As a working mom, I can tell you that a good night’s sleep is highly underrated. We often prioritize our work, family and social life over getting enough rest; even though good quality sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. If you struggle to get good quality sleep, it’s time to revamp your evening routine and make sleep a priority. Here are some tips that I’ve found particularly helpful for creating the perfect evening routine.
8 Things to Do to Get the Most Out of Your Evening Routine
Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids, it’s just as important for adults. For adults who struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling irritable in the morning, establishing a consistent evening routine can provide the solution they need.
Here are 8 effective practices to enhance your bedtime routine, ensuring a restful night’s sleep and a rejuvenated start to your day.
#1: Avoid Stimulants Before Bed
I love a good cup of coffee in the afternoon or evening, but I also know from too many past experiences, the toll it takes on my body at night. My eyes shoot open like an owl.
So my friends, do limit your intake of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bedtime as they can disrupt your sleep.
Caffeine can stay in your system for several hours, so it’s best to avoid any caffeine-containing drinks or foods at least 6 hours before bed. Instead, opt for a soothing herbal tea like chamomile.
#2: Prepare For the Next Day
To avoid feeling rushed and stressed in the morning, take some time in the evening to prepare for the next day. I personally make this a nightly ritual. After dinner is made, the family has eaten and the kids are put together comes “me time.”
This includes laying out clothes, preparing lunches, and planning my schedule for the next day. By doing this, I’m able to relax and go to bed without any worries or unfinished tasks on my mind. I highly recommend incorporating this practice into your nighttime routine.
#3: Unplug from Technology
We are often glued to our screens until the very last minute before we go to bed. This can hurt our sleep quality as the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt our body’s natural sleep cycle. Yes, it includes cell phones.
Make it a habit to disconnect from technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime and instead, spend that time doing something relaxing such as reading or journaling.
And if you wake up in the middle of the night or early morning, I know it’s easier said than done, but do resist the urge to reach for your phone and scroll through social media. Instead, try some breathing exercises to help you fall back asleep.
#4: Incorporate Calming Activities
Incorporating relaxation techniques into your evening routine, even if only for 10-15 minutes, can greatly improve your sleep quality. This can include:
- Taking a warm bath
- Doing a jigsaw puzzle
- Listening to calming music or nature sounds
These activities can help relax your mind and body, making it easier for you to drift off into a peaceful sleep.
#5: Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling is not only great for relieving stress, it also does wonders for good sleep.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings before bed can help clear your mind and reduce racing thoughts that may keep you up at night.
#6: Gaze at Your Vision Board
A vision board is a powerful tool for manifesting your dreams and goals. Take some time before bed to look at yours and visualize yourself achieving your desires.
This positive focus can help clear your mind of any stress or worries, allowing you to drift off into a peaceful sleep with a sense of purpose and motivation for the next day.
#7: Embrace a Positive Mindset
Believe in the power of positive thinking. Before you go to bed, try to quiet your mind and replace any negative thoughts or worries with positive affirmations.
Visualize yourself enjoying a rejuvenating, sound sleep and waking up refreshed. This type of positive self-talk can help reduce anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation.
#8: Create a Relaxing Environment
Having a calm and comfortable environment can greatly improve the quality of your sleep. Consider investing in quality bedding and pillows, as well as keeping your room cool and dark. I personally go for bedding with a high thread count and cooling pillowcases. For me, it’s a necessary luxury.
To enhance relaxation and promote restful sleep, consider incorporating calming scents such as lavender. These soothing aromas can be found in sachets or light linen sprays available at your nearby drugstore.
Additionally, try to keep your bedroom free of clutter and distractions so that your mind can easily unwind and prepare for rest.
Strategies for Effectively Implementing a Fresh Sleep Routine
Changing your sleep routine can be challenging, but with commitment and consistency, you can make it a regular habit.
Here are a few tips to help you successfully implement a new sleep routine:
- Start slow: Instead of trying to change your entire routine at once, start by implementing one or two changes at a time. This will make it easier for your body and mind to adjust.
- Stick to a schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This will help regulate your body’s internal clock and promote better sleep.
- Set reminders: Use alarms or reminders on your phone to remind you when it’s time to start winding down for bed. This can help prevent you from getting caught up in activities and staying up too late.
- Be patient with yourself: Remember that change takes time and it’s okay if you have setbacks. Be patient with yourself and keep working towards your goal of better sleep.
Exploring Alternative Approaches
If you continue to experience difficulty falling asleep even after trying these practices, it may be worth exploring alternative approaches.
Natural Sleep Aids
If these strategies prove ineffective, consider exploring natural sleep aids such as melatonin or valerian root. These supplements can assist in promoting relaxation and enhancing the quality of sleep. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before integrating any new supplements into your routine.
If your efforts to improve your sleep routine are still unsuccessful, it may be beneficial to seek assistance from a sleep specialist or therapist. Sleep disorders, stress and anxiety can all contribute to sleep issues and a professional may be able to offer personalized advice and treatment.
It’s important to remember that your mental and physical well-being are invaluable and deserve the investment of prioritizing better sleep. So, continue to strive for improved sleep and witness the positive impact it can have on your overall quality of life. After all, we are aiming to live our best life. now.
Remember, implementing a new sleep routine takes time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll start to fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.
So don’t give up, keep trying different strategies until you find a bedtime routine that works for you.
Need help with a morning routine? Read the 90-Minute Morning Routine Checklist.
I’d love to hear from you, what’s your nightly routine? What are some practices that you incorporate for a restful sleep?