Last month I covered how to master the perfect morning routine. This month I want to discuss how to construct an evening routine that is conducive to a restful night’s sleep.
The perfect evening routine should have two goals:
- How do we wrap up the day with a clear mind?
- How can we set ourselves up for a deep, glorious, and restorative sleep?
There is nothing worse than getting all cozied up and ready for bed but not being able to switch off your thoughts about the things you did and didn’t do during the day. Follow my 5 simple steps towards perfecting an evening routine and this will never happen again!
#1 List the positive impacts you left on the day
This approach was first developed by Benjamin Franklin who would reflect on his day and ask himself, ‘what good did I do today?’ Instead of stressing over how productive you were during the day, shift your focus into a more positive and fulfilled one.
#2 Take the time to wind down for the evening
Research has found that our brains need about 2 hours to cool down before it can really get into a deep sleep. This means, about two hours before bed, you should start winding down your brain. Classical music, meditating, journaling, stretching, and pampering routines are all great ways to relax before jumping into bed.
Put away your phones and switch off the TV to make your evening more purposeful. It is worthwhile avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol close to bedtime and steering clear of rich meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks which can trigger indigestion.
#3 Make tomorrows to-do list
So often, we are completely overwhelmed by all tasks we are facing over the next day. This anxiety can negatively affect those precious sleeping hours. By making a to-do list the night before, it helps to clear your brain so it can relax.
#4 Make your bedroom a sleep haven
The Mayo Clinic has done a ton of amazing sleep research and found that we need to start thinking of our bedroom like a cave if we want to get a good quality and quantity sleep. Consider using blackout curtains, eye masks, ear plugs, ‘white noise’ machines, humidifiers, and fans to keep things cool and quiet.
#5 Utilise Sleep Tools
There are several amazing apps out there which are specifically designed to help you sleep or monitor your sleep so improvements can be made.
Sleep Cycle is a great app which will monitor your sleep cycles by movement. This can aid in learning about what evening ‘cool down’ gives you the best nights sleep.
HeadSpace is another app which takes you through various meditations and mindfulness exercises to help clear your mind and wind down before bed.
Lastly, try to use lights without the blue spectrum. Research has found that the blue spectrum in lights and on our electronic devices actually keep us awake and can disrupt our sleep. Be kind to your eyes and use fixtures that have a more calming light or utilise your phone’s settings to disable the blue light during evening hours.
An evening routine is just as important as a morning routine. Learn how to perfect both in your life and you will be on your way to a more productive, healthy, and successful day.
Use these steps to get a good night’s sleep and keep Studenting!