Building the Ultimate Nighttime Routine
Are you ready to create the ultimate nighttime routine that will leave you waking refreshed and ready for the next day? If so, make yourself a cup of tea and grab a notebook. Nighttime routines take a bit of planning, but it is completely worth it.
Photo by Annie Spratt
1. Before you even begin creating your nightly routine...
I am very concerned with everyone understanding how important sleep is. Lack of sleep has long term effects that we as a society are just now understanding. I could go on and on about this, but instead, I will direct you to this interview with Sleep Expert and Neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Walker. Go ahead! I'll wait for you here.
How did it go? Are you so stoked on sleep right now?
Now it is time to decide when you need to go to sleep so that we can work backward from there. You can use this calculator to help.
2. Preparing for tomorrow.
Make a list of all of the things you need to do to prepare for the next day. This list may or may not include:
Review/create your task list for the next day
Pick out an outfit
Prep your bag/purse
Water - I always fill a glass for my bedside table so I can drink a full cup as soon as I wake up!
3. Clean up.
Now add to that list all of the ever-important hygiene items, like washing your face, brushing your teeth, putting away your laundry, or even taking a warm bath. (Hey - you worked hard today!)
4. Winding Down.
This is my favorite part. Add to the list anything you would like to do to unwind. This may include:
Making sleepy tea
5. Counting backward...
Take a look at the list you have created and estimate how much time each task will take. Add up this time and subtract that from your designated bedtime. Keep in mind that some things will take longer than anticipated and that your routine will also go quicker once you get used to it.
What is the result? Does your routine have you starting at 4 pm right now? Edit it so that the time span is reasonable.
6. Write all of this out and keep it handy so you can follow your new routine.
Post it in your bathroom or in your bedroom. Routines take some getting used to! Be patient and tweak it as needed.
7. Falling asleep.
So you made it to bed. Now what? Here are a few things that are guaranteed to help:
Read (I recommend an easy-read fiction book. Hellooo Harry Potter.)
Listen to an audiobook
Listen to sleepy music (Spotify has an entire Sleep genre!)
Listen to a podcast - my favorite sleepy podcasts are:
ASMR (I mostly use Youtube for ASMR, but there are ASMR podcasts as well)
Any storytelling podcast
Eye masks and earplugs are a real game-changer. If you live in Portland, Oregon like I do (where the summer sun never seems to set) blackout curtains can be your best friend.
A diffuser + sleepy essential oils. The scent is the strongest sense tied to memory. If you use the same scent every night, your brain will start to associate it with falling asleep. I recommend the Lumo Sleep Collection from DoTERRA!
8. A note about screens.
You already know - screens before bed are no good! Set an alarm 30 minutes or an hour before you need to fall asleep and make sure your laptop is put away at this time. If you need to look at your laptop after the sun goes down, download f.lux to protect your beautiful eyes.
If you use your phone to fall asleep, see if your phone has a night time setting. If your phone does not have a sleep timer, download a third party app so your podcast or sleepy music turns off on its own after you fall asleep.
If you don't need your phone to fall asleep, plug it in to charge in a different room in your house and get an old fashioned alarm to wake up!
So how did it go? Are you getting all sleepy and cozy just thinking about your new routine? Let me know what your routine ends up looking like!
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