Typically, when people think of a nighttime routine, little children are who come to mind. Yet the reality is this is something that can be super beneficial for us as adults too. While I will be sure to put one together for us single folks sooner than later, today, I wanna offer up some tips for married couples. The reason why is simple. No matter how many husbands and wives that I work with, if there's a common thread that's among them all, it's the fact that they suck when it comes to going to bed. What I mean by that is, unless it's for the purpose of sex, a lot of them don't go to bed together and, if they do, they treat their bedroom either like another home office (laptops and work stuff all over the place) or an entertainment center (watching TV and constantly scrolling online). None of this creates a truly relaxing environment nor does it encourage couples to get in a few moments of intimacy together.
So, let's do it. Let's explore 12 ways that spouses can come up with a nighttime routine that can help them to chill out, sleep better and get closer to one another in the process.
1. Schedule in 30-60 Minutes Together. Every Night.
Around this time last year, I wrote an article entitled "7 Things Married Couples Should Do...At The END Of Their Day". One of the things I mentioned that really can't be expressed enough is the importance of carving out 30 minutes for nothing but quality time — and no, sitting in front of the television doesn't count. The reality is that couples, on average, only spend 2 ½ hours together and that includes the weekends. That's why it comes as absolutely no shock to me that some couples contemplate divorce, simply on the basis of "we grew apart". I mean, how were you gonna get closer if you don't even talk? You schedule in work. You schedule in exercise. You should definitely schedule in quality time with your partner. Making that a part of your nighttime routine is a way to make that happen.
2. Share ONE Need That You Have. THAT Day.
If needs never switched up, our spouse would be able to easily satisfy — as they do the same thing for us — on the daily. However, that isn't even close to being the case. Since no one is a mind-reader (no matter how much some people may think that there are), it's important that you and your boo are given the floor to articulate what your needs may be.
The reason why I think that this is an important part of a nighttime routine is because couples often don't get to really mentally and emotionally connect until they are doing some pillow talking (which is another reason why I think it's important for couples to turn in together, at least a couple of times a night, every week). And why did I say just ONE need? Because you don't want to overwhelm your partner, especially right before they are turning in. Stating one thing gives them enough information to be able to "take your temperature" and ponder without feeling super burdened down. It oftentimes can give them insight on how to approach you the following day as well. And vice versa.
3. Sip on Some Herbal Tea
I mean, I could list red wine here because it can help lull you to sleep (or get you pretty horny) yet at the risk of not trying to turn our readers into a lush, how about some herbal tea instead? While it's not uncommon for some of us to snack on junk food (all sugar and carbs are really gonna do is stimulate you), even while sitting in the bed, teas like chamomile, lemon balm, passionflower, peppermint and kava all contain properties that will relax your nerves and calm your mind. And if you add some honey to your cups, believe it or not, it will provide your brain with enough energy to keep you from waking up (funny how that works, huh?).
4. Put on Some Music
I spend quite a bit of time just randomly researching stuff. Something that I found to be interesting is there happens to be one song that has received constant raves for making people fall asleep. It's called "Weightless" and it's by a Manchester-based band called Marconi Union (it happens to be a whopping 10-hours long, by the way). Anyway, whether it's that or some other kind of playlist that is soothing to you, even if you only listen while getting ready for bed, because soft music is scientifically proven to regulate your hormones (including your stress hormones), if you and your boo have had a hard day, listening to some music together definitely couldn't hurt.
5. Read Together
Here's the thing about this particular point. There's a study that says that spending six minutes reading before turning in can reduce your stress levels by as much as almost 70 percent. Meanwhile, the blue light that comes from your television screen can jack up your melatonin levels and make it more difficult to fall and/or stay asleep. This is just one more reason to either get or keep your television out of your bedroom. As far as reading goes, there is something very romantic and sweet about a couple who decides to cuddle up and read a chapter or two of a book together. When's the last time you and yours did that? Hmm.
6. Swap Out Your Lamp’s Light Bulb
After the two of you have read something, swap out your lamp's bulb to something that is a little more romantically erotic like maybe a purple, blue or even red. It only takes a couple of seconds and can definitely put you and your spouse into the mood of relaxing — or something-else-ing. Speaking of something-else-ing, if you're curious about which color bulb will boost your libido the most, word on the street is that it's orange. Interesting.
7. Incorporate Some Aromatherapy
Something that easily takes more of my money than it should are AirWicks. I like that I can just plug them in and not worry about having to blow them out like candles or that they will create any smoke like incense. That said, whether it's a scented plug-in, a scented soy candle, an oil diffuser, some incense or even sprinkling some essential oil onto your bedding, make sure that you incorporate some aromatherapy into your bedroom space, each and every night. It reduces stress, helps to manage pain, treats headaches and migraines, decreases anxiety and yes, can improves your quality of sleep if you do it on a regular basis; especially if you incorporate it in the way that you're about to check out in the next point.
8. Give Each Other a Hand or Foot Massage
By definition, aromatherapy isn't just about appealing to your sense of smell via plant extracts/essential oils; it's about using these things to allow them to be absorbed through your skin too. This is where a hand and/or foot massage comes in.
By rubbing on the pressure points in your partner's hand, you can help to reduce bodily discomfort and decrease their stress levels. By rubbing the pressure points in their feet, you can assist in increasing blood circulation, reducing tension, fighting depression-related symptoms, reducing swelling and promoting a better night's sleep.
This is especially the case if you rub them down with some lavender oil (7-10 drops) mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil or avocado oil (1/3 cup). The reason why lavender is so effective is it actually increases what is known as "slow-wave sleep" which, at the end of the day, helps to slow your heart rate down and relax your muscles. If you and your spouse take out 5-7 minutes, every night, to do this, there's no telling how much better you'll both feel in the morning! For tips on how to give a hand massage, click here. As far as the feet go, check out this video here.
9. Tell Each Other Something You’re Grateful for (in Your Relationship)
A novelist by the name of Cynthia Ozick once said, "We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." I agree because I can't tell you how many times I have looked at a couple and been like, "When is the last time you actually focused on the good about your relationship — and each other? Lawd." There are many mental health experts who say that our brains are automatically wired to see the down/negative side of things. You know what this means, right? If we want to keep a positive outlook on our relationships, we've got to be intentional about seeing the good. One way to put this into practice is to commit to not closing your eyes for the night without verbally expressing to your spouse something about them that you are grateful for. Make sure you're being sincere. Avoid adding any "buts" to the end of your statement. And don't say the same thing, night after night. You know, they say that it's hard to stay angry or irritated when you're laughing. Same point applies to when you're in a state of gratitude.
10. Turn on a Fan
OK, so I am definitely the person who will set my thermostat to 68 degrees and still have a fan on while I'm sleeping. I like the room to be cold and then to snuggle up in a comforter.
The two main reasons why I think this should be incorporated into a couple's nighttime routine is 1) the room being cooler makes it easier to want to generate some body heat (if you know what I mean) and 2) the sound of a fan can produce white noise.
White noise is dope because it has the ability to drown out any other "background noises" that might make falling asleep difficult.
11. Cuddle. Even If Only for a Little While.
If you've ever heard that it's not the best idea to get anything larger than a queen size bed when you're married, there is some truth to that. Unless one or both of you are very large or tall, choosing a bed that puts distance between you can keep you from touching while you sleep and, on some levels, that can affect intimacy. However, whether you prefer to be up under each other or to kinda do your own thing as you sleep, do make it a part of your nighttime routine to cuddle, at least for 10 minutes. Cuddling also reduces stress. Not only that but it can boost immunity, lower blood pressure, encourage candidness in communication, relieve physical pain and make you hornier. So, whether it's spooning, hugging, putting your head on your man's chest or some other cuddling position, try and get into it for a little while every night. If the two of you are naked, even better!
12. Wake Up At Least 15 Minutes Earlier to Pray Together
Even if you're not the most religious person on the planet, there's no way around the fact that many studies point to there being many health benefits when it comes to prayer. It can boost your self-confidence, make you more empathic, release anxiety, make you more positive and even increase your longevity. There's a Scripture in the Bible that says, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20 — NKJV) Starting off your day by praying with your partner can give you the assurance that you both are closer to the Lord while doing what can benefit your mind, body and spirit, long-term. Can't think of a better reason to make this the cap on your daily nighttime routine. Can you?
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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