Do your days feel like they all just run together and your to-do list never ends? It could be because you are lacking structure in your life. One of the best ways to add some organization to your day-to-day is by setting up and following routines. Today we are going to learn 10 simple steps to creating a nighttime routine and start getting things done.
Having a nighttime routine is an essential part of any good morning routine.
I know what you’re thinking.
What I just said makes me sound like a crazy person.
That’s okay though.
Let me explain myself.
Your nighttime routine is, in fact, the whole reason you will have the time and energy to focus on your morning routine.
How does it do that you ask?
The answer is simpler than you may think.
Let’s back up for a minute and talk about what having a nighttime routine means.
What is a nighttime routine?
The easy answer is:
The steps you intentionally take each evening to help calm your mind and body so you are ready to have a restful night’s sleep.
Was that a simple answer? Maybe not.
It kind of leaves a lot to interpretation. And leads to more questions, I’m thinking.
Let’s break it down.
Doing something intentionally means doing it on purpose or consciously.
So this means that you are completing these tasks or activities because they are giving you certain expected results.
Okay, that makes sense.
To help calm your mind and body.
This means to distract your mind from worrying about whatever it is that makes you stressed.
Allowing your mind to stop analyzing situations, etc., and just relax.
It also means to let your body begin the first stage of sleep – Relaxed Wakefulness.
You should avoid any kind of rigorous activity, caffeinated beverages, or alcohol too close to bedtime.
When your heart is racing there is no way you are going to fall asleep.
Although alcohol is a depressant and may make you feel sleepy, it actually prevents you from falling into Stage 5 of sleep – REM
Not getting REM sleep will leave you waking up groggy and unfocused.
How does having a nighttime routine help me with my morning routine?
A good nighttime routine includes not only activities to calm your mind and body but also steps to help get you prepared for the next day.
Being prepared for the next day means you won’t be thinking about that stuff anymore, which allows you to have a more restful snooze.
Consider tasks you might at first think belong in your morning routine but could actually be done and out of your mind before you go to bed.
Can you think of anything you could do the night before to make your mornings run more smoothly?
Here’s an idea or two.
Picking out your outfit for the next day. What about packing your lunch?
See how adding these tasks to your nighttime routine can potentially save you a lot of time in the morning.
How do you get started creating a nighttime routine and what should it include?
Now that you have an understanding of why you need a nighttime routine, let’s talk about how you can get one going.
- Decide how much sleep you need to feel your best
- Determine tasks you can complete that will help make your morning easier
- Think about activities you can do that will calm your mind and body
- Create a plan and write it down so it’s easy to follow
1. How much sleep do you need?
I can’t answer this for you.
You know your body and you know how much sleep you need to feel your absolute best.
A general guideline for adults is 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Some people feel better with a little less than 7 hours or a little more than 9, it’s really going to depend on your body as well as your activity levels.
You should wake up feeling good and well-rested.
If you’re feeling like you need 30 more minutes, it’s probably because you do.
Oversleeping can also make you feel tired and lethargic, so you should avoid doing it.
2. What tasks will make your morning easier?
I mentioned a couple of things earlier but I’ll mention them again here.
Here are some ideas:
- Picking out/Laying out your outfit for the next day
- Packing lunches
- Planning your breakfast(ex. overnight oats)
- Getting your coffee ready and set it on a start timer
- Take a shower
- Write out your to-do list for the next day
This list is in no way exhaustive and I’m sure there are things you can do that are unique to your life and needs.
3. These are some great ways to calm down, relax, and prepare yourself for sleep:
- Read a book
- Take a bath
- Wash your face and moisturize
- Put on fluffy warm pajamas
- Drink a warm beverage(remember to avoid caffeine or alcohol)
- Write in your journal
- Listen to Music
- Brain Dump
4. Create a plan and write it down.
I recommend using a journaling notebook to keep all your routines in as well as habit trackers, etc.
If you want to see the notebook I use, you can see it in my article about morning routines here.
*Update – I don’t think the journal I use is available any longer
In that article, you can see an easy example of how you can set up your routine as well.
If you prefer using your phone to keep track of your routines, then you’ll want to check out the app store on your phone – there are probably a hundred apps available that do just that.
How long should a nighttime routine be?
A good starting point is 30-60 minutes before bed.
This may vary depending on the activities you choose to include in your routine.
If you plan on taking a long soak in the tub then you’ll want to ensure you’ve left enough time to complete other tasks as well.
You can combine some of the activities to save time as well.
Such as reading a book and drinking a cup of tea while soaking in the tub where you used a calming bath bomb.
You’ll be so sleepy after this, trust me. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep in the tub!
An awesome nighttime routine will help you have a good morning. We discussed 10 simple steps to creating a nighttime routine.
In order for your nighttime routine to be effective, it should include the following things:
- activities to help calm your mind and body so you are ready to have a restful night’s sleep
- steps that will help you save time and stress in the morning
Decide which activities you want to do. Be sure to include both helpful tasks and calming ones.
Write out your routine and keep it somewhere you will see it and can track your progress.
Both your morning and night routines should be intentional and you should follow all the steps each day to get the most out of the routine.
Have you tried creating a nighttime routine yet? What are you hoping you can accomplish by starting and keeping a nighttime routine?