Considering the past year and a half in quarantine with a global pandemic, it’s little wonder 60% of Americans are burned out. And if this experience has taught us anything, it’s that prioritizing self-care is critical (and as a friendly reminder, that includes anything you do to keep yourself healthy—physically, mentally, and spiritually).
That’s why we launched our Sunday nighttime routines series. We wanted to learn more about the end-of-week rituals from women we admire, how they foster respite and calm while reducing overwhelm before the busy week begins. Because just like a good night equals a good morning, a happy Sunday brings a happy week.
This week we’re spotlighting powerhouse mom of two, Tiffany Paul, founder of The Slept Life (a curated collection of modern sleep essentials) and host of the Dream Life Podcast (candid conversations around living life on your own terms and creating the life of your dreams).
Keep reading to learn more about Paul’s Sunday nighttime routine, how she powers down before she kicks off the week, and why setting a bedtime intention is key to a good night’s sleep.
8:00 PM: Kids Are Down and the Energetic Clean Up Begins
My routine starts at 8 p.m. after my kids are in bed. Trying to get a two- and a four-year-old into bed, although exhausting, is not relaxing. The first thing I do after the kids are in bed is clear the space, literally and energetically, by putting on some relaxing music, cleaning up toys and dishes, burning some sage, and lighting a lavender orange candle. This completely shifts the energy in the home and I can begin to wind down.
8:30 PM: Sunday Nighttime Routine Kicks Off
I’ll finish up my evening glass of wine during clean-up, then switch to a nightly rose tea or a chilled Aurora Elixir CBD drink. As much as I love my nightly wine, I implemented this habit two years ago after I discovered the negative effects of alcohol on your sleep quality. Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but it disrupts the sleep cycle causing more night wakings and can even prevent you from reaching the deep stages of sleep, specifically REM which is essential for optimal mind and body performance and waking up feeling refreshed. As a result, many sleep experts suggest reducing alcohol within four hours before bed to promote better sleep quality. And while I occasionally indulge in wine up until bedtime, most nights I try and follow this guideline and my sleep has never been better.
After pouring myself a cup of tea, I’ll pop on a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses and do a final social media scroll and delete the apps off my phone. If I don’t, I always find myself on them later in the evening. I use my phone for my nightly music, meditation, white noise and to keep an eye on the clock, so it’s not feasible for me to leave my phone in another room to limit the temptation to scroll.
Next, I usually take a quick look at tomorrow’s schedule and list out anything urgent or pressing I need to accomplish that day. This keeps me from stressing out about it later in bed since I know it’s accounted for in writing and there’s nothing I can do about it tonight. To avoid getting into work mode, I use what I like to call an evening pen, which is just a beautiful pen to make my final to-dos and list out my gratitude. I’m currently loving this gratitude journal for my nightly gratitude practice because of the added prompts in addition to space to list out my nightly gratitude.
From there, I’ll lower the lights and put on a podcast as I do some light stretching or yoga poses. To me, podcasts are my version of “reading” before bed. My evening yoga mat is this gorgeous soft touch microfiber mat that is super cozy, not to mention beautiful. After some stretching, I move into a 15-minute manifesting meditation by Heidi Stevens. I’m obsessed with this meditation because it can be done laying down on a yoga mat or in bed and begins with four minutes of binaural beats which are so calming and relaxing before moving into several manifesting affirmations. I like to pair this meditation with my satin-weighted eye mask to really relax and drop in.
After my meditation, I head upstairs to bathe or shower. Most days I opt for a shower, but when I’ve had a really stressful day, I’ll opt for a bath and drop in my favorite mystery crystal bath bomb which dissolves leaving a crystal behind to reflect on.
Whether it’s showering or bathing, science shows that bathing one to two hours before bedtime in water of about 104-109F can significantly improve your sleep. The hot water lowers your core body temperature, as it works to counteract the external heat. Lowering your core body temperature is an important part of the body’s process of falling asleep. If you’ve ever struggled to fall asleep when it’s too warm, you’ll understand the importance of keeping cool to improve sleep.
Even a quick shower can aid in better sleep and so most days, that’s what I opt for. I love the ritual of washing away the day and climbing into bed clean. Before a bath or shower, I always brush my hair with the brush no. 001 from Crown Affair. It’s so soothing to my scalp and on wash days, it helps to loosen any buildup and exfoliate my scalp.
My current shampoo and conditioner obsession is the Oribe Signature line. I finish with the hair towel from Crown Affair which I love for how fast it dries my tresses and also for how secure it is on my head as I move into applying my body lotion and change into pajamas. I love the Necessaire body lotion because of its fast absorption and then I slip into my Lunya washable silk PJs set—the fabric feels like butter and it keeps me cool throughout the night.
If I’m air drying my hair, I’ll apply Crown Affair’s hair oil to the ends (which smells amazing) and then comb through with their comb no. 002. If I am blow drying, I’ll protect my strands from the heat with the Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray. On non-hair washing days, I love using the Shhowercap, because of its chic design and ability to protect my hair from the humidity of a hot shower.
From there, I’ll use my Nuface to tone and tighten, apply my skincare and my Laneige lip mask. Before getting into bed, I like to diffuse lavender and apply a pillow spray. Depending on my mood I’ll switch up my pillow spray between lavender, rose or a divine scent called St. Malo with notes of honeydew, ginger, and violet. I love how fresh and soothing the scent is and unlike your traditional bedtime scents.
When I’m cozy in bed, I’ll pull an oracle card from my Rumi deck and read and reflect on the message. I love the Rumi deck because the messages are intended for the heart, rather than the head, and the last thing we need before bed is to get stuck in our minds. Rumi was a Persian poet whose words I find beautifully moving in regard to connecting to our highest self and embracing the mysteries of life. I love ending my day connecting back to self, while also opening up to any spiritual guidance that may come through in this quiet and relaxed state, or even through my dreams.
The last thing I do is hold my amethyst crystal and set my bedtime intention, for example, an intention for deep and restorative sleep. I find the simple act of bringing yourself to the present moment feeling the crystal in hand and setting a positive intention for sleep really helps. If my mind starts racing, I bring myself back to my bedtime intention. Some say crystals have healing or soothing properties but beyond that I just like using them as a tool for mindfulness before bed.
Finally, I turn on some white noise and pop on my satin-weighted eye mask no. 1. The gentle pressure across my eyes is not only calming but blocks out any extra light which is important for quality sleep. If I’m having a particularly anxious evening, I’ll use the satin weighted eye mask no. 2 which applies weighted pressure not only to the eyes, but the side of the head and features 12 ounces of weight versus four ounces. For me, a weighted blanket always felt like too much, but I swear by my weighted eye mask, applying just enough pressure to help calm the mind and help me fall asleep and stay asleep—no Sunday Scaries here!
What does your Sunday nighttime routine look like? Share it with us below.