Tag Archives: sleep tips

10 Bedtime Rituals to Help You Decompress

10 Bedtime Rituals to Help You Decompress

Your work schedule, the kids’ school schedule, Halloween, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping… is anyone else beginning to feel the crunch of this busy season? It’s as if the lazy days of summer are actually a rest period so we have the energy to make it through the marathon holiday season of the fall and winter.

As we approach this busy time of year, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of self care. The more hectic our schedules get, the easier it becomes to move your health and happiness to the bottom of the list. Apart from drinking enough water and eating our veggies, our most basic health requirement is sleep. We hope these simple bedtime rituals will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Dog Pattern Flannel Pajamas

PJ Salvage ‘Think Pawsitive’ Classic Flannel Pajama Set in Antique White

Bedtime Rituals to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep

1. Make a to-do list.

Your to-do list can be as simple as few things you want to accomplish the next day, like clearing out your inbox, paying your phone bill, or tackling the first step of a project at work. By writing down each task, you’re actually creating an action plan for the day. This allows you to rest easy knowing that you will wake up with purpose and direction.

2. Stretch before bed.

Try a incorporating a simple yoga practice into your nighttime routine. The stretching will soothe aching joints and muscles and the breathing techniques will help you exhale all the stress you’ve accumulated throughout your day. This 7-minute bedtime yoga sequence is so simple you can do it your pajamas, no spandex required.

3. Try micro journaling.

Journaling is a healthy, reflective practice that allows you to acknowledge your successes and note areas for improvement. Micro journaling is simply writing down three things that went well that day and three things that didn’t. This practice gives your day closure, sealing it in the past. This keeps you focused on the positive and prevents you from dwelling on the negative, silencing that end-of-day chatter that keeps you up at night!

4. Take an evening stroll.

If you can slip away for twenty minutes, take a walk around your neighborhood. Studies have shown that walking, especially in green spaces like a park, can have the same stress-relieving effects as meditation. This would be a great time to think about what you’re grateful for today and what you want to accomplish tomorrow. The key to a restorative walk is to do it unplugged — no ear buds! After a hot shower, you’ll go to bed feeling rested and refreshed.

5. A cleansing soak.

Whether it’s a long leisurely bubble bath or quick a 5-minute foot soak, wash away your stress in the tub. Immersion in water is known to be very therapeutic, especially when you combine it with the relaxing effects of aromatherapy. In the evening, add lavender oil to the water to promote a deep sleep. After you towel off, wrap yourself up in a warm fluffy bathrobe to create a spa experience.

Women's Polar Bear Bathrobe

Munki Munki Women’s Fluffy ‘Polar Bear’ Fleece Robe

6. Unplug and open a book.

An hour before bed, unglue yourself from screens: television, phone, and computer. Put on your softest, comfiest pajamas and curl up in bed with a good book. The light from these screens has been shown to disrupt our sleep patterns. Not only will reading at the end of the day help you get to sleep faster, avoiding the glow of your electronics will help you stay asleep longer. Check out our fall classics reading list for ideas.

7. An evening cup of tea.

Simply the act of making a cup of tea can be a meditative practice. Waiting for the water to boil. Prepping the tea bags if you’re making loose tea. The scent of the water hitting the dried herbs. Get in the habit of making a cup of herbal tea before bed. Chamomile, jasmine, and mint are soothing herbal teas that won’t keep you up at night.

8. Adult coloring books.

Adult coloring books have been all the rage in the last few years, used mostly as a stress-relieving technique. Coloring is an easy way to be crafty and creative, no matter how much time you have at the end of the day. Coloring stimulates areas of the brain that most of us non-creatives don’t use every day, making it a soothing and helpful brain exercise that promotes creative problem solving. The perfect pre-bedtime activity.

9. Meditate for 5 minutes.

Meditating for as little as five minutes each day can reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep. There are many guided meditations available online, so you can learn breathing techniques and practice helpful, relaxing visualizations. Meditating is a great way to clear your mind before bed, especially if you find that overthinking keeps you up at night!

10. Invest in comfortable pajamas.

We know, we know… to someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail! Believe it or not, investing in comfortable sleepwear will help you get to sleep faster. When you were a kid, pajamas weren’t just something to wear after your bath — they also acted as a signal to tell you that it was bedtime, mentally preparing you to wind down. The same logic can be applied as an adult. A ritual as simple as putting on pajamas says, “My day is finished. It’s time for me to rest.”

We hope these ideas for bedtime rituals help you get a great night’s sleep. For more sleep tips and ideas for family fun this fall season, visit The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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17 Sleep Inducing Bedtime Snacks

17 Sleep-Inducing Bedtime Snacks

How is it August already? It’s time to get back to school and back to our family routines. The long carefree days of summer sometimes encourage parents to let bedtime stretch 30 minutes… or one or two hours… later than on a school night. Getting your kids back on board with “early to bed, early to rise” might be a challenge.

Cutting out screen time at least one hour before bed is a great way to help kids (and adults!) fall asleep and stay asleep. If your kids usually have a bedtime snack, rethink milk and cookies and opt for one of these sleep inducing treats instead. Your kids will practically be begging for their pajamas.

Classic Moose Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

Classic Moose Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

Snacks That Make You Sleepy

1. Banana and Almond Butter. The magnesium and potassium in bananas serve as a natural muscle and nerve relaxant. The protein and fiber in almond butter will ensure that your kids will stay asleep.

2. Hummus and Whole-Grain Bread. Hummus is a great source of tryptophan, which gets metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, two of the main chemicals responsible for getting you to sleep. Whole-grain bread triggers insulin production, which makes you feel sleepy by naturally raising your blood sugar.

3. Whole-Grain Crackers, Cheese, and Turkey. The protein in cheese will help you stay asleep while turkey is another great source of tryptophan. The calcium in cheese will also regulate involuntary muscle movements, reducing the chance of “twitching” awake.

4. Cherries. The best way to get a good night’s sleep is to increase your melatonin intake. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin. When eaten regularly, they can help regulate your sleep cycle.

5. Chocolate Covered Almonds. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which relaxes your body and mind. Almonds are packed with protein and fiber to curb hunger.

6. Watermelon. Each 2-cup serving is half water, which will hydrate kids before bed and eliminate post-dinner hunger pains with its fiber and volume.

7. Whole-Grain Crackers and Tuna Salad. Whole-Grain foods are great for regulating your blood sugar and fish such as tuna, halibut, and salmon are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin.

'Bear Cheeks' Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

‘Bear Cheeks’ Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

8. Honey-Sweetened Hot Chocolate. Milk, dark chocolate powder, and a touch of honey warmed on the stove is a drink that will send anyone off to dreamland. Dark chocolate is a natural source of serotonin and the calcium in milk helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture sleep-inducing melatonin. The natural sugar in honey slightly raises insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily.

9. Pistachios. A handful of pistachios packs protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which contribute to better sleep.

10. String Cheese. If your kids are complaining of hunger pangs, “string cheese” — part-skim mozzarella cheese — is packed with protein and makes for a satisfying pre-bed snack.

11. Pretzels. This one might surprise you. Pretzels have a high glycemic index, which means they will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, shortening the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Combine with nut butter for a snack with some staying power.

12. Whole-Grain Toast, Smoked Salmon, and Cream Cheese. If your kids are happy with tuna, give this one a try. Given what we already know about whole-grains and dairy, this snack should be no surprise. Like tuna, salmon is rich in vitamin B6, which aids in melatonin and serotonin production.

13. Oatmeal with Dried Cherries. Oats raise your blood sugar naturally and make you feel sleepy. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which relaxes the body and helps you fall asleep.

14. Baked Sweet Potato “Toast”. Baked sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium to help you relax. Drizzle with honey or a tablespoon of almond butter for a pre-bedtime treat.

15. Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Walnuts. The vitamin B6 in bananas converts tryptophan into serotonin, increasing the body’s ability to relax. Walnuts are another natural source of melatonin, which will help regulate your sleep cycle.

16. Bowl of Rice Cereal. A bowl of rice cereal before bed could help your kids get better sleep. The snack combines calcium from milk with carbs and the blood sugar spike from rice to help them get to sleep faster.

17. Cantaloupe. Dehydration can impact your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, so choosing to snack on a watery fruit like cantaloupe will help make up for any deficits.

For more back-to-school tips and tricks,  visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

back-to-school kids pajamas

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