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Nighttime routines may simply seem like our preferred way to wind down after a long day, but as it turns out, the ritual we choose can be telling on a much deeper level. “Before bedtime, we are getting ready to transition into sleep and slip into another consciousness,” says Stan Tatkin, Psy.D., an assistant clinical professor at UCLA and author of Wired for Love. “So how we prepare ourselves to do this can give a lot of insight into our subconscious, personality traits and desires.” Pick the ritual that you do right before hitting the hay (or the one that most appeals to you) and read on to see what secrets it reveals.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS?
You’re warm and centered.
Whether you say a prayer, meditate for a few minutes or spend a little time thinking about the things you are grateful for, doing these pre-bed activities indicate that you’re an upbeat, sweet and balanced soul. “You treasure family above all else,” say Janet and Chris Attwood, the coauthors of _Your Hidden Riches: Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning and Purpose. _Favoring this ritual shows you have a sunny outlook, can stay calm in any situation and never take your blessings for granted.
HAVE A GLASS OF WINE?
You’re a go-getter.
Unwinding with a glass of wine shows that you are someone who strives for excellence, never settles for less and is in touch with your emotions. “This type is very social by nature and thrives on attention,” say the Attwoods. While you are a social butterfly, you also treasure quiet moments of “me time” that give you the chance to collect your thoughts.
LAY OUT CLOTHES?
“The ritual of laying out clothes and preparing for the next day is a hallmark of someone who is self-assured, knows where her life is going and loves to keep things scheduled,” says Ben Michaelis, Ph.D., author of Your Next Big Thing. “You always have the confidence to meet any challenge and you tend to see the glass half full.” You have a very clear-cut vision of an ideal world and will let nothing come in the way of reaching your goals. That may be why others count on you to get things done, knowing that it will all turn out for the best in your very capable hands.
TAKE A BUBBLE BATH?
You’re a problem solver.
Easing into a warm, relaxing bath means you’re a deep thinker who is thrilled to be challenged by a seemingly impossible puzzle. “You have a strong intellect and love to solve problems,” say the Attwoods. “You are at your best when you can discover new ways of doing things.” This ability makes you the go-to person when anyone needs help thinking something through. But you’re not always all about business—you also like to let your mind wander and often daydream to see things in new ways.
KEEP A JOURNAL?
You’re a visionary.
Jotting down thoughts before bed indicates you are creative and very curious. You love to better understand how things work and always want to know the “why” of the matter. Your unique ideas often open the minds of others. In fact, a familiar refrain of friends and family when they are around you is, “I never thought of it that way!”