Whether it is a new year or you just want to make a fresh start, improving your habits can start with your nighttime routine. Most people have a morning routine even if they don’t realize it. You may get up every morning and brush your teeth, drink a cup of coffee and grab a smoothie on your way out the door.
If this routine starts your morning on the right foot and brings you peace of mind, then slipping into a nighttime routine may be as easy. If you are living life sans any routines and feel overwhelmed, then the following nighttime routines may be just the change you should consider.
Tips for Improving Your Morning at Night
The following are 10 tips you can start this evening for a better night’s sleep and a smoother tomorrow. You don’t have to do them all — just pick one to start:
1. Spend a Few Minutes Preparing for Your Morning
The best time to prepare for a busy morning is the night before. Spend a few minutes gathering items you need for work, laying out an outfit with shoes and packing your lunch.
Having everything you need in the morning sitting near the door can relieve the early morning panic of not finding your keys.
2. Make Your Bed Look Inviting
One of the reasons you may find it difficult to go to bed at a decent hour is because your bed does not appear inviting. Take the time to change the sheets on a regular basis and maybe add a few extra pillows to make it seem a little more luxurious.
Also, in the mornings before you get dressed, make your bed. You’ll be more excited to get into it and relax and night.
3. Review Your Top Priorities
Before winding down for the night, check your planner or calendar for your top three priorities for the next day and write them down. Reviewing them the night before reduces the risk of you forgetting something important.
It also helps keep your brain from operating in overdrive and becoming overwhelmed with a never-ending to-do list. You definitely don’t need that before bed.
4. Draw a Line between Work and Home
Making a smooth transition between your work life and your home life is easier than you may think. It could mean spending an hour at the gym working up a sweat after work before you head home in the evening. You could change from your work clothes as soon as you come home into more casual attire — or even your favorite pajamas. You can also try listening to an audiobook on your commute home or engaging in a favorite hobby before dinner.
No matter what helps you disconnect from work, doing so will give you a break from the grind — and make your time, as well as that of those around you, more pleasant.
5. Relax With Your Family
As much as you may love your career and other responsibilities, making time to relax with your children and/or significant other before bedtime will create strong family bonds.
For example, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, leaves her office at the same time every day to ensure she makes her children a priority in her day.
6. Make Your Bedroom Device-Free
In 2014, an estimated 75% of children and 89% of adults had at least one electronic device in their bedrooms. Yikes.
Electronic devices interfere with your production of melanin, your body’s natural chemical that regulates your circadian rhythm and tells you it’s time for sleep. If you’re up until the wee hours of the morning checking your social media on your smartphone, it’s going to be hard to face the morning.
If possible, keep your phone on the charger in another room and remove devices like the television. This keeps your room solely for sleep and intimate activities.
7. Take a Bubble Bath
One way to relax after a long and stressful day is with a bath. You can add bubble bath mix or essential oils to the water for a scented soak.
Gwyneth Paltrow swears by her nightly bathing ritual of soaking in Epsom salts and rubbing essential oils on her pressure points to help her wind down after a hectic day.
8. Reflect on Your Day by Journaling
Benjamin Franklin used to ask himself, “What good did I do today?” This question was the Founding Father’s way of reflecting on his day and on what went well and what he could do better the next day.
Assessing your day can help you keep track of where you are with your goals, and it can help you develop a deeper understanding of your thoughts and emotions. You can also take it one step further and write down what you’re grateful for. Gratitude can improve your physical and mental health as well as self-esteem — and yes, it can even help you sleep better. Win.
9. Slip Into Another World Through Books
If you are not quite ready to slip under the sheets, consider slipping into another world through books. Many successful people, like Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington, make it a point to unwind with a good read before they hit the hay.
Whether it’s a fiction novel, a steamy romance, the newspaper or even a non-fiction book about a particular topic, reading can help your mind disconnect from the day — meaning you’ll fall asleep easier and wake up more refreshed.
10. Keep a Consistent Bedtime
Pick a bedtime and stick to it. Once your body adjusts to the new time, you will find yourself ready for bed earlier and possibly falling asleep faster.
Ready to make your mornings better? Put these tips to use and get started — tonight.
Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via stocksnap.io