Last week, we looked at the benefits of a good morning routine.
A good morning routine, however, is obviously dependent on a good night’s sleep. We live in a fast-paced society that celebrates burning the candle at both ends. “I can sleep when I’m dead” is a badge of honour.
Problem is, you struggle to wind down and get the rest your body needs.
This article shares a few tips and ideas on how you can improve your evening routine to get the sleep you deserve.
Stay away from the screen
Some people can’t sleep because of insomnia. I can’t sleep because I have an internet connection. – Anonymous
Do you also sleep next to your phone? The temptation to browse the Web, or to check Facebook and Instagram, is hard to resist because your willpower is so low you give in to the Fear of Missing Out. The result? You can’t sleep.
In the past few weeks, I’ve started to charge my phone at the other end of the room. This way, I can’t simply grab it at will. This trick – to make it harder to check your phone – sends the message that it’s time for sleep.
Stepping away from the screen is the first step in my new evening routine.
Write a short journal entry
I’ve recently committed to writing down a few lines about my day. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy entry: just a sentence or two, perhaps three, to wind down and reflect on both good and bad experiences.
This new habit gives me a free space where I can dump my thoughts and feelings, without judging them. Nobody reads these pages except for me. A side benefit is that during the day, when I get caught up in the conundrum of everyday life, I tell myself that I can write about it at night.
“I’ll deal with this later,” I tell myself, and the nagging thought disappears (it loses its power because I will deal with it later).
Writing a short journal entry is the second step in my new evening routine.
Do a short meditation
My intention for this year is to expand on my meditation practice, so I can become a more mindful and courageous person. To achieve this goal, I have begun to explore the sleep meditation on the Headspace app. I’ll let you know how this experiment pans out over the next couple of months.
So far, it is looking very promising.
To sum up
- Step away from the screen.
Make it difficult to reach for your smartphone. Charge it at the other side of the room, or someplace else where you can’t check it so easily.
- Write a short journal entry.
Keep this brief: a sentence or two will often suffice. The point is to pick up the pen and paper and write off your thoughts and feelings for the day.
- Do a short meditation.
Finishing the day with a short meditation makes it easier to fall asleep. Once this has become a routine, your body and mind will receive the rest it deserves.
How do you prepare for a good night’s sleep?
I’ve only begun to look over my evening routine to make sure I get a good night’s sleep. I may wish to add other elements into the mix as well, such as reading a chapter or two in a book, as well as laying out clothes for the next day.
Planning for the day ahead also helps you to become more productive in the morning.
What’s your evening routine like? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
PS. If you want to look over your morning routine, check out this article I wrote: Take Back Your Morning Routine to Achieve Excellence.