You can’t have a great morning, without a restful night. Here are some tips and techniques to help you wind down for a night of great sleep!
Anyone who knows me, knows I am the perfect antithesis to a Morning Person. (Those two words used to give me shudders!) I am such a night owl, I just seem to gain this insane energy after midnight and that’s when I get some of my best ideas and inspiration.
I would spend my nights catching up on my socials, watching random Youtube videos and squinting at my phone until the early hours of the morning, and have the worst sleep ever. Then, wake up at around 12pm, having missed nearly all the action of the day. It was horrible!
This repetitive schedule of being out of sync with the rest of the world was starting to get me down, I knew something had to change.
So, in order to join the living, I developed a 7 step mindful night-time routine that ensures that your mind and body are in a restful state before venturing into bed.
If you’re in the same boat and ready for change, keep readying!
1. Remove makeup/skin care/ brush your teeth!
This step truly signifies for me, the start of my winding down routine. Once my makeup is off, I know that nothing too adventurous is going to happen and my day is officially coming to an end. There’s something so cathartic about removing the layers and products from your face to reveal squeaky-clean skin.
At this point, I also like to brush my teeth. I’m always tempted to get a midnight snack when I feel a little peckish. But, I’ve noticed that a quick brush acts as a deterrent to keep me away from that pesky snack cupboard. This also means that my body isn’t working hard to digest food while I’m trying to sleep.
2. Yoga stretches & deep breathing
I used to find it really hard to fall asleep. I would toss and turn until day light hours, waiting for sleep to take me. The thought of the long dredged out night ahead was enough to give me anxiety. That was until I began doing a little bit of yoga before bed, and I haven’t looked back since.
Focusing on your breath and doing some mild stretches can work wonders to help you get to sleep. Breathing in slowly through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth, can centre you to the present moment and help shift your focus form anything stressful that might plague your mind while trying to sleep.
I honestly cannot preach the benefits of yoga enough! it has eased my anxiety and helped me drift off easily into a restful slumber. This is a must try!
3. Do your gratitude journal for the day
Gratitude journaling is such a wonderful activity to do before bed. The act of recalling your entire day and picking out the very best moments, is such a warm and gratifying feeling, it sends me to bed with a warm heart and a positive outlook ready for the next day.
Start by writing down 3 things that you are grateful for that day, and increase that number as you feel more comfortable.
This small practice at the end of my day has become a staple for me, and it’s something I do habitually, because I know how much better my day-to-day life is with this routine in place. You must give this a try!
4. Listen to an affirmation playlist
If you’re dealing with self esteem issues, imposter syndrome or you just want to live your best life, mantras are the tool to help. Studies show that listening to a 10-minute affirmation playlist every day, for 21 days, is enough to impact our deepest thoughts and challenge the lingering negative beliefs we have about ourselves. To really absorb the messages and mantras, listen at the same time every day.
I’ve been listening to a self-esteem mantra playlist while I write my gratitude journal and it’s honestly amazing how quickly some of the affirmations have sunk into my conscious and even subconscious thoughts.
5. Plan out the next day
Every single day, we make thousands of decisions before we’ve even left our beds. ‘What should I have for breakfast? What’s my plan for the day? It’s exhausting!
Researchers have actually proven that making too many decisions in the morning can directly impact our ability to make well thought-out decisions throughout the day. I mean, there is a reason Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day.
So, to combat decision fatigue (Its actually a thing!) I have begun planning my day the night before and its revolutionised my mornings.
Every night I take 10 minutes to outline my plan for the following day, and then the Zaima that wakes up in the morning has a few less decisions to make!
I don’t need to wake up and talk myself into working out, because its already in my schedule. Plus, it helps to be prepared for any meetings or deadlines I have coming up the following day.
6. Charge your phone away from your bed
This one’s a little obvious, but omg, it is one of the most difficult. We all know the deathly effect of Blue light on our unprotected eyes. Any usage of an electronic device at night, significantly reduces our ability to fall soundly into a restful slumber.
I try, at least an hour before I lie down, to put my phone on charge and forget about its existence. I have spent night after night after night scrolling and it really is a black hole that inevitably ends in weird places on YouTube!
But, since doing this, I have fallen asleep out of boredom without my phone to keep me occupied. Do yourself a favour and put it away!
7. Read your book
There are few joys that compare to lying in soft sheets and reading a delightful book just before bed! Reading can be a great way to unwind from the stresses of your day and ease your mind into a relaxed state for a restful sleep. Studies have even shown that just six minutes of reading before bed, can reduce stress by up to 68%, crazy!
I love reading my book as the last thing I do before bed. It’s a thrilling combination of wanting to know what happens next and getting to tired to continue, the sleep sweet spot! Since doing this, I feel like I fall asleep on my way down to the pillow, revolutionary!
So, find a good book and get reading!
I’ve been doing this newly implemented routine for about 6 months now and it honestly feels great. I’m down for 11pm and up fresh and early at 6am in time for my productive morning routine. I have to say, I’ve never felt so alive and alert!
Pick and choose the bits from this routine that will help you to prepare for a restful night’s sleep in the best way and let me know what you think!