Sleep is something we cannot have on command. We struggle at most times. If this continues, it will most probably take a toll on our overall performance. In this case, we might need to design a perfect nighttime routine that would help us function better and increase our energy level.
You may wonder what a nighttime routine is. Well, simple – these are the activities you do before going to bed. Nighttime routines may vary depending on the person. But they usually include soothing activities which are discussed further below.
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Why is nighttime routine important?
More often than not, we fall into the habit of feeling anxious. We sometimes overthink the moment before our bedtime. Those thoughts could worsen and escalate which could lead to insomnia.
Setting a nighttime routine, therefore, is as essential as creating morning routines. This is so because your day is largely dependent on your sleep and your sleep is highly dependent on your bedtime routines.
They play a vital role as they take your mind off those stressful things. Your routine at night provides you a restful and high-quality sleep which will definitely help you take on the morning in a more productive way. It likewise keeps your brain sharp throughout the day.
Just imagine yourself sleep-deprived, you would not likely get the most out of your day.
How to do a nighttime routine
Set the mood
Create a comfy bedroom by keeping it quiet and temperate. Home lighting before bedtime also impacts your sleep. Do this by dimming the lights so it would make the room conducive to sleeping.
If you’re living in a noisy neighborhood, earplugs certainly help in canceling such unnecessary noise.
Another way to set the mood is the use of weighted blankets. Believe it or not, weighted blankets are one way to encourage relaxation. The deep pressure touch it provides can trigger hormones that are responsible for combatting stress or anxiety which sometimes keep us awake at night.
Set yourself up for success tomorrow
Planning is the foundation of a successful day and making this a part of your nighttime routine keeps you on track. If you struggle in getting things done the day after, it is then better for you to plan your day ahead. Take your planner and list the things you need to carry out.
If morning chores hold you back, perhaps you can do some of those in the evening. It is no doubt that we sometimes find it hard to choose the proper outfit of the day. So, set some time in the evening to prepare for your outfit in advance.
Mornings are usually hectic. So, by doing some of the chores the night before, you can absolutely free yourself from the hassle of it.
Build Good Habits
Good habits sustain you – they keep you going and more productive. So, take the time before sleeping to develop habits that will help you become the best version of yourself.
Do away from watching violent movies, keeping tabs on nonsensical things, or staying too long online. Those only hinder you from focusing on what makes you successful.
Develop enriching habits such as reading inspiring stories, listening to calming audio, or reflecting on your favorite quotes you’ve come across.
Go to bed at the same time every night
It is indeed crucial to stay on schedule, even on weekends. Thus, train your brain to shut down when it is already time for your sleep. If you sleep at 10 pm, then do your best to follow through.
There are times when you can’t help yourself but toss and turn. Sleep seems to be aloof.
By maintaining a regular sleep schedule, it would make it easier and faster for you to fall asleep. It becomes a reflex for you, so to speak, as your brain would automatically take the hint that it’s bedtime and shut off.
What to do to design a perfect nighttime routine?
1. Read 10 pages of a book
We’ve all heard of the benefits of reading. Reading is not only a tool for education but it is an effective way to reduce emotional or physical tension. However, this may sound a bit tricky as you might have the tendency to read books that are difficult to understand.
Go for easier ones such as Self-help books. You may read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie or anything that piques your attention. That should help you steady or lower your heart rate which will ultimately relax you.
ALSO READ: 10 inspirational books to read
2. Take a warm bath
You can never go wrong with a warm bath. Warm water has the power to heal and relax our worn-out muscles. It perfectly works well after a long day at work.
So, soak in your body in that tub and let the spell of the warm waterworks in your system. Let it warm you up and cool you down naturally. Pair it with a glass of wine to further soothe your tired soul.
3. Turn off phone
Make it a habit to turn your pre-bedtime into a No-Tech Zone. The blue light coming from your devices tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime.
Your brain then works to staying awake – making it harder for you to fall asleep. Thus, it is highly recommended that you say goodbye to your phone an hour before bedtime.
4. Journal your thoughts
Most of us feel restless sometimes. We have so many thoughts rushing through our brains. When this happens, ready your notes and journal them. Pour your thoughts and emotions out.
Journaling is a way of clearing the things that are bugging your mind. By ridding yourself of those, you’ll likely relax and feel a lot better.
5. Cut back on drinking coffee at night
Ideally, you shouldn’t be drinking any caffeinated beverages after 2 pm as this will keep you awake at night. Caffeine stays in our body for as long as 5 hours. That’s according to Medical News Today.
Just imagine drinking two cups of coffee late in the afternoon, you will most likely wake up in the morning feeling like a zombie
6. Relax your muscles
So, here’s the idea. You lie in bed and close your eyes. You start off by relaxing your facial muscles. Here, your mouth would unfashionably open while doing this but that doesn’t matter now. Then try relaxing your legs. Do this with your arms as well.
Let your body go limp. Breathe in. Then, breathe out. Do this as consistently as you could. It really does help me at most times. All thanks to Ali Abdaal for sharing this in one of his productivity videos
7. Avoid drinking alcohol
While drinking alcohol makes you drowsy and eventually falls asleep, it is not a healthy routine. It makes you feel sluggish and irritable when you wake up in the morning.
If it’s done excessively, then it will surely cause you a major headache. That would certainly affect your mood in the morning
8. Do yoga or go for a night walk
Integrating yoga practice into your nighttime routine helps in optimizing the quality of your sleep. It alleviates insomnia and promotes relaxation.
You can opt for a night walk as well. Do this for at least 15 to 20 minutes before hitting the sack. It also helps you clear your mind and take in some fresh air outside.
9. Do something creative
My passion for writing helps me in so many ways and it has been always a part of my nighttime routine. When I feel like my mind is racing, I pour it all out in a blog post. I love playing with words.
It does not only comfort me. It also helps me in harnessing my creativity. So, dig deeper and channel your artistic self. Incorporate doing something creative in your routine and you’ll sooner or later enjoy the perks! I do a lot of bullet journaling too lately.
10. Take an online course
You probably have a course that you have been itching to try in but have been putting on the back burner. Well, it is time for you to make that happen.
Take an online course. Forget all those things that worry you for the time being. Instead, bask in the things you can learn from others.
11. Play games with your partner or family
Catching up with your loved ones can boost feelings of love and happiness. This then sets you in a better mood and makes you feel more at ease.
12. Diffuse essential oils
If you’re suffering from insomnia, then this is absolutely suitable for you. Essential oils are known for their positive effects on one’s health.
They calm your nerves and induce you to sleep. One example is Lavender essential oil. This is popular in reducing the soreness of the muscles and in relieving body pain
13. Do your skin care routine
Grab this opportunity to really look after yourself. If you don’t have a skincare routine, then you might as well insert this in your nighttime routine.
Nourish your skin by putting on some cream or even massage your face with a face roller. I can almost feel how soothing and truly relaxing that is. Not only does it relax your face, but it will truly give you the beautiful sleep you deserve
14. Drink tea
Chamomile tea is one of my favorites as it is widely known for its sleep benefits. As a matter of fact, it is considered a mild tranquilizer and a good way to keep yourself hydrated. A friend of mine recommended I try it.
So, I went and had a cup of it. And indeed, it’s a lifesaver for me. Whatever tea flavor works for you to have a perfect nighttime routine, carry on with that
15. Eat light yet healthy meals before bed
Going to bed on an empty stomach is a big no-no. It no doubt keeps you awake as your stomach continues to grumble. It does no harm for you to snack on something.
But don’t make the mistake of eating too much as this disrupt your sleep. Your body is likely to stay awake a little longer because of digestion. So, just treat yourself to a light, healthy meal before bedtime
16. Create a pre-bedtime playlist
The soothing effect of the music is likely to dissolve anxiety and relax your muscles. If this is something you normally do, then keep going.
17. Write yourself a Thank-You Letter
This may sound like an activity for a grade-schooler but hear me out. Nothing beats congratulating yourself for a job well done. It keeps you more aware of your capabilities and potentials.
It reinforces your courage and makes you game for another adventure. So, don’t hesitate to pen yourself a Thank-You letter. It may be is cheesy but take my word for it – it’s life-changing
18. Work on what you’re passionate about
There’s nothing that could bring a person more fulfillment than working on a particular passion. Ask yourself. What is your passion? What keeps you interested?
Your passion may be is writing a short story or crafting some art. Squeeze this in your nighttime routine. Allocate 15 to 20 minutes to work on it. Whatever it is that makes you tick, put it into action. Work on it
19. Think calming thoughts
It seems difficult to have peaceful thoughts amidst this trying time. But this is when we should summon those thoughts that would certainly make us feel good.
So, instead of fixating yourself with worries or fear of the future, focus your mind on those positive things that took place during the day. This helps you to calm your inner self and therefore, eventually drift you off to sleep.
20. Evaluate your day
Take some time to look back on the things you accomplished. Have you finished the top three tasks on your To-Do List? Yes? Good!
Assessing your day as part of your nighttime routine gives you a happier feeling. By knowing that you’re able to do well with your plans bolsters your success.
OVER TO YOU
Humans are creatures of habits. But such habits could be debilitating rather than making you productive. It is then important for you to double-check your nighttime routines. Optimize them. Get rid of those that are not entirely helpful. I hope you find these tips and suggestions to design a perfect nighttime routine.
Discover what works well for you. Make it a part of your routine. Remember, your success is determined by the small things you do on a daily basis.