As we all know, most successful people have a morning routine, such as drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. What about the last few hours of the day (that is, the few hours before you go to bed)?
It is believed that most people think that all they have to do after get off work is to relax, not to spend time and energy to perform a night routine.
In fact, creating a night routine is as important as a morning routine. After reading this article, I am sure you will change your mind.
What Are the Benefits of a Night Routine?
- It improves your sleep quality.
- It makes your mornings more productive.
- It guarantees your brain to function efficiently the next day.
- It enhances your physical and mental well-being.
What Should Your Night Routine Include?
The close of each day is just as important as the start. Here are ten best night habits that can help you get a restful night, ready yourself for the next morning, and minimize the resistance you encounter in getting things done. Let’s explore them one by one.
1. Tidy up Your Home
After wrestling with the alarm clock and getting off the comfortable bed, it is undoubtedly frustrating to see the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes in the morning. Thus, the task of 10 to 20 minutes of tidying up should be included in your night routine to avoid doing chores in the morning and control the upcoming chaos. More importantly, after finishing these trivial matters, you will have a full sense of accomplishment.
2. Prepare for Tomorrow
To minimize the number of preparations you need to do in the morning, please take some time. Pick out the clothes you’ll wear, pack the food you’ll eat, and put all the items you need into your bag. This action will absolutely save you some valuable time and eliminate potential stress factors in the beginning. Imagine if you can go out without any preparation after getting up in the morning, is it easier to fall asleep at ease?
3. Develop a To-Do List for Tomorrow
Do you sometimes lie in bed thinking about the important tasks that need to be completed the next day? I bet you do this! A simple and effective technique is to create a short list of things you need to get done tomorrow. This can not only help you improve your work efficiency the next day, but also help you sleep at ease. Never check how well you are doing today’s tasks. Once you find that your plan for the day has not been completed, you may not sleep well.
4. Keep a Diary
After a long day, it is easy to forget what you have done. At the end of the day, you can spend some time keeping a diary, for example, what victories you won today, what mistakes you made, and who helped you. Research shows that keeping a diary every day can not only improve sleep quality but also reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, and improve overall emotional health in general.
5. Take a Hot Bath
A study showed that heating the body and then cooling it naturally is the real inducement for sleep. Therefore, it is recommended that you take a hot bath 90 minutes before going to bed so that when you’re ready to sleep, your body temperature just drops to the optimal temperature. Remember that do not take a hot bath before going to bed, because too high body temperature will inhibit the secretion of melatonin in the brain, thereby affecting your sleep quality.
Tip: When taking a hot bath, please keep the water temperature between 40°C – 42.5°C (104 °F – 108.5°F) and control the time within 10 minutes.
6. Put down the Electronics
Most people love their electronic devices, myself included! And we all know that whether it’s a computer, tablet, smartphone, they can easily erode our precious sleep time though. Studies have shown that the blue light emitted by the screen of electronics will keep your mind psychologically engaged, suppress melatonin, and delay REM sleep, thereby destroying your sleep quality. Thus, put down your electronics and enjoy the night!
7. Read a Book
Reading is always a part of most people’s night routines. Researchers at the University of Sussex found that just six minutes of reading per day can reduce stress levels by 68%. And compared with watching TV or movies, it does a better job in increasing the degree of brain fatigue, because you cannot read and perform other operations at the same time. Of course, you can also choose to listen to podcasts and non-fiction audiobooks, but these media is likely to keep your brain active.
Note: It is recommended to read traditional paper books instead of digital paper books because luminous e-readers are proven to have a negative impact on your sleep.
8. Listen to Music
Although it is mentioned above to minimize screen time, listening to music before going to bed is a good idea. After all, listening to stretching exercises can fully relax the body and mind. If you are sensitive to sound, you can try to use some white noise, such as wind, light rain, and running water to help sleep. Never choose too exciting or too big music, it will only make you more awake.
9. Set the Alarm
Setting an alarm clock may have become a major event in our daily, especially when you need to go out early the next day. Besides, if you set the daily wake-up alarm at the same time, after a period of time, you will wake up at a fixed time even if there is no alarm clock, which is the formation of the biological clock. This will not only help you develop good work and rest habits but also help you to improve your sleep in the long run.
10. Turn off or Dim Light
As we all know, exposure to bright lights before going to bed will affect our secretion of melatonin, thereby affecting our circadian rhythm. In addition, when sleeping with the light on, it is tough for people to enter deep sleep. Therefore, sleep experts recommend that you turn off all the lights in the bedroom before going to bed or install a dimmer switch to imitate the dimming natural light outside.
Note: Please not place too dazzling white light sources in the bedroom, as yellow warm light sources are more suitable for sleep.
How to Stick to Your Night Routine?
Establishing and sticking to a new routine in your life is really difficult and requires intention and discipline. Fortunately, you can make the path forward smoother with the following two tips:
- Think about what you want to include in your night routine, write it down, post it to the most conspicuous place at home, and then follow your night routine every night until it becomes a habit.
- When you start the night routine for the first time, please set an alarm clock on your phone to tell you when to start the routine.
What you decide to do in your night routine is ultimately up to you. But you might like to try some of the ideas mentioned above.
Besides, once you begin implementing your own night routine, you will certainly find there is a big difference in your life.
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