A proper night routine will help you get the sleep you deserve. Keep reading to learn more!
In this article:
- Watch What You Drink Throughout the Day
- Establish a Cut-Off Time for Work
- Eat Well (Especially Dinner!)
- Prepare for the Next Day
- Clean Up
- Have Some Me Time
- Establish a Screen-Time Cut-Off
- Take a Warm Bath and Dress for Bed
- End the Day with Gratitude
Night Routine Guide: Catch Your Z’s in 9 Steps
Step 1: Watch What You Drink Throughout the Day
Your night routine doesn’t only involve the activities you do before bedtime. Your daily habits can also have an impact on your sleep quality.
This is especially true about what you drink. Certain beverages, such as coffee and alcohol, have a stimulating effect.
Moreover, the stimulating effects of caffeine and alcohol can also last for a few hours. Here are a few things you can do to avoid their unwanted effects on sleep:
- Have a cut-off time for coffee. Limit your cups of joe to the morning or early afternoon.
- Switch to herbal/non-caffeinated teas in the afternoon.
- Limit your alcohol intake at night, especially during weekdays when you have to get up early the next day. Alcohol may make you sleepy, but it’s harder to stay asleep when it’s in your system.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day to help keep you awake and alert.
Remember: whatever you drink after 4 pm may stay in your system long enough to have an impact on your sleep. So drink wisely!
Step 2: Establish a Cut-Off Time for Work
It’s important to set boundaries and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Without these boundaries, your work (and the stress which comes along with it), can easily follow you to bed.
Try to establish a cut-off time for work. Commit to leaving work at a certain time.
This also includes answering e-mails and phone calls at home as well. Remember, you can’t truly recharge and rest unless you make it a point to disconnect.
Tip: It’s easy to lose track of time, so it might help if you set an alarm to remind you. Set the alarm about an hour before you leave so you have time to tie up loose ends which may prevent you from enjoying the rest of the day.
Step 3: Eat Well (Especially Dinner!)
According to the National Sleep Foundation, diet and sleep quality go hand-in-hand. Dinner, in particular, is something you need to be more mindful of.
It’s best to eat a light and healthy dinner a few hours before bedtime. Eating a heavy meal close to bedtime will require your body to expend more energy to digest your food.
On top of that, it may also interfere with your body’s ability to transition into sleep mode. If you get hungry close to bedtime, opt for a light and healthy snack over junk food.
Step 4: Prepare for the Next Day
A few hours before bedtime, make sure you take some time to prepare for the next day. Plot out your schedule, tasks, and meetings for the day.
Pack your bag and pick an outfit. It’s easier to get a good night’s rest if you’re not thinking about all the things you need to do when you wake up.
By preparing your things in advance, you’re also less likely to forget anything because of the morning rush. It’s also a more pleasant way to wake up when you know you’re ready for the day.
Step 5: Clean Up
The state of your immediate environment can have an effect on your mood. By taking some time to clean up before bedtime, you’re creating an environment which allows you to relax and have a sense of control.
Make sure to clean up after dinner. That way, you can enjoy a peaceful breakfast when you wake up.
Pay extra attention to the state of your bedroom as well. Try to minimize the clutter.
It’s easier to relax and wind down in a clean and organized bedroom. Waking up in a tidy room is also a great way to start the day!
Step 6: Have Some Me Time
Me time is essential to your nighttime ritual. Once everything is in order, it’s time to reward yourself!
Doing something you enjoy is a great way to decompress from the stresses of the day. You can watch an episode of your favorite TV show, read a book, play a video game, or even get in some bedtime yoga.
Just remember to be mindful of the time. It’s very easy to lose track of time when you’re doing something enjoyable.
Step 7: Establish a Screen-Time Cut-Off
It’s very important to avoid screens before bedtime. If you can, put your devices on their do not disturb modes to limit the notifications you’ll receive at night.
Stop checking your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light from electronic screens can interfere with your body’s ability to produce melatonin.
What is melatonin? It’s a hormone which regulates the body’s circadian rhythm. It helps your body wind down for restful sleep.
Step 8: Take a Warm Bath and Dress for Bed
Taking a warm bath or shower can help your body transition to rest mode. After taking a warm bath, your body’s temperature drops to adapt to room temperature.
This quick body temperature change can help induce sleepiness. Make sure to have some fluffy towels within reach to wipe off the excess water from your relaxing bath.
It’s also ideal to have a dedicated bedtime wardrobe. Having specific clothes you only wear for bedtime helps condition your mind for sleep.
A cozy bathrobe is especially useful when you’re going through your fall nighttime routine. It helps keep you warm when the weather starts getting chilly.
Tip: You may want to do your night skincare routine after you take a bath.
Step 9: End the Day with Gratitude
Before you turn off the lights for a restful nights sleep, take some time to reflect on the day. Think about what you did well and what you can improve on.
Even if things didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, think about the opportunity you will have to do better in the future. End your reflection by recognizing two or three things which happened during the day which merits gratitude.
It’s helpful to write down your reflections in a journal. By writing down your accomplishments, shortcomings, and reflections, you’re less likely to fall asleep feeling worried or apprehensive about the day.
A good nighttime routine is just as important as a morning routine. Healthy sleep habits help you get the rest you deserve and, hopefully, it’ll also help you maximize your waking hours.
If this night routine seems overwhelming, try incorporating one small change at a time. That way, you can work your way up to a full routine.
What helps you get a good night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments section.