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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

“Today is tomorrow’s yesterday,” the quote says and it rings true from North to South, from West to East. And if we want to have a productive and energetic today, we need to prepare it yesterday. If we learn from yesterday, we can live today and we’ll even have time to plan for tomorrow.

The best way to jumpstart your day isn’t the first thing you do in the morning – but the last thing you do the night before. And here is a list of 20 tips that you can use for your bedtime routine to start the next morning energetic and productive:

1. Create your bedtime routine

In the words of late Jim Rohn:

“Simple things are simple to do but they are also simple not to do.”

The first thing to start with is by actually creating a bedtime routine. By this, I don’t mean just being a victim of consequences like kids, late dinners or office tasks that need to be done.

By creating a bedtime routine, you consciously create a set of behaviors that you will do (or not do) before you fall asleep that night.

In the beginning, it only needs to be a single thing that you adhere to like no laptop in the bed or TV for only 30 minutes or hitting at sack at 11:30 pm max.

And you can use the following tips to optimize your bedtime routine.

2. Play music

Music has a variety of effects on our bodies. First of all, our bodies are 70% water and vibrations affect us physiologically. There was a research done by Dr. Masaru Emoto who studied the effects that music has on the structure of frozen water molecules.

By playing certain (soothing) music, you will feel relaxed and prepared for sleep. I personally use post-rock (piano) songs playlist which include songs like “Your Hand In Mine” by Explosions In The Sky, everything from Anthony Greninger and The XX.

Now, it’s all about finding the perfect music for you. You need to find your own rhythm, so try out a lot of different songs and categories and see what fits you the best.

3. Read a book

This one is a bit tricky – you should be reading a book before you sleep but not something which is hard to understand and needs a lot of straining from your conscious mind.

It’s best to read something lighter before bedtime because it will put your mind in a nice rhythm and will induce you into a qualitative sleep.

This doesn’t mean that you should read things like 50 Shades of Grey (no, please no), but don’t go reading “Gödel, Escher, Bach: and Eternal Golden Braid” by Douglas Hofstadter either.

Pick something that interests you and is quite easy to read like “How To Win Friends & Influence People” or biographies like “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” by Alfred Lansing.

4. Put on your pajamas

When you jump into your sleeping clothes, you signal your mind and body to shut down and go into “sleep mode.”

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Try to have a set of pajamas always prepared next to your bed and never go under the sheets with your house or work clothes.

5. Plan out your 3 most important tasks for tomorrow

This is something Leo Babuta talked a lot. When you plan out your 3 most important tasks for tomorrow, you immediately eliminate unnecessary decisions from tomorrow’s day.

When you remove decision making from the day, all that’s left is to just do that activity.

This is backed by research about ego depletion, where making decisions throughout the day depletes our willpower, making us less likely to do the activities.

But if you prepare them in advance (decide and write down that you’ll do it), you will be more likely to do them.

So plan out your 3 most important tasks for tomorrow and sleep like a baby, knowing what you will do tomorrow.

6. Write a journal

“Dear diary….” or you can start any other way. But this isn’t a six-grade school girl writing who she has a crush on. This is about reflecting on what happened to you today, how that activity made you feel and your general impression of the day.

Here’s a how-to guide on how to start writing a journal:

Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide)

7. Prepare clothes for tomorrow

We talked about ego depletion when planning the next day. It’s the thing with the clothes you will wear tomorrow.

When you prepare things for the next morning, your mind won’t go into “freak” mode, trying to remember everything you need to do in the morning like finding clothes for work, making breakfast, finishing that presentation, checking the valve pressure, changing the car oil, saving the world…

When you prepare for the morning in advance, you sleep better because you don’t have those menial tasks like clothes hovering around your head.

8. Turn off your WiFi

The word of the 21st century is connectedness and it’s great – we are more connected than ever. But this doesn’t mean that you need to be connected 24/7.

During the night, you should definitely turn off your WiFi and be unavailable. This makes your brain rest and doesn’t put you in that always-available-state, where you’re always prepared for that email or message.

Just leave it for the morning – 99% of things can wait. And if it’s that 1% that can’t wait, trust me, they will find a way to contact you.

9. Watch entertainment

Throughout the day, you should be working, learning and pushing yourself. But when the night comes, you need to reward yourself for the activities and accomplishments of the day – because you deserve it.

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So take 30-45 minutes and simply watch entertainment without feeling guilty – you can even watch a good movie. I have my entertainment nights on Friday where I watch gaming tournaments on YouTube – just a big fan of League of Legends.

10. Do mindfulness exercise like meditation

Mindfulness doesn’t have to be meditation, but meditation is almost always mindfulness.

Mindfulness trains your mind to become present and aware of the things and people that surround you. This makes you forget about the worries of the future and the regrets of the past and makes you live in the present.

Mindfulness as a bedtime routine helps you clear out your mind and makes you fall asleep easily, without those pesky regrets and worries sneaking up on you when you finally hit the sack.

Find out more about how Meditation Can Change Your Life: The Power of Mindfulness.

11. Evaluate your today

You planned out the 3 most important tasks that you need to do today. Now, it’s time to evaluate those tasks.

This is the time for self reflection, and Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

So sit down and evaluate if you managed to accomplish the 3 tasks that you set up the night before.

12. Write down 3 things that happened today (not gratefulness)

This is a really good exercise because it’s not woo-woo like gratefulness or unstructured as a diary.

This is about making a history book out of your life- something your grandkids might read upon and see how your life looked like.

Writing down 3 things that happened today makes you simply record 3 events that happened on the day, with or without your judgment about them (good or bad, positive or negative).

After 3-6 months, you can read upon these and summarize them to create a timeline of your life and after a year, summarize it again.

This will create a timeline of your life, with all major events that happened written down. It will also make you more self-aware about the things happening every single day.

13. Drink water

Quality of sleep depends a lot on the hydration of our bodies. If you feel the thirst, it means you are already dehydrated.

The sacred rule I adhere to for a quality bedtime routine is one glass of water before bed and one glass of water as soon as I wake up.

Take a look at this article to find out How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You).

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14. Cool off the room

Setting the right conditions for sleep are optimal for a quality-like sleep and productive and energetic day.

You need to sleep in a colder, dark and silent room. The quality of mattress and pillow also contribute to good sleep and even better mornings.

You might want to consider investing in a sleeping mask, good mattress and an even better pillow – it makes a big difference.

Here’s a guide on how to choose a good mattress:

Your Essential Guide To Buying The Right Mattress

15. Don’t eat heavy food

Eating that late night dinner at 10:30 pm and then going back home trying to fall asleep is like getting drunk and trying to walk the line – you think you can do it until you actually try it.

A big dinner and heavy food before bedtime keeps your stomach working 24/7 and prevents it from having any rest during the night. This affects the quality of sleep and makes you feel sleepy before you fall asleep and extends to when you wake up.

Remove heavy food from your night meals and look at how your energy spikes in the morning – I did it six months ago and I am never going back to it.

Check out more food options to help you sleep here:

12 Bedtime Snacks/Drinks That Can Help You Sleep Better

16. Avoid exercise before sleep

You shouldn’t exercise 3 hours before bedtime – it wakes up your entire body and prepares you for a physical activity.

Exercise is for morning or tops afternoon – the night is for relaxing bedtime routine activities.

However, you can try to stretch your body to help relax your nerves before going to sleep:

6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed Before Sleeping For Better Health

17. Go to bed at the same time

Training your body and mind to shut down at the same time is beneficiary because it learns when you don’t need energy and when you do. This makes your energy usage more effective because you are 100% active when you need it and 0% active when you don’t need it.

Most people work on a 50-60% active energy, always being active but never being on their top game. If you train your body and mind to shut down after, let’s say, 11:00 pm, then it will reward you with energy spikes in the morning and afternoon.

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And the easiest way to accomplish this is by going to bed at the same time.

18. Optimize sleep cycles

Tips 17. and 18. are closely connected.

Sleep cycles consist of 1.5-hour rotations, where you finish one round of sleeping after 1.5 hours of sleeping and start over again. The best time to wake up is when a sleep cycle ends and just before the next starts.

So to optimize your sleep cycles, you should wake up after 5 or 6 sleep cycles, respectively after 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep. This is when you will feel the most energetic.

Hitting your sleep cycles at the beginning is quite hard but when you always fall asleep at the same time, your body will adjust to it and will make you hit them.

For more tips, here’s How to Hack Your Sleep Cycle and Get Better Sleep.

19. Work on your passion project

Nothing brings more satisfaction to a person than seeing a dream, a vision which only lived inside of a person mind come to life. And working on a passion project is exactly that – you are making a reality out of your vision or a dream.

You can allocate 20-30 minutes a night to work on your passion project. This will make the feeling of accomplishment even stronger and will affect the quality of your sleep by a handful.

If you think you’re too busy to do what you’re passionate about, here’re 7 Ways You Can Make Time For Your Passion.

20. Spend time with loved ones

The biggest factor that contributes to a happy and fulfilled life are relationships – with friends, family and loved ones.

At the end of a long, arduous day, you should spend time with your loved ones- the people with whom you can share your happy but also your sad moments.

A path to many starts with one

Not all of these 20 tips will make sense to you and they shouldn’t. You should pick out one and start with that and then, add up another one.

Test what works for you and what makes sense and you will soon see the difference in your energy and productivity.

Just remember – the path to many starts with only a single one. Start with one and create a bedtime routine for a better tomorrow.

More Resources About Routines & Habits

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

More by this author

Bruno Boksic

An expert in habit building

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Published on April 16, 2021

Guided Meditation For Increased Energy: How And Why It Works

Guided Meditation For Increased Energy: How And Why It Works

Are daily stressors draining your vital energy levels? Do you know deep down that meditation could help you out, but on some level, you repeatedly tell yourself that you don’t have the time or know-how to meditate? If so, you could do with some help, and you’re going to get to know all about guided meditation for energy to sort you out.

By the end of this article, you will have the tools in your possession to get started and know all about the amazing benefits to start feeling like your best self.

Your Life Is Energy

If you didn’t know it already, everything in the universe around you is energy. Everything you are perceiving, feeling, touching, or tasting right now are all vibrations of energy at its core.

Life energy—or Prana as it is also referred to in yogic philosophy—is flowing through you at all times, keeping you alive. When this energy is in tune, it aligns your body, mind, and soul to work in harmony.

Unfortunately, growing up, most people aren’t taught or shown how to efficiently align these three elements. This can lead to energy leaks in your state of being.

Your daily stream of unconscious thoughts, for example, is one element that uses up a vital part of life’s crucial energy flowing through you. How much energy you deplete then really depends on what you’re thinking about most of the day.

Say you’re thinking positive thoughts. You won’t be very likely to want to resist such pleasantness. Your energy levels, therefore, would most likely stay well connected to the source of life supplying you.

Having said that, given the human mind’s negative bias and your natural tendency to avoid pain, most of what you think unconsciously will automatically be distorted towards negative thoughts, negative emotions, and stress. These negative states will cause you to resist the life energy flowing through you causing you to feel depleted.

Just like a dam, every time you engage and persist in negativity and negative emotions, you’re building on and strengthening the barrier blocking your life force from flowing freely. In fact, every time you engage in an anger burst, it can deplete your immune system for up to 5 hours.[1]

Many stress-related health issues nowadays often arise because of depleted and blocked energy levels and uncontrolled thought processes. Luckily, guided meditation can be a powerful tool to reverse all of that and even empower you towards significant lifestyle changes.

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What You Stand to Gain

Guided meditation for energy isn’t complicated to define. It’s the process of instilling a state of deep peace within yourself, all the while training your attention and awareness. This is generally done by following the guidance of a trained practitioner.

Just like any new appliance you purchase, you’re most likely going to have to glance at the instructions manual to get it running. Well, the same can apply to meditation.

Meditation isn’t at all a complex practice. However, if you’ve never tried it out before, a guide can help get you started by directing your stream of thoughts and focus. The guide will act as your instructions manual to help accustom you to your new meditation practice.

Guided meditation for energy has many outstanding benefits to your mental and physical well-being. In fact, adopting a regular guided meditation practice can give you the following benefits:

1. Still Your Mind

When was the last time you counted zero thoughts floating through your head? Wouldn’t it be great to reach such a point and enjoy moments of peace, deep relaxation, and silence regularly after a guided meditation session?

2. Sharper Focus and Cognitive Abilities

As you become more conscious, you’ll notice increased capabilities within yourself to act more often, rather than react to the circumstances in your life. This will also allow you to focus more on the solutions rather than on the problems in your environment.

3. Reduce Feelings of Anxiety and Depression

Given most anxious and depressive feelings arise out of cognitive distortions, a regular guided meditation practice for energy can help you get acquainted with your higher self—your soul.

From this place of consciousness, you will find it easier to sit peacefully above your thoughts, untouched by whatever commotion is going on down under. Through conscious awareness, you’ll also find it easier to reflect and rationalize on any limiting beliefs.

4. Lowers Your Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

As you relax your body and focus on deep relaxing breaths, you are activating the parasympathetic nervous system in your body. As you do so, this allows your heart rate to decrease and your blood pressure to drop as your blood vessels begin to open up.

5. Help Heal Health Issues

Yes, when given the chance, your body does have the ability to heal itself in certain circumstances. Life energy is also healing energy when you allow it to flow freely undisturbed throughout your being.[2]

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Guided meditation for energy allows your bodily processes to conserve and generate more energy for healing than they otherwise would be able to in a stressed-out and depleted state.

6. Help Create and Influence Your Desired Future

That’s right, the thoughts you are focusing on every day are highly influencing your reality. Remember that everything around you is energy and is also created out of energy! Therefore, your thoughts are nothing more than a frequency of energy!

Guided meditation will often require you to use positive mental imagery for visualization. As you become increasingly capable of visualizing and feeling positive emotions in the process, the emotional frequency vibrations you will begin to emit from within yourself will become much stronger. This higher energy frequency can then influence and attract more positive future circumstances in your life.

You can check out the Law of Attraction if you’re interested in knowing more on how to start visualizing actual life goals you wish to manifest in your own life.[3]

7. Improve Sleep Quality

Guided meditation for energy looks to hack into your deeper brain waves to instill a state of deep relaxation within you. The more relaxed you feel and the stiller your mind, then the easier you’ll find it to fall and remain asleep.

Even better, as your practice becomes a regular habit, you’ll notice you actually won’t need all that much sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new day—simply because as you live more from a state of ease, your body will need less rest to conserve its energy and operate efficiently.

8. Cultivate Gratitude and Compassion

Love, gratitude, and compassion for yourself are often hard to come by in today’s ego-driven and chaotic world. A regular guided meditation practice can help grow these positive emotions towards yourself and others. As you begin to transcend your ego, you won’t want to turn back once you’ve experienced a taster of selflessness and all the bundle of positive emotions it comes with.

9. Foster Spiritual Growth

All the above benefits are great, though this one is by far the most valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not, spirituality is all about connecting to the creating source of life—be it God, spirit, universe, energy, or whatever you believe created all the magnificence around us. Regular guided meditation sessions will deepen your connection with your spiritual self and can help make you feel more connected to the people and world around you.

In yogic philosophy, meditation is one of the tools of self-discovery to connect Atman with Brahman. This refers to the process of connecting an Individual soul with the eternal consciousness of the universe.

Through regular guided meditation, you can transcend the ego and come to realize that you and everything around you is one and connected! No words can best describe this realization. It really is an experience you must feel for yourself.

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The Guided Meditation Process

You might be wondering, what’s the guided meditation process like?

Well, guided meditation is often the required stepping stone you’ll take before you feel comfortable progressing towards unguided meditation. If you never wish to progress to unguided meditation, that’s absolutely fine, too. You can still perfectly achieve most—if not all—of the above benefits with the help of a guide.

First off make yourself comfortable and follow these steps:

1. Pick a Guided Meditation of Your Choice

Nowadays, there are many helpful guided meditations over the internet or through mobile applications. Many of these apps or websites offer you focused meditations on many specific objectives you’re after.

For example, if you’re suffering from stress or insomnia, you will find ample guided meditations of varying length durations to pick from on those specific subjects. You can check out YouTube or any meditation apps such as Headspace to get yourself started.

Now, it’s important that you choose a guide with a soothing and comfortable voice. After all, that voice will be the one guiding you to the deepest relaxation experience within yourself, and you want to ensure their voice makes you feel good.

2. Find a Comfortable Seated Position and Close Your Eyes

To meditate, you don’t necessarily have to sit cross-legged or chant any mantras. Simply, find yourself in a comfortable armchair or seated position, ensuring your back is upright.

Next, close your eyes and try placing your attention on your breath. Follow your breath in and out to begin grounding yourself in the present moment. After a few deep breaths, begin your guided meditation.

3. Focus on the Voice Guiding You and Attentively Follow Its Instructions

Your objective is to mindfully let your thoughts and emotions come and go without giving in to the urge to react to them. This is a challenging task to maintain even for many established meditators, let alone for beginners.

That’s where guided meditation comes in handy. The guide in the meditation will act as a positive distraction for you to place your focus and attention on. The process is often carried out through visualization instructions, all the while helping you anchor your focus on the rhythm of your breath.

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4. Go in With an Open Mind and Fully Surrender

You may come to realize that many guided meditation stories will often narrate fantasy stories not based on reality. That’s absolutely fine! Go with the flow. Your job is not to judge what does or doesn’t make sense in any narration. Your job is to fully surrender to the voice guiding you, and let it take you to the undiscovered parts of your mind and imagination.

Don’t worry about a thing, most guides are trained practitioners and know exactly what they’re doing to help you out.

5. Don’t Rush Back to Your Senses

Guided meditations for energy can take you into deep states of relaxation and imagination. You may feel detached from your bodily sensations in the process, and that’s a great thing to feel. Once your guide brings you back to your body, make sure to take a couple of moments to yourself before getting back to reality.

Takeaway

Once you experience the deeper dimensions of your consciousness and higher energy levels, you’ll find it hard to want to go back and remain in a depleted state of stress. So, why not treat yourself to the positive experiences of guided meditation for energy daily?

Just 15 minutes a day of guided meditation is more than enough to unlock all the amazing benefits listed above. The best times to schedule your new habit would be first thing in the morning upon awakening or right before bedtime.

Like most self-development tools, guided meditation is a lifelong process, so do not expect to notice all of the benefits at once. However, with patience and persistence in your practice, your life journey will take on a new positive direction and you won’t want to look back.

So, how about you get started right now?

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Featured photo credit: Erik Brolin via unsplash.com

Reference

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