It happens to everyone: a crazy, busy day that continues into the evening. On top of it, you have a busy day tomorrow which will unfortunately start earlier than usual. You know you should go to bed early, but how do you wind down when your mind is reeling from the day’s events, not to mention the stress of what’s waiting for you tomorrow?
You can help yourself get a good night’s sleep by making your bedroom an ideal sleeping environment. But how do you relax enough to actually get to sleep?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends a hot bath in the hour before your bedtime. Because people start feeling sleepy when their body temperature drops a degree or two, a hot, relaxing bath is just the ticket to help bring on sleep. The residual heat of the hot bath will gradually evaporate, lowering your body temperature just enough to help you fall asleep.
So what can you do to ensure that your bath is relaxing? Try some or all of the following ideas:
Bubble Bath, Scented Oils or Bath Salts for your Body and Mind
Most of us buy bath additives in scents that are pleasing to us; that in itself helps us to relax. But adding lavender to your bath can help make it much more relaxing, according to the article “The Top 5 Herbs for Relaxation” on the Baylor University website.
Prevention Magazine reports on a study conducted by the University of Southhampton in Britain in an article entitled “Lavender – The Sweet Scent of Sleep”. Study participants ranked their sleep 20 per cent more restful after sleeping in a room where lavender essential oil was diffused into the air. Participants did not report such an increase after sleeping in a room where sweet almond oil replaced the lavender oil. Lavender-scented bath products of any type will produce similar results.
If you’d rather not add things to your bath water, an essential oil diffuser in your bathroom loaded with lavender essential oil will achieve much the same level of relaxation as lavender-scented bath bubbles, oils or salts.
Bathtub Comfort Items Make you Feel Pampered and Relaxed
A blow-up pillow upon which to rest your head will also help you relax. According to the article “10 Ways to Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa”, on the website of Georgia College, resting your head comfortably will keep your neck and upper back muscles relaxed. It goes without saying that this will greatly contribute to the relaxing atmosphere of your nightly bath.
A lightweight bath caddy that rests on the top edges of the tub will put your bath products at your fingertips. That way you won’t stress out trying to find and grab your potions and beverages. As comfort items, both your favorite bath potions and your favorite beverage will also help you relax.
Keep a loofa, net bath poof or any other dead-skin-sloughing bath tool or potion nearby too. After using one of these, your skin will feel smooth, soft and renewed. Smooth on some body lotion (maybe lavender-scented) and your body will feel pampered as well as relaxed.
Mood Lighting Helps Signal your Brain that it’s Time to Relax
Surround yourself with candles to set the mood for relaxation. Ideally, lavender-scented candles will provide the most relaxing benefit, but again, any scent that you find pleasing will help you to relax even more in the glow of candlelight, according to an article entitled “10 Ways to Turn your Bathroom into a Spa for Under $500” on the website of the International Academy of Design and Technology.
If candles are not your thing, invest in a night-light or a battery-operated candle. You won’t stress out worrying about fire, not to mention electric night-lights and battery-operated candles don’t have to be replaced as often as traditional wax candles do.
Music Soothes the Savage Beast Called Stress
Soft, gentle music in any genre that pleases you will also contribute to your relaxation. According to the article “How to Sleep Well” from the Stanford University website, listening to relaxing music not only soothes your mind, but it gives your body cues that it is time to sleep. Done regularly, your body will begin, it seems, to effortlessly respond to the relaxing music and begin to make the physiological changes that bring the onset of sleep.
You might also invest in waterproof, wireless speakers for your bathroom so you are not handling your phone while under water. We all know dropping your phone in the bath water will obviously cancel out all the relaxing you have already achieved.
Surround yourself with Luxurious Towels and a Robe after your Bath
In an article entitled “Make your Own Spa this Valentine’s Day” on the website of Johns Hopkins University, soft, fluffy towels and a cozy robe in which to envelop yourself when you step out of the tub evoke feelings of luxury. Who doesn’t feel relaxed surrounded by such luxurious things?
The article also suggests putting your fluffy towels and bathrobe into the clothes dryer for a few minutes before your bath; the warmth will prolong the warm glow of relaxation. If your budget and bathroom size allow, a heated towel rack will do the job too. And a heated towel rack will keep the towels and bathrobe really warm and cozy while you bathe.
Finally, check out this video on Youtube. It has amazing visuals that will give you ideas to turn your bathroom into your very own private spa. Hopefully, you will then start to relax just by walking into your own private, beautiful, spa-like bathroom.