The Art of the Bedtime Ritual
by Bedtime Network co-Founders Cindy Bressler and Lisa Mercurio
At Bedtime Network, we know that it can be incredibly hard if not impossible to maintain bedtime as a sacred time. That’s why we developed the Bedtime Network, the first website dedicated to helping you make your bedtime and sleep experience better. Featuring “7 nights and 7 different coaches,” each of our experts specializes in the various “lifestyles” of bedtime.
We establish bedtime as a longer than imagined period of the day. Specifically, we see it beginning from the moment you return from work until your head hits the pillow. Most folks perceive bedtime as the time at which they literally crawl under their covers, but we know that in true practice, that’s just not long enough! The true art of bedtime or secret to sleep lies in what you do before you get into bed.
In some ways, the technology craze has made our lifestyle that much harder; easier to stay in touch, yes; but in many other ways, much harder when it comes to turning off. We frequently discuss these “social” trends with our coaches who specialize in every aspect of bedtime. From children to adults, we cover everything involved with bedtime: from fitness to sex and relationships, nutrition, style, décor and of course, dreaming.
While it used to be “the dinner hour,” providing families with a time of day to come together, these days, with both parents working, it can be impossible for that time to be the “family time.” So, with that in mind and, with National Sleep Awareness Week just around the corner (March 5-11, 2012), we’ve designed a collection of bedtime rituals that just might help you give the ones you love their best bedtime ever; and at the same time, help you settle down and sink into the land of Nod. Feel free to mix and match. The important point is to create a lasting bedtime ritual that brings you pleasure and peace.
The Art of the Bedtime Ritual from the Bedtime Network Coaches
Bedtime Network’s “NYC Sleep Doctor,” Janet Kennedy and author of our series, “How to Raise a Good Sleeper” says that the key to a good night’s sleep is in keeping your child from becoming overtired. Follow your baby’s schedule. The key to a well-rested child is making sure he or she sleeps often, which you can control, versus long, which you cannot. Just remember, good sleepers aren’t born, they’re raised.”
Bedtime Network’s Nutritionist Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, recommends cuddling up under a blanket with a warm drink as an enormously satisfying bedtime snack. “When selecting evening beverages, you want to be careful and opt for something that is not high in caffeine (which is a stimulant and can cause insomnia and anxiety).”
Bedtime Network’s Fitness Guru Elisabeth Halfpapp has also developed a unique video sequence of bedtime stretches, exclusive for Bedtime Network known as “Night Moves.” Spending just ten minutes each evening with these exercises will allow you to release the tension often held in your neck and throughout your body. These simple “Night Moves,” provide a practical, safe relaxation technique for everyone that can be done anywhere at anytime.
Bedtime Network’s Relationship expert, therapist Nyiri Grigorian says, “Ever notice that your worst arguments with your kids or spouse happen at bedtime? She recommends you, “allow some time to review and look at how you feel; even make some notes. Then, tuck your feelings in for the night. Issues that may begin a fight at night are better solved in the light of day.”
From Bedtime Network’s Sex Therapist Miriam Baker: At bedtime, ask your partner, “What smells good to him/her?” even if it’s baked cookies.” And, she also addresses, “What’s Blocking Your Sex Life? Is it anger, anxiety, perhaps fear. Whatever it is, she recommends that you examine what is standing in the way of you and greater sexual satisfaction at bedtime adding that, “sex at bedtime may actually help you sleep.”
Bedtime Network’s Interior Designer Randy Florke says, “turn off your technology.” “Don’t put a workstation in your bedroom. If space is really an issue and you have to have a desk for your laptop in your bedroom, put it away at night so that you don’t see it if you happen to get up to go the bathroom (which just might cause your mind to start focusing on work at 3 am!) Keep your bedroom clean and clear of outside influences. Above all, focus on you and your loved one!”
PS: Bedtime Network co-Founders Cindy Bressler and Lisa Mercurio are also the co-creators of “Bedtime Beats – The Secret to Sleep,” the 60 to 80 beat per minute musical sleep solution. When used as the foundation for a bedtime ritual for 15 minutes nightly, Bedtime Beats has been proven to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Tranquil. Serene. Beautiful. “We think it helps to keep the “B” in Bedtime and listen to it nightly through our bedphones.”
Bedtime Network is a member of our Wellness Week expert panel. Wellness Week, March 19-25, is your chance to look and feel your best with exclusive spa treatments, private training and more, all at $50 prices or 50% discounts. Learn more at wellnessweek2012.com.