It’s no great secret, that if you want to wake up feeling refreshed, well-rested, and ready to take on whatever the day has prepared for you, you need to get a good night’s sleep. However, contrary to popular belief, your morning routine plays a far smaller part in this than you may think. The best way to kickstart your day is by getting rid of bad habits from the night before. Get it right, and you will reap the rewards for the days, weeks, and months to come.
In this post, we explain the best things you can do at night to ensure a sound and restful sleep.
#1 – Reduce your Screen time before bed
From children through to adults; we’re all guilty of using technology late at night. Whether for pleasure or work, it doesn’t matter why you use it, you need to learn to switch off. Here’s why:
We all have something called a Circadian Rhythm. It is our body’s internal process for regulating sleep patterns. When you use a device before bed, it messes with this process, and it makes it much harder for you to fall asleep.
Give yourself a digital curfew, and where possible, try to refrain from using any technology up to two hours before bed. You can also reduce the intensity of the brightness of your screen and turn this down to help with the process.
#2 – Be Prepared
Whether you only need to get yourself ready or you have a family to tend to, getting everything ready the night before can pay real dividends, especially where sleep is concerned. When you take the time to get your clothes, lunch, and bag prepared before going to bed, you are freeing your mind from untold stress, and preventing unnecessary worrying about getting up early and getting things done before having to leave.
With the burden of these immaterial tasks gone, you will find it much easier to switch off and go to sleep.
#3 – Consider the day ahead and set goals
Ok, while this might sound like a mammoth task, it does not need to be. By taking ten minutes to think about the day ahead and outlining the three main things you want to achieve, you are instantly making the day ahead feel less pressured.
Ego Depletion forms the foundation of this recommendation. By having to make various decisions during the day, your willpower is affected, and this impacts on your motivation to get things done. However, by prepping your goals in advance, you become instantly more likely to achieve them.
It can also help with focus and having that feeling of knowing exactly what you need to do when you get up is a great motivator too.
#4 – Food and Drink at Night
One of the worst things you can do during the evening revolves around the food and drink you consume before going to bed. Carbonated drinks, fruit juices, and even hot drinks such as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate will each impact your ability to switch off at night. The same applies to food; even good food can affect your sleep. Because the digestive process requires energy and effort, eating before bed is a no-no.
The best way forward is to drink water; most people do not drink enough as it is! Try not to drink anything in the hour or two before you sleep as this could result in you needing to get up to go the toilet.
#5 – It’s all about the routine
Some people thrive from routine, whereas others detest the mundane nature of doing the same thing, night in, night out. According to research, by creating a bedtime routine for yourself, you are creating a specific set of behaviors and tasks that you do each day before sleeping.
In essence, when you start that routine, your body can then begin to prepare to shut down for the evening, as it knows it will soon be going to sleep.
Almost everything we have outlined in this post can be attributed to having a good routine. For those of you who have children with a bedtime regime in place, it’s time to start practicing what you preach and getting a proper system in place for yourself too.
Start small, and build better, healthier habits; your brain and your body will thank you for it!