There’s been a lot of discussions recently about how to improve our morning routines, and morning routine statistics, but I don’t want the equally essential evening ones to be neglected.
Evening routines are an essential daily habit since, unlike morning habits, they prepare us for two things: finishing our day and obtaining a fantastic night’s sleep. As a result, getting a fantastic night’s sleep will get you ready for the next day, when you may begin your ideal morning routine.
As we age, our sleep patterns change — but did you know how drastically they do?
- Individuals at the age of 20 get approximately 7.5 hours of sleep on average, while those over 80 obtain just 5.8 hours of sleep.
- At 20, people spend 20% of their sleeping time in deep, restorative slow-wave sleep.
- Only 7.5 percent of that precious time is spent in REM at 80. You’ve got it correct if you read those statistics correctly.
This is why we must end our evenings on a good note!
Also, keep in mind that evening routine are prone to modification as we age, and what worked for us at age 20 may not work for us at 30, 40, 50, or beyond.
Let’s face it: A perfect evening regimen should have two objectives.
- How can we conclude the day so that we may retire with a clear head?
- How can we get ready for that profound, beautiful, restorative sleep everyone desires?
I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s nothing worse than getting all cozy under those warm covers, closing your eyes, and having your thoughts go a million miles an hour as they run over everything you said, did, didn’t do, chores that need to be done, and so on.
This will never happen again, thanks to these 5 simple steps!
1. The Good List
Let’s forget the done and to-do lists, and try something new instead.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his autobiography that he had a standard approach for conducting his evening routine.
He would begin each day by asking himself, ”
- What good might I do today?”
- He would ask himself this question at the end of every day: “How effective was I today?”
Let’s change our focus from what we achieved during the day to how beneficial you were or what still needs to be done. Let’s refocus our attention on the positive influence you have had on the day rather than stressing about what was accomplished, how productive we were, or even what has yet to be done.
This easy exercise might help you shift your attitude into a more optimistic and fulfilled one.
Whether you concentrate on this alone while brushing your teeth, with your spouse or family as you wind down for the night, it may assist you in processing the day’s events and providing some much-needed closure to the day.
2. Brain Cool Down
I don’t know about you, but my old evening routine generally consisted of washing my face, brushing my teeth, and then crawling into bed with a book.
However, researchers have discovered that this is the insufficient time!
Surprisingly, our brains require around 2 hours to cool down before we can genuinely enter deep sleep.
This means that you should wrap down your brain two hours before going to bed.
Classical music was discovered in the Journal of Advanced Nursing to be an excellent way to wind down, but so were meditation, journaling, and other relaxing hobbies.
Avoiding spicy food is also advised since science has shown that hot foods tend to extend the cool-down period
(I’m not sure how much of this makes sense unless you’ve seen it).
Remember, each person’s evening cool-down habits are different; this may also imply no Netflix or texting for others!
I know this is a long time.
Therefore I’m loudly shouting it out to remind you to be more intentional with your limited evening hours. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep or not going into a deep sleep, there’s a chance you’re not spending enough time relaxing.
3. Clear Clear Clear
The famous author Henry James had an entire evening routine from which we can learn a lot.
After reflecting on all of his day’s activities, he would create his to-do list for the following day.
When we first wake up, we are frequently overwhelmed by all of the things that need to be done for the day, and this worry can have a detrimental impact on our last precious hours of sleep—making your to-do list ahead of time the night before allows you to clear your mind so it can relax properly.
You may now use the apps to protect those two hours before bed and those two hours immediately upon waking up, making your mornings less difficult.
4. Sleep Cave
If we want to get good quality and quantity sleep, the Mayo Clinic has done a lot of excellent sleep research and discovered that our bedroom must be regarded as a cave.
It’s not simply about darkness — temperature and sleep are equally crucial to us! Caves are pitch black, chilly, and silent, which is the type of atmosphere we need to sleep in!
- According to the Mayo Clinic, the ideal room temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- So keep this in mind when you turn up the heat in the winter and can’t seem to get comfortable!
5. Tools Are Your Friend
There are several fantastic sleep-related applications available that were created primarily to assist you in improving your sleeping. Sleep Cycle is one of my all-time favorite apps. It can be used while you’re resting or on the pillow, and it will monitor how often you turn over and figure out how you sleep. This may help you understand how your typical night’s rest goes and what kind of evening cool down gets you the best sleep!
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of meditation, Headspace is an outstanding tool.
The program can help you relax before bed by walking you through five, ten, and twenty-minute meditations regardless of your meditation ability.
They provide a variety of mindfulness and gratitude exercises to help you appreciate each day.
Finally, utilize lights that do not contain the blue spectrum. The blue light in lights and on our device displays has been found to keep us awake and disrupt our sleep!
There are lighting fixtures available that emit a more soothing, natural light and settings on your smartphone or computer that can filter out the blue light and relax your eyes.
The majority of individuals are unaware that a nightly ritual is equally essential as a morning one.
Learn how to master both in your daily routine, and you’ll be on your way to a more productive, healthy, and successful day.
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it might be time to optimize your evening routine.
By winding down in a specific order and avoiding certain activities before bed, you can train your body to relax and fall asleep more easily. Implementing these tips should help you get the quality sleep you need to feel refreshed and energized during the day.
How has tweaking your evening routine helped improve your sleep?