Creating your perfect night time routine can prove extremely beneficial for your productivity the following day. When you sit down and create the perfect night time routine you are setting yourself up for a plan that can be extremely beneficial to your overall mental health and well being.
Also, you deserve the perfect night time routine! You work hard, and need a proper way to decompress from your busy life. We’ll go over how to create the perfect night time routine, some tips, and even options you can include in your night time routine!
Like with most things I’ll talk about, tailor the perfect night time routine to whatever you want and need! Put your phone down at night and do some additional things to treat yourself each night.
Why Does a Night Time Routine Matter?
Your night routine can account for the time you spend after your normal day up until you fall asleep. It’s vital to create the perfect night time routine for yourself!
If you have a flexible night time and tend to fall asleep whenever you want, you might want to consider what having an actual night routine can bring to your life. I would argue that a night time routine is just as important as your morning routine.
What does your morning routine consist of and why do you have one? Is it a plan you do each morning before work? Why do you have one? Could it be because you don’t have to put too much effort into your morning? For me I am not a morning person. I can’t function til about 10:30 in the morning. This is why a morning routine is so important to me!
On the same token, having a night time routine is just as important to me! Let me tell you why!
Top 3 Benefits of Having a Night Time Routine
- You will have a more restful and higher-quality sleep.
The quality of sleep you have will have a direct impact on how you feel the following day. And what’s wrong with having a restful sleep? You know those nights where you seem to toss and turn all night, and wake up more tired than when you went to sleep? I bet it was because you were thinking about all the things you need to do tomorrow. (or should have done today…) This is just one of the reasons why having a night time routine can directly affect your productivity!
- Your brain will be sharper throughout the next day
Your brain, just like the rest of your body, needs ample time to recharge and relax during the night time. When you stay up late and wake up early you are forcing your brain to start working before it is rested. On days when you get a full night sleep, you are far more productive!
- You can tackle the morning far better
Just like how your sleep affects the following night, it does wonders for your mornings! When you create the perfect night time routine you have created a plan for how your evenings will go. This will give your brain ample time to decompress and get ready to recharge as you sleep. The nights that you get a full night sleep lead to a smoother morning. Coffee seems to taste better. You get less frustrated with the little things. You feel rested and ready to attack your day.
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of how important your night time routine is, let’s talk about some tips for creating the perfect night time routine!
Tips for a Better Night Time Routine
Decompress from the Day Before
I would argue that one of the most important things to do before you go to sleep is to give yourself time to completely decompress from your day. Between meetings, kids, traffic, and anything else, you have a lot going on.
I am sure some nights you lay down and are kept awake thinking about all the things you did today. Personally my brain likes to bring up all those random comments I made like ten hours ago instead of focusing on actually falling asleep. That is why you have to take time to decompress!
Your brain will actually start preparing for sleep about 2 hours before you usually go to sleep. Experts recommend that you set a timer at least 2 hours before your typical bedtime to start winding down from your day. This is where you can do something you enjoy that truly relaxes you!
Keep reading to see some great examples of what you can do before bed without scrolling on your phone!
No Caffeine After 4 PM
When you start to separate your energy from being on at work, and decompressing at work, you should watch when you drink caffeine. If you work a typical 9 to 5 job, your night time routine can actually start at 4. Since everything you do after then will affect how you sleep!
Caffeine stays in our body for up to 6 hours after we drink it. Keep that in mind next time you drink that second coffee. If you like having a cup of tea each evening, try switching to an herbal tea that doesn’t have any additional caffeine in it!
So you know how if you don’t drink enough water during the day you feel sluggish? I’m personally more prone to migraines when I don’t drink enough water. The same is true when you sleep.
If you don’t stay hydrated before you go to sleep, your body will be fighting to find hydration. This means you can wake up feeling exhausted and in desperate need of some H2O! Make sure you drink some water before bed, and drink one as soon as you wake up!
Snack Light Before Bed
Sometimes (if not all the time) before you go to bed you might get hungry. The good news? All that mess your mama used to say where eating before bed causes nightmares? Not true! I’m telling you dating someone older than me has really opened my eyes haha
When you do have to eat before bed, try to keep your meals more to a snack. Something that is light and healthy can not affect your sleep at all! Both being hungry as well as eating too much can stimulate your body and will fragment your sleep. So if you do want to snack before you fall asleep, keep it healthy, light, and small!
Bonus Tip: Eating foods that are lower in fat can also reduce the possibility of acid reflux while you’re sleeping. I constantly struggle with acid reflux, so this was really great to learn!
Prepare for Tomorrow
A big reason you are having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep is probably your mind. Does it tend to spin with things you need to remember to do tomorrow? Almost like you have stressed yourself out about tomorrow, before it even got there?
Taking the time to prepare for your next day, before bed, means you can actually relax when it comes time to sleep. Instead of worrying about what you are going to wear for your presentation or if your paper is saved, that’s due tomorrow, go to bed knowing you have taken care of everything in preparation for the next day.
This is also a great way to quit forgetting things in the morning! When you set your purse out and anything else you need every morning, you end up limiting the chance of things getting left behind. Don’t waste time in the morning looking for your keys. They are exactly where you purposely set them, each and every day.
You can learn how to best plan for tomorrow in your planner! Make sure to read all about why you should have a planner. Then see how important planning for tomorrow is on increasing your productivity!
Get in Bed When it’s Time to Sleep
Did you ever hear not to do your homework or work in your bed because that is where you relax? That is so true! Your brain relates your bed to where it can relax and sleep. If you are constantly doing work in bed that requires high brain function, then your brain will see your bed as a place it needs to remain alert.
This can be the same for watching tv in bed for a while before sleep. The more time you spend in your bed before you go to sleep, the more your bed will get used to being awake in bed. You want your bed to be the place where you can relax and sleep. Keep it that way!
Go to Bed at the Same Time
Because our day runs on a 24 hour cycle, and so does our bodies. The exact time you go to sleep isn’t as important as keeping the time consistent. However long you sleep and the time you need to be up in the morning will affect your actual bed time.
This includes sleeping on the weekends! Keeping the time you go to bed and wake up in the morning the same all days of the week can help regulate your sleep. In fact, if you sleep in extra late on the weekends to compensate for lack of sleep on the weekdays you can be setting yourself up for insomnia and other sleep troubles.
Don’t Rely on Electronics
It can be easy to lay in bed and lose hours scrolling on your phone. Do you know how many times I got to bed at the time I intended to, and then wasted hours on Instagram? A lot. Until I learned that those little screens are actually damaging to decompression time before bed.
Studies have shown the impact of blue light on your sleep quality and overall alertness. While the distance from you and your tv is probably far enough, you don’t really have to worry about that screen. Instead you need to be thinking about your phone, tablets, and computers. Since we have to hold those so closely to our face, it can actually negatively affect your sleep.
Are you wondering what kind of activities you can do at night to replace scrolling on your phone?
Lucky for you I’ve listed a few different options. No one is saying you have to go straight to sleep when you get in bed. But we are saying you shouldn’t spend those precious minutes being on your phone!
What To Do Instead of Scrolling On Your Phone
After a long day, my favorite thing to do is crawl in bed and get on my phone. I can probably assume that it might be one of the best parts of your day too. But this really isn’t good for us. Not at least, in our bed, right before bed time.
6 Things You Can Do at Night
You can wind down from your day with puzzles or board games before you go to sleep. This gives your brain different matter to focus on, but there are no stressors to finishing it (unlike a project at work). Enacting in something playful can not only boost your mood before bed, but can be helpful with your memory!
Night Time Yoga
Your body could probably use some yoga after a long day. We spend the majority of our day being stressed and tense. Taking time to do a light activity like yoga can help our bodies relax. It slowly strengthens and builds muscles that need to be stretched out from the hardships of the day.
If you aren’t in the habit of journaling each day, you definitely should be! Adding some time to write before bed can be a great option to decompress. Whether you are writing your thoughts of the day, nightly devotions, or are simply just journaling your deepest wants, you should try writing as a way to decompress.
Did you have a bad day or was your boss actually Satan today? Write it out in a diary and let it out. Sometimes this is a great tactic to do when you’re upset in general! But if you find yourself having a hard time forgetting about the hardships of your day, writing them out is an extremely useful source of relaxing.
I used to watch those old 2000’s family sitcoms where the parents sit in bed and read before they go to sleep. Even then I found that weird, that people would choose to read before they go to bed. Hear me out. I tried it, and I loved it. I now make it a point to read a little bit of a book a night. It allows me to get distracted in another world, without being on a phone!
Listen to Music & Podcasts
More nights than not I find myself falling asleep listening to a podcast. My favorites are Sword and Scale & Serial. Now if murderers are not what you want to fall asleep for there are TONS of other podcasts out there. They allow you to tune out everything in your life and fall into someone else’s story.
The same can be achieved with music. Maybe I won’t recommend listening to some Metallica before bed, or any other music that makes you want to bang your head. But I will recommend listening to some music. Especially if you love music, it can be a good way to relax after a busy day. Sometimes I put my Spotify on our tv and force Brad to dance with me. It also helps get us out of our own heads!
Talk it Out
If you aren’t into writing, you can try decompressing before bed by simply talking with someone about your day. I would much rather prefer talking with Brad about what’s going on in the world right now, than for us to be silently reading about it on our phones.
Whether something is bothering me, I want to talk about why I had the best day ever, or if we’re saying what we’d do if we won the lottery – Talking and having conversations are a great way to relax before bed. It also just feels good to connect with someone before you go to sleep. Go to bed happy, wake up happy ya know?
Once you have a perfect night time routine down, make sure to put it in your planner! It’s one of the best things you can track in your planner!
What other things can we do instead of scrolling on our phones at night? What’s your perfect night time routine? Let me know what you think!