I recently learned that the only way we can get caught up on our sleep is to go to bed earlier. Sleeping in doesn’t make up for sleep lost. Realizing this I knew I had to start doing things differently in my evening routine.
Lately I have felt like the days have just gotten away from me and I look at the clock and its nearing my time for bed. I quickly try to clean up whatever I am in the middle of and expect my body to fall into bed and go to sleep. I have learned that doing this isn’t serving me and I wanted to share with you some tips and pointers I have learned to help my evening go smoother.
- Be Active: Now, I am not saying go and do a hard work out, but going for an evening walk, or doing a yoga workout can bring your body center and let it know its time to get ready for bed.
- Clean up the left overs of the day: Pick up a few things so when you wake up the next morning you are not met with yesterdays clutter. Fold a blanket that is left out, put the dishes in the dishwasher – those types of things.
- Prepare for tomorrow: My wife is the queen at this. She sets out our vitamins for the next day and prepares us for success. Often, I reach in the fridge for my lunch that is neatly packed and prepared. It takes out the guess work for the next day, and your day can start out on the right foot!
- Take a relaxing bath: ONE OF MY FAVORITES!!!!! Nothing is better than time to relax. Taking a bath is one of the most powerful self-care tools. When our emotions need to be reset we can take a bath and when our skin is stimulated by the water it resets our sensory overload and helps us relax. I love to put a little lavender and juniper berry in my water just to stimulate my sense of smell to help clear my mind as well.
- Listen to soft music, light a candle, defuse or apply essential oils: Turning on a meditation or soft music can allow for our minds to relax. One of my favorite sleep blends is a mixture of lavender, peppermint, and cedar wood and it helps my body relax!
- Avoid screen time: I don’t have to go into a lot of talk on this one. You all have seen and heard on the news the affects of screen time and sleep! This is a hard habit to break, but I assure you if you can stick to it – you will find that your sleep will be better.
- Read a book, write in your gratitude journal, connect with source: This is a great tool to replace your habit of screen time with. Sitting at night and writing things you are grateful for is something I find very powerful. I do it in the morning but want to start doing it at night as well. Energetically it takes the negativity out of your space and it allows time for gratitude and love to enter in. When done you can pray, meditate or just think of the great things in your life. Take the time to connect to something greater than yourself. Close your eyes and see the life you want and give thanks for the life you have. Finally, reading a chapter or two before bed can let your mind be at ease as well. Some of my friends say this doesn’t work because they are readers, and well, it keeps them up. So, depending on your reading style =) read something! One of my favorite times with my kids is when we all gather in our bed and my wife reads us the current story we are reading together as a family. We all intently listen to her and often beg for one more chapter before bed. This helps all of us to wind down and connect as a family.
I want to do better about my evening routine. It seems I go-go-go all day long and fall into bed. I am committed to being more conscious about my evening routine. Research has shown a good night’s sleep is worth its weight in gold.
Let me know what evening routine works for you!