I’ve been focusing a lot lately on my morning routine, particularly trying to get up much earlier than I’m used to — and I’m slowly getting there.
But I realised, I was never going to be completely successful at this until I paid close attention to my evening routine — because this is what will set me up for not only a good night’s sleep, but a productive morning too.
“The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.”
~ Arianna Huffington, The Sleep Revolution
I’ve tried fluffing up my cushions, spraying pillow mist, rubbing aromatherapy oil on my temples, and I even invested in a high quality sleep mask the other week (which is not working for me).
Some nights I’ve slept on the sofa and others I’ve top tailed with my husband like we’re having a sleepover. I’m sure it’s been pretty amusing to watch. But as you can imagine, increasingly frustrating for myself.
I could be being optimistic but after a week of pretty decent sleep, I finally think I’ve cracked it.
1. Write your to-do list for the following day
You’ve gotta brain dump otherwise you’ll be carrying it with you all night and you’ll never get to sleep. I tend to write my to-do list for the next day at the end of my working day so I don’t miss anything and it’s been working wonders so far. I’m somewhat of an over-thinker so it helps to box at least some of the work stuff away and you can then channel your thoughts onto other things — like getting a good night’s sleep.
2. Turn off technology at least an hour before sleep
This is something I’d heard a thousand times before, but I never really listened to the advice. I have no idea why. Not only did I waste my time pointlessly scrolling for hours, I’d also end up constantly picking up my phone after I’d turned the lights off. Not good.
According to the Sleep Foundation, studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness. Disconnect and you might be able to snooze much better.
3. Read a book
Instead of watching TV or using your phone, get lost in a good fiction book. This will help you escape from any of the days woes and ease any stress or tension.
“To read in bed is to draw around us invisible, noiseless curtains. Then at last we are in a room of our own and are ready to burrow back. Back to that private life of the imagination we all led as a child and whose secret satisfactions so many of us have mislaid the key.”
~ Clifton Fadiman
I am by no means an expert at meditation but it’s already improving my life in so many ways. Once I’ve turned the lights off, I listen to a short guided meditation which usually involves following someone’s voice and listening to the sound of the waves on a beach. Even if you don’t fall asleep, it will put you in a much more relaxed frame of mind. And who doesn’t want to imagine themselves on a beach right now? For those who prefer to go it alone, focus on your breath or positive affirmations.
One thing’s for sure, sleep is vital for both our mental and physical health so it’s important to make it a top priority.
“Through sleep, you disconnect from the world so that you can reconnect with your soul.”
~ Jennifer Williamson