The evenings are supposed to be the time to rest, enjoy activities we enjoy, spend quality time with our loved ones, and prepare our bodies and minds for sleep. Unfortunately, if you’re a parent, student, someone with a high-stress job, or simply someone who has a lot of things on their plate that you’re trying to keep up with, this is often not how our evenings look. Between helping your kids finish homework, taking care of after-school activities, making deadlines, or trying to get errands accomplished, you may find yourself running from one thing to the next. This constant wave of business can take a toll on your mental health. Do you often fall into bed at the end of the night without ever taking any time for yourself, only to do the same thing the next day? This is why it is so important to incorporate a healthy nighttime routine into your daily life.
Understanding Why Nighttime Routines are Essential
As humans, we are creatures of habit. When we make an effort to establish healthy habits regularly, we are essentially setting ourselves up for greater success. A healthy nighttime routine allows you to take the time to deal with stressful or anxious thoughts in advance so that you don’t go to bed with these things still on your mind. This, in turn, allows you a better chance to wake up with a positive mindset the next day.
Proper routines can help you fall asleep quicker and activate your sympathetic nervous system, allowing you to relax and fall asleep faster. It’s also important to note that nighttime routines can certainly play into the length and quality of sleep one experiences each night. The more you practice proper evening routines, the more able you will be to separate night from day.
Establishing a New Nighttime Routine
The following steps can help you establish a proper nighttime routine that can change your life.
#1.) Set a specific schedule and do your best to stick to it. You’ll want to begin your nighttime routine at least 30 minutes before the time you plan to go to bed. When you establish a set sleep cycle, it will be easier for you to fall asleep at night, and you’ll be more likely to feel rested and refreshed the next day.
#2.) Put away all screens and electronics. The light from screens can activate your brain and make it harder to fall asleep, you don’t want work emails, social media, or the news to be the last thing on your brain when you go to sleep. You may even consider shutting your phone off entirely and placing it in a different room so you’ll be less tempted to look at it.
#3.) Avoid big meals right before bedtime. Eating before going to sleep can cause acid reflux and other digestive issues that may disrupt your sleep quality throughout the night. Instead, consider a glass of ice water with lemon or a calming cup of noncaffeinated herbal tea, such as chamomile or lavender. If you have to have a snack, keep it like and opt for some fruit, nuts, or yogurt.
#4.) Consider taking a warm bath. This can help you unwind, find relief from sore muscles, and start feeling more relaxed and ready for bed. You may even consider lighting some candles and using some bath products to make it feel a little more fun and special.
#5.) Consider practicing yoga or some other form of meditation. Not only can this help you to feel more in tune with your mind and body, but it can also ease muscle tension. To further relax, you may also decide to listen to some calming music while doing this.
#6.) Try journaling or writing a to-do list before bed. Do you often feel like you have a million things running around your head, and you’re afraid to forget something? Writing everything out can help ease stress and process how you feel so you’re less likely to lay in bed for hours and worry. Having a to-do list already written can also make you feel more prepared for the day ahead.
#7.) Prepare your room for bed. You’ll want to make sure the thermostat is set reasonably low so that you won’t overheat during the night. You’ll also want to remove any distractions and ensure that the room is as quiet and dark as possible. You may consider turning on some white noise to help block out other noises that may be going on in other areas of the house.
Do you often find yourself running from one thing to the next all day long, only to fall into bed at night without having taken any time for yourself? Many people’s schedules are pretty much filled from when they wake up in the morning until they go to bed at night. This practice can take a toll on your mental health as time goes on. This is why it is so important to implement a healthy nighttime routine that begins at least 30 minutes before you intend to go to bed. Some tips are to spend this time meditating, avoiding electronics, journaling or writing a to-do list, taking a warm bath, and preparing your mind and body for sleep. At Achieve Concierge, we want to help you achieve your best possible state of mental health. Call (858) 221-0344 today to learn more about the types of services that we provide.