Today, I want to share with you a really beautiful bedtime routine to help you de-stress. I’ve heard a lot over the past year from clients in my Fertility Warrior Intensive program that they either cannot get to sleep at night because their brain is just going in overdrive with basically all of their fears, all of things that could go wrong, all of the things that could not work. Or they wake up in the middle of the night feeling just really anxious and tense, worried about this infertility shitstorm that they’re in.
I completely get it, I wanted to share with you some of the tips that I have given the ladies in the Fertility Warrior Intensive and who I used to give my one-to-one clients as well. This is a really beautiful bedtime routine for anyone who struggles with that.
Here are my suggestions. You can do all of them but you don’t have to. You choose. These will really help you feel a lot more calm, composed, positive, and hopeful when you are trying to go to sleep. Okay?
sleep strategy #1: apple cider vinegar and honey
The first thing that you might like to do if you would like to help yourself feel a little bit more sleepy is to try a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey, warm. You’d want to add a little bit of apple cider vinegar, so maybe one to two teaspoons with a little bit of honey and some hot water as a little drink to take before you go to bed. It’s just a really nice kind of drink that works wonders.
I am a big fan of apple cider vinegar and it’s one of the things that I do every day is I add apple cider vinegar to my water every single day and it’s amazing. Apple cider vinegar has been my absolute number one favorite because it helps me just feel a lot better throughout the day. I sometimes also feel like I can’t just drink water through the day, and apple cider vinegar gives the water a different taste. So if you want something that will help you feel a little bit sleepy, warm apple cider vinegar and honey.
sleep strategy #2: legs up the wall
After having your apple cider vinegar and water, put your legs up a wall for 10 minutes. This is a yoga pose, it’s called, I think, the karani pose. You don’t want your legs to be completely 90 degrees against the wall, so just a couple of inches off the wall, and you want to have your legs up a wall for about 10 minutes. There’s a lot of benefits to doing this. One of them is that it increases circulation, but it also stimulates your relaxation in your body through multiple ways, and part of that is because you’ll often be breathing a lot calmer, a lot deeper in this pose. For some of it, it might just be the way that you are laying with your spine and things like that. But it’s really good for helping slow down your body.
While you’re doing this, you can do whatever you want. You might listen to a podcast, you might listen to a meditation. Just really focus on relaxing. For 10 minutes before you go to bed, just focus on relaxing with your legs up the wall.
sleep strategy #3: magnesium spray
The next thing that you might do is you might use magnesium spray. This has been something that’s been really helpful for me for probably the last five years and I don’t do it every night, but if you ever feel like you get sort of cramps in your legs at night or restless leg syndrome, spraying magnesium for a few nights helps. Out of all of the minerals out there, magnesium is the one that they say is so good for sleep. It’s another one of these things that really helps relax your body. When you first start using it, it might sting, so you may want to use it just on the balls of your feet initially, but I usually do it sort of on my thighs. I just give a few sprays.
How is this different, you may be asking, to magnesium tablets? They say that magnesium is so much better absorbed topically, so through the skin, than through tablets. Whenever you’re going for magnesium, I always like to go for a magnesium spray, and that’s a really nice thing that you could add into your bedtime routine to just help you, again, get into that deeper sort of sleep mode.
sleep strategy #4: positive thoughts
Now, the next couple of things that I’m going to talk about are really important and these are the things that I want you to start doing right before bed if you can. The reason for this is because some people say that whatever your last thoughts are before you go to sleep, those last thoughts can repeat on you in your subconscious throughout the night. If you are a person who wakes up at three o’clock in the morning feeling really anxious, maybe that’s because that’s how you’ve gone to bed. You’ve gone to bed with that energy, and so then that’s repeated and then repeated and then … in their subconscious until it’s woken you up from their sleep.
Instead of going to bed thinking about all of the things that could go wrong, thinking about all of the fears and anxieties and all of the things that aren’t going right for us, what if we started to try and flip that and started to actively try and think about all of the things that could go right? Or all of the things that we’re grateful for. You know that I’m a big fan of practicing gratitude. When we go to bed with a grateful heart, when we go to bed thinking of all the things that go right, or when we go to bed visualizing this amazing picture of us holding a baby. For me, I had pictures of myself holding a baby but I also had these favorite picture of me walking down the street with a little girl.
When we go to bed with those thoughts in our mind, then those are the things that repeat on us in our subconscious. That can help us feel more hopeful, more positive as we go to sleep. Then we’re not having those negative draining thoughts repeating on us throughout the night.
You may want to start a journal. I do actually struggle to journal at night, so I usually do my journal first thing in the morning. I am a super early bird. The time I wake up is a ridiculous time most mornings, but that is what really works for me. I also go to bed ridiculously early, but I wake up really early in the morning. I like to have a coffee or a decaf coffee first thing in the morning and that’s when I usually write in my journal. But before I go to bed, I’ll usually do, just in my head, sort of visualizations and things like that. But the way that I journal is I first do the what I call the blur. I just get out what I need to get on paper. I don’t script it, I don’t do anything, I don’t have like a formula for it. I truly, truly just write out whatever I want to write out on paper, even if that’s like writing a part of my to do list for the next day. It’s literally just blur on paper.
But then I always try to end with three gratefuls. I’m very big on my gratefuls. I try to end my journal entry every day with three gratefuls, and then I end my journal entry with what I call the 10 things. This is 10 things that I am visualizing for my future. I don’t write them in future tense, like “I will do this.” I write them as if they’ve already happened. Like they are going to happen. They change every so often, fairly regularly actually, but you know … and I write things like “I am an exceptional wife.” Those are the things that I write. As if it’s already there.
So I write my 10 things in there, I write my three gratefuls, and I write my blur. My blur goes at the beginning. I get it all out, let it all out, and then I re-focus my attention on my gratefuls and my 10 things.
You may wish to do some journaling, and then it’s up to you. If you didn’t meditate with your legs up a wall for 10 minutes, then you might wish to do a meditation to really help calm yourself before bed, get you into that mood. You can set, I think there’s some apps that you can get for meditation that have an auto off, that that will just automatically switch off when they finish.
sleep strategy #5: visualization exercise
If you listened to my podcast with fertility coach Stephanie Roth, she talked about writing her story down. She would write her story, like I’ve just said, in terms of my 10 things, she wrote it as if this is what was happening and she rewrote it every time things changed. You might have something where you have a similar document and you might just reread that document before you go to bed. It’s all about reframing those last thoughts before we go to bed, but also helping ourselves get into a really relaxed mood.
Then when we have this ritual, if we have the exact same things that we do every night before we go to bed, it’s really signaling to our body that it’s time for sleep, it’s time for relaxation. Takes 21 days to make a habit, 21 days to break a habit. If you only aim to do this for 21 days, rather than saying, “This is what I’m going to do forever more, forever after,” just aim for 21 days and then see. I would love for you to test this if you’re having any trouble sleeping. I’d love for you to test out this routine and see how it goes and let me know because I feel really confident, based on the results that we’ve had for members in the Fertility Warrior Intensive and also who I used to have in my one-to-one coaching, that this is something that would work for pretty much anyone and can really help you get a good night’s sleep and feel more positive, not just when you go to sleep but on the whole.
So let me just recap that for you. Hot apple cider vinegar and honey drink, then legs up the wall for 10 minutes, a little bit of magnesium spray, and then your journal, and then you might end with a meditation or a visualization exercise. These are some of the things that I think will really help you.