No one can dispute the importance of a terrific morning routine for a seamlessly smooth-running day. But what about the significance of having night routines and rituals for success? Having a set way of ending your day is a powerful course of action to ensure great, regenerative sleep. Similarly, finishing your day strong with a core group of healthy habits ensures a rested, productive version of you the next morning.
The main thing to remember when developing your nighttime routine is consistency. Include only activities you can stick with for the long-haul. It is also essential to know what works for someone else might not be right for you. The pattern of activities leading up to a great night sleep must be practices you can make healthy habits and maintain over time. Consistency is the key.
Seven best practices for ending your day strong
The first three items on this list are recommended practices everyone will benefit from doing. The following four items are tested and effective rituals and routines, but they might not be right for everyone. Keep in mind, your night routine needs to be tailored to your needs and preferences.
- Everyone should have a set time to go to bed at night and wake in the morning. This consistency will eventually regulate your body into a sleep pattern. Getting to bed at the same time every night is essential, but maybe not quite as important as waking at a regular time. Even if you have an occasional late-night, don’t allow yourself to sleep in. Even though it will be tempting, try not to deviate from the pattern you have established. Soon, you will find yourself feeling better and more rested throughout your day.
- Everyone should set the scene for a successful night’s sleep. If you have a lot of light filtering into the room at night, consider purchasing a set of blackout shades to darken the room. Also, invest in a quality mattress and pillows that are comfortable and supportive. Ensuring your comfort is one of the most critical steps of any nighttime routine.
- Screen light is undoubtedly harmful to your sleep, but also quite unavoidable at times. If possible, everyone will benefit from turning off all electronics a few hours before going to sleep. But sometimes the urge to unwind with some television right before bed is too strong to suppress. In these cases, wearing blue light blocking glasses will limit the damage of screen light. These glasses are inexpensive and work remarkably well. At about $20 from Amazon, you can afford to invest in a couple of pairs to keep in strategic places around the house. The ones with the orange lens might look a little strange at first, but they work the best.
- Bouts of insomnia are enough to lead even the most strong-minded person to try unnatural, habit-forming sleep aids. However, melatonin, other over the counter sleep inducing medications, and prescription drugs are not the answer to getting truly restful sleep. Instead, try meditation as part of your wind-down routine. With a short and simple guided meditation session right before bed, overthinkers can turn off their brains and get to sleep faster.
- Another great habit to include in your evening routine is drinking a special bedtime tea. This formula is simple, tasty, and effective. Add a little apple cider vinegar and honey to any decaffeinated tea — chamomile is an excellent choice. Drink this calming concoction about one hour before bed to unwind and fall asleep faster. Also, for best sleep results, limit or avoid alcohol and marijuana. You might think these products are a good way to relax, but they are detrimental to quality sleep. Instead, read or listen to an audiobook to relax while drinking your tea.
- Writing in a journal is a fantastic way to celebrate the day’s victories and reset for the day to come. It is best if you can find time to journal twice a day — once in the morning, to design and set the day’s pattern and again at night to complete the day’s events. Spend less time, however, working in the journal at night. You don’t want to stimulate thoughts counterproductive to falling asleep.
- Have a set nighttime hygiene ritual such as taking a relaxing bath or shower and performing a skincare routine. Doing these same activities every night, subconsciously tells your mind and body it’s time to end the day and get to sleep.
The nighttime timeline
Use this timeline to recap your nighttime events that lead to restful sleep.
2 Hours before bed
- Turn off all electronics
- Do a relaxing activity like journaling
1 hour before bed
- Perform nighttime hygiene routine
- Drink soothing tea
- Possibly read or listen to an audiobook
Directly before going to bed at your set time
- Do a short 10 – 15-minute meditation session
Bringing it all together
One of the most important activities you can do for yourself is developing a nighttime ritual dedicated to improving the quality of your sleep. Being rested assures mental alertness and provides the energy you need to get through even the most challenging days. Creating healthy habits that invest in a better version of you is well worth the time and energy spent.
It takes time for repetitive actions to become full-blown habits. Making sure your bedtime routine is full of healthy habits you can stick with is crucial to the success of the overall plan. Just know, each person is different, and what works for one may not be the answer for you.
If you don’t already have an effective nighttime ritual, consider trying the ideas above. They could make a significant difference in the quality of your sleep and the productivity of your day.
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