Does getting yourself to bed feel like the lamest chore ever?
Developing an intentional night routine might be the answer.
Every night, a part of you feels like a rebellious teenager living with your parents. The thought of getting yourself to bed at 10 pm sharp feels dull and slimy.
You can’t help yourself, though. You stay up late to watch one more episode of Big Little Lies. I’ll be fine tomorrow, and you tell yourself as you sip on your Malbec. Deep down, you know if you don’t go to bed now, you will want to murder yourself the next day.
But instead, you ignore your instincts.
The next morning you wake up; your eyes are dry, red, and burning as if you were spooning a giant cactus all night. Ugh, it hurts—my eyes.
The regrets start to set in while you politely escape to the employee bathroom to snooze in one of the stalls. It’s not your fault that America doesn’t believe in mid-day naps.
Then you get home, and before you know it, it’s 2 am, and you go over the same internal negotiation. Should I watch one more episode or go to bed?
And the never-ending cycle continues….
…deep down, you know, if you are going to be 100% effective at work and conquer the world like you say you are, you have got to prioritize your beauty rest.
Below are seven ideas to help you discipline your night routine and go to bed earlier.
I know you’ve heard it over and over, but the advice is legit. What is your lifestyle: sedentary, moderately active, or active? Sometimes people have trouble sleeping because they haven’t exerted enough energy throughout the day.
I won’t bore you with the benefits of exercise because I’m sure you know this already. If you are a high-energy person, maybe your day wasn’t challenging enough. By adding exercise to your day, you physically challenge your body, and it tires you out.
Take a Hot Bath
A steaming hot salt bath has many benefits and is a wonderous sleep aid. It detoxifies your body, calms anxiety, improves sleep, helps with irritated skin, and much more. And above all, it relaxes you. It used to be only a treat for me, but now I treat myself to a nice hot bath two to three times per week. It’s a great way to release anxiety and stress after a tough day.
One brand that is easy to find is Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt. The lavender one is my go-to smell for sleep and relaxes me. You can also buy unscented bath salt and mix your own essential oils. Another brand I have been using is Soothing Touch. They offer various smells, but I especially love Deep Sleep, which includes clove, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang. This one knocks me out cold.
Read or Listen to Something as Part of Your Night Routine
My strategy with reading: choose something useful but boring. You see, I’m not going to choose a book that will get me hooked and wanting to turn the page when I’m trying to fall asleep. I wouldn’t watch motivational content that is going to pump me up like Tony Robbins’ material. I’m going to wait and consume his content in the morning.
If you are extra-sensitive or feeling emotionally low, I don’t recommend reading or listening to something sad. For instance, don’t read Sylvia Plath before bed. Save this for a read at the beach or the park. What you consume before bed absorbs into your subconscious while you sleep. Choose something that will assist in quality sleep. Everyone is different, so experimenting here is vital.
Use a White Noise App
If you are one of those lucky ones that knock out on airplanes, then you are in luck. They now have white noise apps. I think parents are all aware of this trick, but I don’t have kids, so this is new to me. I’m not sure what the science is, but it knocks me out like a baby. Try TMSoft.
Find Something to Look Forward to
For the majority of my life, the concept of happiness was mysterious to me. It never occurred to me that I should base my life on whether or not a decision contributes to my overall happiness. I did not believe that I had control over my outcome. I was floating through life instead of directing my actions toward the life I wanted.
I was unhappy with my relationships, work, and the way I spent my time. Having goals and a vision for your life is the secret to having a life you love.
Drink Hot Water or Tea
If I had trouble sleeping when I was young, I would drink a tablespoon of condensed milk and hot water before bed. As you can imagine, those days are over. I have substituted my bad habit with a 10 oz cup of hot water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has tons of benefits, including boosting gut health and regulating blood sugar levels. Remember always to buy organic and the one with the mother. I use the Bragg brand. As of recent, I have also been adding in a tablespoon of juiced organic turmeric. Turmeric’s benefits come from an active ingredient called curcumin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Create Boundaries for A Helpful Night Routine
If you have ever been in therapy, you’ll understand. In therapy, you learn a whole lot of boundary setting. You learn about what’s driving your behavior and how not to react to your feelings. You get to know yourself very well on a deep level. You become a pro at boundary setting after you leave treatment.
And it’s the same thing with sleep; it’s a relationship. You have to look at your sleep pattern and your relationship with it. Once you understand your sleep patterns, set guidelines and boundaries for your sleep routine. Experiment with it and see what works for you.
Staying up late is all too tempting for most of us. The thought of just one more show, one more page, or one more hour is all too seductive.
Now that you’ve walked away with some ideas to jazz up your night routine, I hope you find a solution that works for you. The world needs a happy and well-rested you every morning, a you that is ready to take on the day!
When your experiment takes twists, turns, ups, and downs, remember that it’s an ongoing process. Your sleep routine will change and evolve as your life changes and evolves. Have fun with it and be kind to yourself.