You know how grandmas always sprinkle little nuggets of wisdom into everyday conversation? Many are usually about the rituals, habits, and routines they swear by—and they’re right. When it comes to your morning and bedtime routines, in particular, taking your Gran’s advice can make a world of difference.
We start and end each day in the bedroom, and how we go about it can affect us in some pretty major ways. Even the smallest of rituals can change your mood, affect your stress levels, or even create a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.
Let’s look at some of grandma’s advice, and how taking it can improve your mental health and your day.
Starting with one of the most common of grandma’s sayings, always make your bed after you wake up. That feeling you get when straightening out the sheets and propping up pillows has even been studied. The results show it boosts productivity and offers an increased feeling of accomplishment.
Some people make their bed every morning, either because they were taught to do so growing up, or because they don’t want to go to bed in messy sheets later.
Then, there are the folks who have to force themselves to do it because it makes them feel more productive and more likely to complete other organizing and cleaning tasks throughout the day.
No matter which category you fall into, there will always be days when you sleep through your alarm, wake up in a frenzy, and have to leave your bed as is. If you can, just try to make that the exception, rather than the rule, and you can reap the benefits of this habit.
Never mind the 5th Dimension singing those catchy lyrics, your grandma has likely done so, as well, while opening the blinds or drapes to wake you up in the morning. Once again, she wasn’t wrong.
Waking up to a totally dark room isn’t the ideal way to jump-start your circadian rhythm. Of course, it’s also pretty impractical to not have drapes or blinds to shut out the city or neighborhood lights while you sleep. And, of course, privacy is important, too.
That’s where a smart curtain or blind system, like the SwitchBot, comes in. It works with your existing curtains and is incredibly easy to install—no tools, nuts, or bolts required! Then, just download the app to your iPhone or Android phone to set up the timer. It’s also compatible with Alexa.
If smart window treatments are bit much for you, you might want to consider a sunrise-simulation alarm clock, like this one from JALL. It has seven light settings you choose from, a snooze button, and an FM radio.
For an even greater effect, open your windows first thing and inhale that fresh morning air. This will activate those brain cells and get you ready for your day.
Grandmas have long been obsessed with tucked-in shirts. Although fashion trends often disagree, once again, your gran knows best. Sleeping with your shirt tucked in will keep you much warmer on cold winter nights.
When you sleep, your body temperature drops. You’re also more likely to be exposed to a cold breeze sweeping over your skin, so cover that tummy.
Also, it might be obvious, but avoid wearing tight, scratchy pajamas. Not only will you sleep better if you’re comfortable, but pj’s made of soft, breathable fabrics will also give your body a chance to sweat and detox. They’ll also allow your body to continue to take in the oxygen from the air around you.
The LOLLO VITA Loungewear Set is a good choice for ladies. The polyester, cotton, and spandex blended material is perfect for sleeping or just relaxing around the house. It’s also available in a ton of colors.
For guys, good old-fashioned broadcloth remains a popular choice, but this short set from U2SKIIN updates the style a bit and makes for a cooler sleeping experience. And, of course, you can still tuck in that shirt.
In addition to breathing in some fresh air yourself first thing in the morning, opening the windows allows your bedroom to air out as well. It’ll also help purify your environment, let out stale air, and invite fresh oxygen in. This will make your bedroom a much healthier place to sleep in later on.
If you live in a cold climate or a more polluted city area, you might want to invest in an air purifier, like this model from LEVOIT. This will also help eliminate any particles or allergens you might be inhaling from your pets, or even cooking residue. Get in the habit of turning it on as soon as you wake up.
Your grandma might not have known anything about smartphones, but she did know that bedtime meant no distractions. Perhaps she read you a story, or instructed you to close your eyes and “imagine” or “count sheep.”
That’s another point for grandma! Take her advice and remove all technology from your bedroom. This will liberate you from that disruptive blue light and radiation.
If you must charge your phone overnight in your bedroom, keep it as far away from you as possible. This will prevent you from reaching for it in the middle of the night or scrolling through Instagram until way past midnight.
Avoid placing a TV in your bedroom, as well. It’s best to separate your living room from your bedroom as much as possible. Whenever you can, allow at least an hour to pass between shutting off the TV and actually climbing under the covers.
At bedtime, do some reading, meditate, or listen to relaxing music. Anything that reduces stress and gives your brain a break from moving images is a good idea.
If you’re unable to sleep in a completely silent environment, consider getting a noise machine, like this one from HoMedics. It features six soothing sounds, including White Noise, Thunder, Ocean, Rain, Summer Night, and Brook.
There are some things in life that will always be true, and your grandma’s advice about morning and bedtime routines is one of them. So, let that sunlight in first thing in the morning, breathe in some fresh air, and tuck in that shirt.