When it comes to sleep, women are often the masters of the bedtime routine. From elaborate skincare regimens to midnight snack attacks, there’s no shortage of crazy things women do before sleep. But why do women put so much effort into their pre-sleep rituals? And are these habits actually helpful or harmful for sleep quality?
The bedtime beauty routine
For many women, the bedtime beauty routine is a sacred ritual. This can involve anything from removing makeup to applying face masks and hair treatments. While these practices can be enjoyable and relaxing, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks. For example, leaving products on the skin or hair for too long can clog pores and cause irritation. Additionally, some products can contain ingredients that disrupt sleep, such as caffeine or fragrances. To make the most of your bedtime beauty routine, consider choosing products with gentle, natural ingredients, and limiting the amount of time you spend applying them.
Pajama parties and sleepovers
Sleepovers and pajama parties aren’t just for kids — many women enjoy these events as well. Whether it’s a group of friends getting together for a night of movies and snacks or a more structured event like a bachelorette party, sleepovers can be a fun way to socialize and unwind. Of course, they can also be a bit wild and crazy — think pillow fights and karaoke sessions. While it’s important to let loose and have fun, it’s also important to prioritize sleep hygiene. Consider setting a “lights out” time and providing guests with sleep masks and earplugs to ensure everyone gets a good night’s rest.
Scrolling through social media
It’s no secret that social media can be addictive — and this can be especially true at night. Many women find themselves scrolling through Instagram or TikTok long after they should have gone to bed. Unfortunately, this habit can have negative consequences for sleep quality. The blue light emitted by electronic screens can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, social media can be emotionally stimulating, causing stress or anxiety that makes it even harder to unwind. To combat this, consider setting a bedtime “curfew” for social media use, or even banning electronic devices from the bedroom altogether.
The midnight snack attack
There’s something about late-night snacking that can be especially tempting. Whether it’s a sweet treat or a salty snack, many women find themselves raiding the fridge or pantry before bedtime. While the occasional snack isn’t necessarily harmful, eating a large meal or high-sugar foods can disrupt sleep quality. Instead of indulging in unhealthy snacks, consider choosing healthier options like fruit, nuts, or yogurt. Additionally, consider setting a cutoff time for eating to give your body time to digest before bedtime.
Binge-watching TV shows
With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, binge-watching TV shows has become a popular pastime. However, watching too much TV before bed can be harmful to sleep quality. The bright lights and stimulating content can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. To avoid this, consider limiting screen time before bed, or choosing more calming activities like reading or listening to music.
Pre-sleep exercise routine
Exercise can be beneficial for sleep quality, but working out too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect. The physical stimulation of exercise can make it harder to relax and fall asleep. Instead, consider incorporating gentle exercises like yoga or stretching into your bedtime routine. These activities can help to calm the mind and prepare the body for sleep.
Dream journals and meditation
Some women like to reflect on their dreams or meditate before bed. These practices can be beneficial for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Keeping a dream journal can also help to process emotions and work through subconscious thoughts. If you’re new to meditation or dream journaling, consider starting with a guided meditation or journaling prompt to help you get started
Checking and rechecking everything
Many women have a tendency to obsessively check and recheck things before bed. This can include checking that doors and windows are locked, making sure the oven is turned off, or confirming that the alarm is set. While it’s important to ensure that everything is in order, this habit can become disruptive to sleep. To avoid this, try to establish a routine before bed that includes checking and securing everything. Once you’ve completed the routine, resist the urge to check again.
Writing to-do lists
For some women, writing a to-do list before bed can be a helpful way to clear the mind and prepare for the next day. However, it’s important to strike a balance — writing a long, detailed list can be overwhelming and cause stress. Instead, try to keep the list short and focused on the most important tasks. This can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Deep cleaning and organizing
Some women find that cleaning and organizing their space before bed can help them to relax and sleep better. While this can be a productive habit, it’s important to avoid becoming too perfectionistic. Spending hours deep cleaning or obsessively organizing can actually increase stress and anxiety. Instead, try to set a time limit for cleaning and organizing, and focus on making small improvements rather than trying to achieve perfection.
Having a nightcap
Many women enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail before bed. While alcohol can initially have a sedative effect, it can actually disrupt sleep quality later in the night. Additionally, alcohol can cause dehydration and other health problems if consumed in excess. To avoid these negative effects, consider limiting alcohol consumption before bed or choosing non-alcoholic alternatives.
Planning for the next day
Similar to writing a to-do list, some women find that planning for the next day before bed can be helpful for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. This can involve laying out clothes, packing a bag, or preparing breakfast in advance. However, it’s important to strike a balance — obsessively planning and worrying about the next day can actually increase stress and anxiety. Instead, try to focus on the most important tasks and leave the rest for the morning.
Primping and preening
Some women enjoy primping and preening before bed, whether it’s taking a luxurious bath or applying a face mask. While these practices can be enjoyable and relaxing, it’s important to consider the time and effort involved. Spending too much time on beauty routines can cut into valuable sleep time and disrupt sleep quality. To optimize these habits for better sleep, try to limit the amount of time you spend on them and consider incorporating them into a broader bedtime routine.
Counting sheep is a classic technique for falling asleep, but it’s not always effective. For some women, the repetitive nature of counting can actually increase anxiety and make it harder to sleep. If counting sheep isn’t working for you, consider trying other relaxation techniques like deep breathing or visualization.
Cuddling with pets
Many women enjoy cuddling with their pets before bed. While this can be a comforting and relaxing habit, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks. Pets can be disruptive to sleep, whether it’s through snoring, scratching, or other behaviors. Additionally, pets can carry allergens that can cause irritation or other health problems. To optimize this habit for better sleep, consider establishing boundaries with your pet, such as not allowing them on the bed, or choosing a separate sleeping space for them.
Listening to music
Listening to music before bed can be a relaxing and enjoyable habit. However, it’s important to choose the right type of music. Loud or upbeat music can be stimulating and disrupt sleep, while soft, slow music can promote relaxation and better sleep. Additionally, using headphones or earbuds can help to reduce noise and distractions from the surrounding environment.
Meditating or practicing yoga
Meditation and yoga are practices that can promote relaxation and reduce stress. For some women, incorporating these practices into their bedtime routine can be helpful for improving sleep quality. However, it’s important to find a practice that works for you and to avoid becoming too perfectionistic. Even just a few minutes of meditation or yoga can be beneficial for better sleep.
Browsing social media
Many women have a habit of browsing social media before bed, whether it’s scrolling through Instagram or checking Facebook. However, this habit can be detrimental to sleep quality. The blue light emitted from electronic devices can disrupt the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Additionally, engaging with social media content can be stimulating and cause anxiety. To optimize your sleep, consider limiting or avoiding social media use before bed.
Talking to a partner or friend
Finally, some women find that talking to a partner or friend before bed can be helpful for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. However, it’s important to consider the timing and content of these conversations. Discussing stressful or upsetting topics before bed can actually increase anxiety and make it harder to sleep. Instead, try to focus on positive or neutral topics, and avoid engaging in heated or emotional conversations.
Overall, there are many crazy things that women do before sleep, some of which can be helpful for promoting relaxation and better sleep, while others can be detrimental. By finding a balance and optimizing your habits, you can create a bedtime routine that promotes optimal sleep quality and overall well-being.