How hard is it to leave your phone in the other room 30 minutes before you go to bed, really? Can’t tell you – it seems like I never go to bed. My evening routine often consists of this: passing out exhausted on the couch watching Paw Patrol (my sons favorite new show!). Bedtime habits, right?
Wanted: Evening Routine
As much as I love, absolutely love, my morning routine, developing a healthy evening routine has been a big challenge. And I’m not gonna lie, some days it still feels like a struggle. There’s always something more to do that just wouldn’t let me shut my eyes and there’s always something more I need to “learn” on the internet, preferably reading or listening to it on my phone. Even though I haven’t slept in what feels like 2 1/2 years.
However, over the past months, I’ve made some big improvements and want to share what has really worked for me to help me get better sleep and to relax before going to bed. My bedtime routine isn’t glamorous, I don’t meditate, I don’t use expensive lotions to remove the makeup from my tired face. This is a very basic and simple evening routine that works for me, so I can end the day with a clear mind and start fresh in the morning. I truly believe adopting some or all of the following bedtime habits will benefit you as well.
Before you start – leave your phone somewhere you won’t be able to grab it easily.
5 Things You Should Be Doing Before Bed
1. 10-Minute Clean-Up
Set your environment up for success the next day. Tidy up all the places you’ve spent time and left a mark today. Maybe someone else you care about has marked some territory as well. Like your kids, husband or your dog. Don’t get mad at them and don’t feel sorry for yourself, put everything in the order you like it to be and move on. Take the emotion out of it. You’re doing this for you and it takes 10 minutes.
I like to clean up my desk, the kitchen where we made dinner (although my husbands helps with that) and the living room where the toddler has been throwing toys and drawing EVERYWHERE. It’s where we spend most of our time usually and I don’t want to wake up to a messy home. It frustrates me more early in the morning than it does in the evening when I’m anyway just DONE, so I get everything ready and move on.
2. 5-Minute Stretching Or Yoga
Try some soothing stretches or a bedtime yoga routine to relax and to relieve any tension that might have built up during the day. I tend to spend a lot of time sitting during the day and this leads to very tight muscles in the front of my body as well as tight hip flexors. I stretch those and I also stretch my neck and shoulders. Then I love to do a forward bend, and of course: child’s pose at the end. You can come up with your own bedtime yoga routine or look for one online. Here’s a collection of bedtime yoga routines my sister made last year.
3. Shower/Bath/Beauty Routine
There are two types of people: the ones who like to shower in the morning and the ones who like to shower before they go to bed. I actually like to do both, although I know it’s not good for my skin. But it mostly depends on the situation. If I had to choose, I’d definitely take the shower before you go to bed thing. It not only helps me get clean physically, but it also relaxes me and seems to cleanse, really detox, my mind as well.
If you do have more time and don’t think you’ll fall asleep while doing it – take a bath with some candles, maybe even wine. I don’t know why this sounds so attractive to me, I mentioned it also as one of my self-care ideas, so I might need to do it soon.
After that bath/shower, I also find it super relaxing to take off my make up (if I’ve been wearing any), brush my hair and moisturize my face and body. I seriously feel brand new and relaxed after this 15-minute routine.
4. Reflect & Plan
I am a huge believer in reflection and taking the 2-3 minutes out of your day to reflect on what has happened during the last 16 hours while you were awake. Write out the big wins and the things that could’ve been better. It will help you remember the good and identify things that aren’t working.
Once that’s done for me, I can “dream up” what I want my tomorrow to look like. I highly recommend this practice before bed, although it could also make you a little overexcited for the next day. Sometimes my brain is like “I can’t wait to wake up, maybe I don’t go to sleep at all.”. But most of the time I feel relieved that I have a plan in place for the next day, I feel more prepared and I live more intentionally. And in case I get a little overexcited, the next point ALWAYS works!
And I mean reading an actual book or journal. I like listening to audiobooks when I’m in the car sometimes, but these don’t seem to work for me when it comes to putting me to sleep…well, I guess it depends on the book, really. But physical books, you know the ones made out of paper, they relax me and put me to sleep almost instantly. So it should be no surprise that I don’t read “educational” literature before bed. Seriously, I’d be on page 5.
And then I’m asleep, dreaming and restoring my mind and body for the next day.
What about you? Do you have a bedtime routine? I’d like to know any tips that could help!
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