You probably remember when Kat wrote about having a kick-ass morning routine, but have you ever considered having night-time routine, too? Guys, I love snoozin’. When I wake up in the morning, I’m already excited to go to sleep that night. But lemme tell you summin’, I used to really struggle to get to Dreamland. That’s right, the train to Sleepy Town always left without me. I couldn’t even hitch a ride to Slumberville. Okay, that’s enough. The point is, I just couldn’t switch off. Most nights, it took me one or two hours to fall asleep—that’s not okay! But I was surprised to learn that it’s really common.
A few months ago, I decided to set myself up with a night-time routine, and it has worked wonders! I’m drifting off quicker than ever. If I stick to my routine, I usually fall asleep within about half an hour, and I’m hoping to get that down to a snappy 10 minutes. It sounds a little strange, I know, an adult having a “bedtime routine”. Like, isn’t that for babies? Well, that’s what gave me the idea. I’m just a grown up baby, after all. Anyway, after a little bit of research, I realised that lots of adults have a night routine for the very same reason I was looking at implementing one.
If you’re like, “Ugh, I still don’t see the point,” let me cut that sass off right there. Firstly, if you have a very active mind, a regular routine will help you wind down. For many of us, the quiet time we have as we lay awake in bed is the only time during the day where we actually stop and think about things—no wonder we can’t shut our thoughts off. Better to get all that thinking done during your routine. Secondly, by repeating a regular series of actions, you begin to condition your body and mind for sleep, and your routine will actually make you feel tired. That’s pretty schwifty. Here’s three spicy tips for you if you’d like to start a pre-sleep plan of your own.
Decide what’s going to be in your night-time routine.
You know what helps you relax, so throw them in. Here’s some suggestions if you’re stuck.
- Give the house a quick tidy (hey, some people find it relaxing)
- Have a shower or bath
- Drink a cup of tea (or other hot beverage. Isn’t ‘beverage’ a weird word? It sounds weirder every time I say it. Beverage. BevERage. Bev-e-rage . . . )
- Journal or write in a diary, write a to do list or any worries you have for the next day
- Meditate (breathing, stretching, pilates etc)
- Listen to music
- Pray or do your daily devotion
- Do a face mask
Your night-time routine can be however long or short you like. And you don’t have to do the same thing every night, but it certainly helps. Like, if I’m feeling really awake, I’ll add a bath to my routine, but I wouldn’t do it every night because it’s too time consuming.
Aim to start your routine at the same time every night.
This can be pretty challenging, especially because I’m out almost every night of the week, but I always try to start my routine at 9:30PM so I can get into bed at 10:00PM. Your lifestyle will dictate what time you start yours. If you’re a parent, I imagine it’d be impossible to constantly start your own night-time routine at the same time. If that’s the case, just go with the flow.
Switch off your electronic devices.
So lame, but so helpful. Electronics are there to stimulate our minds, which is the total opposite of what we want to do. Plus, they can be addictive. As soon as your routine begins, turn your TV off and put your tablets and phone in another room. I’m hopeless with my phone, if it’s charging on my bedside table, I can guarantee I’m gonna have a cheeky peruse on Instagram before I close my eyes (hello, routine ruined). I charge my phone in a different room to avoid temptation.
A night-time routine might seem unnecessary, but if you find it hard to get to sleep, there’s no harm in trying, right? You could even just start by doing it one night a week, or with just one calming activity, and then build it up as you like. Sweet dreams!