It's the simple things that have a big impact on your relationship. And your bedtime routine is one of them.
No matter how your day went, those few quiet moments you spend with your partner at the end of each day could be what keeps you both emotionally close and affectionate. Especially at the end of those chaotic or super stressful days, taking time out to reconnect with each other makes all the difference. Here's what happy couples do before bedtime.
It's great to sync up your bedtime and hit the bed together. From brushing your teeth side-by-side or even taking a shower together, it helps you both unwind together. "These decompressing rituals send a signal to our body that it's time to shut down," said psychologist, Kristin Davin, according to HuffPost. "Giving ourselves the time to shut down starts the process of getting a good night's sleep." What's more, getting a scoop of ice cream for your partner after dinner or washing each other in the shower are simple bedtime rituals that build intimacy between you two.
As you get ready for bed, spend some time telling each other about your day or have some pillow talk. It's sort of a way for you and your partner to check up on each other and reconnect after a long day. Keep things simple and avoid important discussions in bed. "Don't start a fight or make big decisions right before bed," said relationship therapist, Julienne B. Derichs told Bustle. "Instead, take turns talking, show genuine interest, communicate understanding, and try to express a 'we against others' attitude. Let him or her know that the two of you are in this together. That you are a team."
Reserve the bedroom as a space just for you and your partner to be intimate with each other, and it's best to keep electronics such as your phone and TV outside. "Use the bed as a way to connect and be intimately close to your partner before going to bed, said Dr. Kimber Shelton, licensed psychologist and relationship expert, according to Elite Daily. "Habits such as using the phone or computer, doing work in bed, and watching TV in the bed can distract from emotional and physical intimacy. Avoiding the use of devices in the bed can give the couple more time for talking, working through issues, cuddling, and falling asleep together."
There could be days where you argue or have some conflict between you two, but it's best to talk things out before you get ready to sleep and not take your fights into bed. If you haven't reached a conclusion, it's best to pause your arguments and go to bed with a clear, relaxed mind. "While resolving ... conflict may seem implausible in the hour before bedtime, studies have shown that going to bed angry affects sleep patterns, the prevalence of bad dreams, and the overall mood one can experience upon waking," said counselor, Jeff Larsen.
Physical touch is important in cementing your bond together. And being intimate need not mean you have to have sex every night. Lying in bed and cuddling is enough to help you de-stress at the end of the day and bond with your partner. "A long, romantic kiss can release the hormones that give you both the feeling of wanting more," said couples therapist, Jeannie Ingram. All the stress and worries that you may have been carrying with you through the day starts fading away as well.
As you cuddle and just before you slowly drift away into sleep, it's the perfect way to end the day by saying "I love you" or "goodnight". Therapist, Kimberly Hershenson said, "These words or actions help you feel connected, feel loved, and help you end your day on a positive note." It reminds you both of how much you mean to each other and that you're happy in the relationship, and this ends up being your very last thought before your mind slips into a night's worth of restful sleep.