Do you often find yourself scrambling at the end of the day to tie up loose ends, or realize you’ve had your face buried in your phone for hours and it’s past bedtime? Do you wake up feeling rushed and not having things in order? Are mornings a drag just trying to get yourself together to get out the door or in front of the lens on the computer for that important virtual meeting?
I would venture to guess if these are issues in your life you don’t have a evening routine. Its more likely you get off work, come home, kick off the shoes, grab something to munch on and drink and park in front of the computer or tv. Then around 10, or 11, or 12….or even later, you stumble down the hall to bed. Then in the morning you awaken to your alarm only to feel panic because you forgot you hadn’t done laundry and you are out of underwear. Or there isn’t anything to eat and so you have to resort to fast food rather than that healthy start you REALLY want for your life.
Am I any where near the scenario those of you without evening rituals encounters?
Here are 8 recommendations to help you create an evening routine that will assist you in all your health and life pursuits.
- Go ahead and take 30 minutes or so to unwind after work. Check your phone, watch the tube, call a friend. Just relax however that looks for you. Maybe even have a mindful minute of meditation to separate yourself from work and into home.
- Get your clothes laid out for the next day. I recommend doing this early in the evening in case something you want needs a quick laundering. It can be frustrating to realize at 11pm that you ran out of clean socks.
- Eat a light nutritious meal at least 3 hours before bed. This should be your lightest meal of the day. If you have a lot in your belly digesting it can spike blood sugars and make it hard for you to sleep.
- Plan for tomorrows meals. Anything need taking out to defrost? Do you have all the ingredients or will you need a stop on the way home tomorrow?
- Stop drinking fluids at least an hour before bed, and ideally 2 hours. I am one who drinks copious amounts of fluids and this is one area I struggle with. It interrupts sleep when your bladder is full after you fall asleep. I do keep a glass of water beside the bed and drink it’s entirety as soon as I awaken.
- Consider a nice soak in the bath or a nice cup of tea or some mediation an hour or so before bed to wind yourself down. Attend to any hygiene or vitamins or things of that nature. This is signaling your brain and body that a transition is occurring. Slowing the mind and body down will help you ease into sleep more quickly and more deeply. Separating yourself from the day lets it all go.
- NO technology in bed. No phone, no TV, no computer, no tablet. Bed is for sleeping and sex. Screen time is a robber of quality sleep. The blue light can suppress melatonin. It amps the brain up and makes it difficult to relax. If you need a few minutes transition consider reading…or…..
- Write in a gratitude journal. Going to sleep with things of gratitude in your thoughts sets a tone for peaceful restful restorative sleep.
An evening set of rituals can make a significant difference in being able to achieve your goals and desires. You will feel better in the morning and you will have slept better. When we are well rested, we perform better in all areas of our life. As well, sleep restores tissues in our body and cells get regenerated. It is good for our health.
Ending a day well almost always ensures a better morning. You are awakening set for success. So go get it!!!!
One last tip. Make your bed in the morning and keep clean sheets. At least once a week change them. That 5 minutes makes it so much nicer to go to bed at night.