Why a Night Routine Matters

A night routine is the things you do immediately prior to going to bed.

Three benefits of having a decent night routine:

  • You’ll have a more restful and higher-quality sleep.
  • You’ll be able to tackle the morning in a smoother and more productive way.
  • Your brain will be sharper throughout the next day.
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Time Management

lifehack.org

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Immediately After Work…
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may make you drowsy, but the sleep you get won’t be restful. Stop consuming it at least two hours before bed.
  • Have a healthy dinner. 

    When you need a snack closer to bedtime, reach for something light and healthy.

  • Take time to tidy. Waking up in an orderly space will work wonders for your mood.

  • Prepare for tomorrow. 

    When you don’t have a million things to do upon waking, it’s easier to fall asleep.
  • Take time for yourself. Perhaps you watch an episode of your favorite show or play video games.
Have a Clear Plan

Think about what you want to include in your night routine, and then write it downMake it as clear and simple as possible, so you’ll have the best chance of following it. 

Once you’ve followed your night routine long enough, you’ll no longer need to refer to your plan – as it will have become a habit.

Right Before Going to Sleep…
  • Take care of hygiene rituals. Besides brushing your teeth and washing your face, take a warm bath, or hot shower, before bed.
  • Practice bedtime yoga. Bedtime yoga activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers relaxation.
  • Go to sleep at the same time every night.
One Hour Before Bed…
  • Step away from the screens. The blue light from electronics interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone necessary for restful sleep.
  • Read a book. Six minutes of reading can ease the tension of stress in the human body and calm your nerves.
  • Reflect on your day. Consider what worked and didn’t work today. Write lingering thoughts or reflections in your journal.
  • Plot out tomorrow’s schedule. Write top priorities for tomorrow in a planner or notebook.
  • Give some gratitude. Write down at least one thing you’re thankful for each day.

When you first start to implement your night routine, it would be foolish to rely 100% on your mind and willpower. Instead, use digital alarms to remind you of things like when to go to bed.

After a month or so, you probably won’t need the alarms, as your night routine will have become a positive habit.

Before You Head Home…
  • Get rid of caffeine after 4:00 pm. Caffeine stays in your system for up to six hours.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and tired when you want to be awake.

  • Decide when the workday ends. Establish a cut off time for work-related emails and phone calls as well.

Choose smaller, easier to complete goals that will give you a sense of achievement.

It maybe easier for you to implement your desired changes over a few days or weeks. For example, the first change to your night routine could be started straight away – by having a glass of water just before you go to bed. Other changes you could phase into your routine.

However, try to make sure your night routine is fully in place within 30 days.

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RELATED IDEAS

The Brain as a Snowy Hill

The snowy hill represents the brain, the people sledding are like the memories, and the trails left behind are the synapses in the brain.

Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.

Shut down those activities that stimulate your mind, such as work, emails, internet browsing and even watching TV. 

Try reading a book, taking a bath, listening to music or practicing some gentle yoga or meditation. Develop rituals that work for you.

Get on a sleep schedule

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is a must if you want to get on a good sleep schedule and train yourself to wake up early.

Stick to your sleep schedule every day, including your days off, and your body will eventually begin waking up naturally.

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