Earlier this week I published a post listing things you could add to your morning routine to improve your day. It occurs to me though that the best way to get a good start on your day is to get a good night’s sleep!
Here then are XX things you can add to your evening routine to ensure a restful night’s sleep, and a great start to your day.
Actually Have a Routine!
Try to go to bed (and get up) at the same time each day. As well as this, try to stick to more or less the same routine each evening. This helps to signify to your body that it’s time to sleep, and you’ll find over time that this routine helps you to feel sleepy and to nod off. Choose the routine that works for you, but try to stick to it every day.
Yes, I know this was on the list of things to do in the mornings, but meditation is one of those things you can’t do too much of. I find that if I meditate in the evening it helps to clear my head from all the things I’ve been thinking about during the day. You can also get plenty of guided meditations which are designed to help you sleep on the Insight Timer app. (I promise I’m not paid to promote them or anything; it’s a free app and I just love it)
We all enjoy watching TV in the evenings, and these days most of us are probably catching up on social media at the same time – but screens emit a blue light which stimulates the brain. Not what you want right before bed! Many mobiles these days have a function where you can change the screen to “night mode” – or you can download an app such as Night Mode – but the best course of action is to just avoid all screens for as long as possible before bed. I’ll admit I’m not great at this one, but I’m working on it. I try to switch the TV/laptop off about an hour before I intend to go to sleep, and read a book instead.
Make a List
I don’t know about you, but the moment my head hits the pillow is often the moment I begin to think about all the things I need to do tomorrow! Avoid this by keeping a pen and paper next to your bed, and spending ten minutes each evening writing things down. That might be a list of what you need to do tomorrow; it might be a rant about the argument you had with a family member earlier (just me?) but writing it down will help to get it out of your head. And you can go to sleep safe in the knowledge you’ve written down what you need to do tomorrow.
Prepare for Tomorrow
If you’re planning to workout first thing in the morning, lay out your workout clothes (and trainers) at the foot of your bed. If you’re planning to read in the morning, make sure your book is close to hand. Whatever it is you want to do with your morning, preparing for it the night before means you’re more likely to actually do it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gone to bed with every intention of working out in the morning, then woken up, showered and dressed before I remembered! Laying things out ready makes it harder to forget, and also harder to put off or avoid!
Take a Bath
A bath before bed might seem terribly decadent but it can really help you to fall asleep well. A nice warm bath feels nice, but when you get out your body begins to cool down and it’s this process that makes you feel sleepy – because our bodies usually cool down a bit when we go to sleep. When I have a bath before bed I add Epsom salts, which allow your body to soak up magnesium from them through the skin. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles, so it’s great for just before bed.
As I mentioned above, magnesium helps to relax the muscles. It is actually needed for over 300 cellular functions in the body, and the majority of the population is deficient in it. I take a supplement of Magnesium glycinate before bed and I am sure this is what helps me to sleep well.
Reading before bed is a long-standing habit for me. Even if it’s only a paragraph, I always read when I go to bed. I mentioned above that having a regular routine can signify to your body that it’s time to sleep; I read fiction in the evenings rather than in the mornings (for the most part), and I find that this helps me to chill out and get to sleep.
Do you have an evening routine? Do you do something I’ve not mentioned here? Leave a comment and let me know what your evening routine looks like!