A good morning routine starts the night before, with your evening routine. Being prepared beforehand gives you the freedom to have a refreshed and chilled morning, leading to a more positive and productive day.
Evening rituals are important for helping us wind down and get enough sleep.
The benefits of a relaxing evening routine
Sleep better. Having a tranquil, non-stimulating routine before bed ensures you get to (and stay) asleep easier.
More time. Prepare for tomorrow and you’ll waste less time trying to find things and get ready in the morning.
Start fresh. Clear up at the end of each day to start anew when you wake up. Whether that’s tidying your home, clearing your desk, brain dumping all your thoughts or writing a to-do list.
Easier mornings. Being well rested, prepared, and not carrying the worries of yesterday, makes your mornings run so much smoother.
“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” – Bryant McGill
What should I do?
What you decide to do to relax in your evenings is up to you, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Shut down stimulating activities a couple of hours before bed. Such as work tasks, computers and laptops, televisions, tablets, and mobile phones.
- Try brain dumping, to let your mind relax and let go of the things that were racing through your mind.
- Read a book.
- Light stretching
- Deep breathing
- Plan/schedule tomorrow
- Review your goals – short and long term.
- Spend time with your loved ones.
- Tidy up your home, so you start with a clean slate in the morning.
- Try a warm bath or shower. The drop in temperature when you get out will help you sleep soundly.
- Start dimming the lights a couple of hours before you head off to bed.
- Prepare for tomorrow: pack your lunch, lay out clothes, write your to-do list, have your bag ready to go.
What should I avoid?
- Caffeine and bright lights have a negative effect on your sleep. Try to cut out caffeine from your day 4-6 hours before bed, and screen usage 1-2 hours before.
- Leaving too much for the morning. The more tasks you need to complete when you wake up, the more stressful your morning is going to be. Decide as much as possible the night before. Lay out your clothes for the next day, pack your bag and lunch, decide how you’ll fix your hair and what you’ll eat.
- Existing bad habits that affect your sleep, you know what yours are. You stay up late watching TV or scrolling through social media, maybe playing games on your tablet or working till you’re too tired to carry on. None of this is going to help you sleep, so try to kick these bad habits that keep you awake at night.
Allow room for change. If your new routine doesn’t seem to be working right for you, make some tweaks until you find the perfect balance.
Having an “off day” doesn’t mean you failed. Just try again tomorrow, change takes time.
Wake up and fall asleep at the same time, even on the weekends. As much as you like your lie-ins on the weekend, sticking to the same sleep schedule means you don’t have to try to get back into it every week. This will promote adequate sleep every night. So try to go to bed and get up at similar times (within an hour of your weekday times).
If you struggle with getting enough sleep, check out this post.
Do you follow an evening routine? Whether you do or not, let us know why in the comments below.