, brushing before you head to bed is arguably the most important. Flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash before bed helps to remove all the leftover food that has found its way into your mouth during your meals. If these leftovers are left in your mouth, they’ll have several hours while you sleep to turn into plaque on your teeth, leading to tooth decay.
A nightly self-care routine must include disconnecting from your devices to allow your body to begin to relax for sleep. If possible, you should try to have at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before bed so that your body’s circadian rhythms can properly prepare for sleep. Though it’s tempting to be texting and updating your status right up until you shut your eyes, the blue light emitted by electronic devices tricks your body into thinking that it’s still daylight, meaning quality sleep will be difficult to come by.
Dim the Lights
In the same vein as the light from electronics, bright light from light fixtures can delay your body’s preparation for quality sleep. That’s why it’s so important to dim the lights around your home as bedtime draws near. If you can’t dim all your lights, at least dim or entirely turn off the lights in your bedroom to ensure your body isn’t suddenly jolted awake when you head to your bedroom to settle down.
Though the preparations you make closer to bedtime are the most important to help you sleep well, truly great sleep is a process that lasts all day long. As you go throughout your day, work to remove stress from your life and enjoy life’s little and big happy moments. By taking in joy and rejecting stress, both your mind and body will be better-prepared to work together to help you sleep soundly through the night.