Relax, unwind and sleep – in your own bedroom
Feeling out of sorts? Need to reawaken and revitalize your over-stressed spirit? A trip to the spa will deliver you from blah and put some zip back in your step – especially if you visit a sleep spa. But would you really pay a spa to lull you to sleep? What if you could create a spa experience at home, a soothing sanctuary of peace and relaxation designed to lull you into blissful slumber?
I hooked you with the blissful slumber part, didn’t I?
Sleep spas are the newest thing with the spa-goer set. It might be a fad or maybe it’s due to our overwhelming sleep deprived culture. As a group, we’re quick to sacrifice sleep in favor of family or work commitments, social media, our favorite shows – feel free to add your own personal vice here. Sleep spas offer sanctuary from the busy-ness of our lives, forcing us to slow down, disconnect and rest.
What if you could reinvent your sleep, slipping into a new you after a great night’s sleep in your own bed? We’re betting you’ll wake up bent on maintaining your status as a newly anointed sleep ambassador. Thankfully creating a sleep spa at home isn’t difficult – as long as you’re focused on the goal.
Remember, a sleep spa is more than just getting a good night’s sleep, it’s about creating an environment that entices relaxation, a cocoon of comfort where sleep is an invited guest.
Set the tone
Walking through the threshold of your bedroom should set a tone of calm and comfort. Eliminate flashy or distracting artwork, bedding and wall coverings and window treatments. The colors you paint your walls matter as much as the bedding – choose colors that sooth rather than shock. Soft sheets, a fluffy pillow and warm blankets also contribute to the welcoming peace of this nest. Add in gentle music or meditation chants and ensure the room has sufficient air flow – being too hot or too cold can kill the mood faster than loud music.
Clean out the clutter
Physical clutter, just like mental clutter, can be a major roadblock to a good night’s sleep. “A cluttered sleep environment makes for a cluttered mind – the kind that churns well into the night,” according to Prevention Magazine. Dedicate 10 minutes each day to removing one pile of stuff – clothes, magazines, knick-knacks, whatever’s taking up space. Your newly simplified bedroom will serve as a natural sedative.
Set a firm boundary on technology
Reserve this room for sleeping, reflecting and romancing. If you must have your phone nearby, store it screen-side down with the ringer on low. Turn off your social media and text notifications as well. If you read books on a tablet, reduce the brightness so your brain is tricked into thinking its morning while you’re reading before bed. If you have kids, enforce an electronic bedtime for the whole family. Dim the lights and say ahhhhh…
Treat your feet
Wooden feet rollers come in all shapes and sizes and although they provide relief from plantar fasciitis, they can also offer simple relaxation before bed. If you don’t have a foot roller, a rolling pin can be used in its place. Simply place the foot roller (or rolling pin) on the on the floor beside your bed and roll your feet back and forth. Repeat 5-10 minutes for each foot.
Bonus tip: Give yourself a hand massage at the same time. Using the thumb and index finger of your left hand, squeeze each finger on your right hand, one by one. Then, gently pull each finger. Switch hands.
Say goodnight to stress and transform your bedroom into a lush and softly fragrant field of lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang or vanilla. These herbs (lavender especially) are known sleep inducers – but take time to find your favorite. I love anything lavender but my husband abhors it – we both love ylang ylang though. Slip a pouch of herbs into your pillow or press essential oils gently into your temples, wrists and ankles – and then lie back and lose track of time.
Set the mood for snoozing
After a tiring day (and before you retire to your bedroom), soothe your tight muscles with a bath/shower combo. Fill the tub with 2 cups of Epson salts, your favorite essential oil and hot water. Sink in with a towel or lounge pillow for you neck. When the water cools, stand up and turn on the shower with cool water, gradually increasing in the temperature to warm again.
Now you’re ready to cross the threshold of your sleep sanctuary, slip between the sheets and enjoy the effects what you’ve created. As you close your eyes, visualize something repetitive, such as sheep jumping one by one over a white picket fence. Use your imagination as a sleep-enhancing ally. Focus on the sheep, pasture, white picket fence, which will leave little mental brain space for worries that keep you awake.