It is so important to have a balanced and consistent nighttime routine, as it sets you up for a good night’s sleep and (hopefully) makes waking up a little easier. A good night’s sleep is just as imperative to your health and wellness as daily exercise and a healthy diet, which means you should be optimizing your bedtime routine to truly take care of yourself.
Although the ideal routine is one that works for you, here are a few ideas to help design an enjoyable nighttime routine that puts you at ease.
No Caffeine After 4 PM
Did you know it takes 6 hours for caffeine to completely wear off? We suggest cutting out caffeine as early in the day as possible (think, lunchtime), but we understand there are days when you need an afternoon caffeine boost. When you’re having one of those days, keep in mind the 6-hour rule. You don’t want to pay the consequences later and disrupt your beauty sleep.
Give Yourself Time to Decompress from Your Day
For those working in an office, it is easy to lose track of time and stay late. For those working from home, it is important to establish when your day is over and to cut off work-related emails and phone calls once you’re off the clock. Setting these boundaries will help you avoid over-stimulating your mind and body.
Whether it be spending time with your family, watching your favorite tv show, or enjoying some much-needed alone time, winding down from your day is the first step to take when starting your nighttime routine. Slow down and focus on what’s most important… SLEEP!
Take Care of Morning Chores
There’s nothing more stressful than rushing around in the morning. Think about what holds you up the most and set aside some time each night to complete as many of those tasks as you can – within reason, of course, we’re still supposed to be winding down. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep at night knowing that you don’t have to get up in the morning and do a million things before heading out the door – on time!
Simple things like laying out your clothes (and your kids’ clothes) the night before, preparing lunches in advance, gathering your keys/wallet/sunglasses together in an easily accessible area, and washing dirty dishes from the day are a few tasks to reduce nighttime stress and feel more relaxed in the morning.
As nice as it would be, some of us don’t have the luxury of taking a long bath after a looong day. Or sometimes we do have the time, but we’re just too tired. There are many other ways to relieve stress before hopping into bed each night.
- Journaling: Let it OUT!
- To-Do List: Don’t know what to journal about? Make a to-do list for tomorrow or something important coming up. Putting your thoughts down on paper will help free up space in your mind!
- Meditate: Relax physically and mentally.
- Stretch & Breathe: Prefer some movement? Find a nighttime yoga routine on YouTube.
- Create a Pre-Bedtime Playlist: Soothing music releases hormones that help improve your mood.
- Read a Good Book: Pour yourself a NON-caffeinated tea, and grab a cozy blanket and your favorite book.
Wash The Day Away
Take some time each night to refresh and reset. Cleanse your face for 60 seconds and wash away the stress. Take a hot shower and massage your scalp. Brush your teeth and smile at yourself in the mirror. Being more mindful about your nighttime routine, rather than jumping straight into bed, can help teach your body and brain that it’s time to wind down and relax.
Accept Wakefulness Instead of Fighting It
You may have been told this once or twice before – don’t get into bed until it’s bedtime. The more time you spend in bed, the more your body gets used to being awake in bed. It’s also important to go to bed at the same time every night. Incorporating a consistent bedtime lets our internal sleep-wake clock know that it’s sleepy-time.
Leave The Electronics ALONE!
Despite thinking that throwing on Netflix will help you fall asleep, the impact of blue light on sleep quality can seriously disrupt your circadian rhythm. If you can, say goodbye to all electronics at the beginning of your nighttime routine. We know it’s hard, but it will help to save the mindless scrolling for your lunch break tomorrow.
We hope these tips and tricks help you create a nighttime routine that you look forward to, before dozing off to dreamland. Oh, and don’t forget to set your alarm!
To your Balanced health,
Your friends at The Balanced Company