You’ve created a morning routine that in theory should set you up for a productive and successful day. Yet when your alarm sounds, you find it difficult to get out of your dreamy bed and so you find yourself reaching for the snooze button and rewarding yourself with those extra few minutes in dreamland. Then before you know it, you’re rushing around trying to get ready for work or school, regretting that you hit that snooze button. But then the next morning comes around and you do it all over again. Sound familiar?
Why you need a bedtime routine
To really make sure that you wake up early and have the productive and relaxing morning that you desire, you first need to create a bedtime routine. A bedtime routine works perfectly alongside a morning routine because it sets you up for the next day. During the daytime, you tend to have limited control over what happens, this is because you’re busy running errands, working or at school. Whereas you can control how you begin and end your day, take advantage of this fact by planning your time.
My bedtime routine
This is my typical bedtime routine which starts at 9 PM on weekdays.
- Switch off all electronics by 9 PM (excluding my kindle)
- Prepare for work the next day (layout work clothes, pack gym kit, make overnight oats)
- Pamper (washing, brushing, flossing, removing makeup, applying moisturiser)
- Read in bed or journal
Now let’s go through some good bedtime habits.
Set a bedtime
To start your evening routine, you first need to set yourself a bedtime. Setting a bedtime is essential to your routine as our bodies have a natural rhythm and when we don’t give ourselves enough sleep or when our bedtime is erratic our rhythm is messed up. Our bodies function better when they’re on a regular routine and the more regular sleep that you get the more balanced you’re going to feel.
After setting yourself a bedtime you need to set yourself a time to switch off all electronics. This may vary for each individual, but I would suggest one-hour minimum. Personally like to switch off at 9 PM, this gives me one hour to enjoy my bedtime routine and enter dreamland by 10 PM. By turning off electronics you can start to unwind and prepare your mind and body for sleep. It might seem harmless to watch TV or scroll through your phone before bedtime but keeping your mind engaged with technology can trick your brain into thinking that it needs to stay awake. This is because the blue light emitted by the screen on your phone, computer and TV sends a signal to your brain telling you that it’s daytime when it’s clearly not.
Planning your morning the night before is essential as you don’t want to waste any brain power thinking about what to do and what order to do it in. There is a bigger chance that you will hit the snooze button if you don’t have a solid reason to wake up earlier.
Similar to planning your morning, it’s also a good idea to prepare for the next day. Think about what you have planned for the day ahead, do you have work or school? Are you going to any fitness classes? For example, I will prepare my work outfit for the following day so I don’t waste time in the morning trying to choose an outfit. If I’m planning on going to the gym after work I will also pack my gym kit, otherwise, I might forget to pack it in the morning! I also love to have overnight oats for breakfast, therefore I will make my breakfast the night before.
Your nighttime pamper routine is firstly to maintain hygiene and secondly to make yourself feel beautiful! It includes basic tasks such as washing, brushing, flossing, removing makeup, applying moisturiser and cleaning contact lenses. Depending on how much time you have allowed yourself in your bedtime routine, you could also paint your nails, whiten your teeth and apply a face mask.
Journaling before bed will help to release any stress from the day and let go of any thoughts or worries which are still running around in your mind. Use your journal to manage your thoughts, you can do this by writing down your to-do lists and your thoughts from the day, you can also write down your long or short-term goals. A calming note to end on is writing down everything you are grateful for whether that be in life or from the day. Stuck on ideas? Here are some journaling prompts for self-reflection and self-discovery.
Stress from your day can linger on your body, that’s why stretching before going to bed is a good bedtime habit! Doing a few quick stretches before going to sleep will improve your quality of sleep and lower stress levels.
Reading is a very relaxing activity which is why it’s perfect for your bedtime routine. This is the last activity which I like to do in my routine as after a couple of chapters I’m fighting to stay awake. Here are some of my favourite personal growth books.
Do you have a bedtime routine? Comment below!