No matter what your objectives are, it is difficult to implement new routines when we are tired. I have discovered through trial and error that having an evening routine helps me get for sleep. My routine begins much earlier in the day.
Evening Sleep Routine:
- Avoid caffeine after 12pm
- 1 hour before bed if I still feel awake, I drink a relaxing cup of herbal tea
- Preview the coming day – make list of appointments, organize items needed, plan wardrobe
- 30 minutes before sleep put away all electronics
- Hygiene and ready for bed
- Contemplative reading of a physical book or meditation
At a sleep seminar I attended, the professor encouraged us to not drink coffee after 12, because it’s half life was 5.7 hours. Caffeine interferes with our sleep cycles and prevent us from entering deep restorative sleep.
It has been shown a a drop in body temperature happens before sleep, so if you still feel awake a cup of herbal tea make help. Use this time to preview your upcoming day, so that your sleep will not be disturbed by thoughts of things you may forget.
I avoid external stimulation at least 30 minutes before bed, such as tv, exercise, or a book I can’t put down (reading is one of by obsessions) because when I get caught up in a book, game or show, all my good intentions fly out the window. It is much easier to avoid temptation than to interrupt it.
Creating a consistent way of getting ready for bed will send your brain the signal it is time to slow down; include skin care and other hygiene practices.
Once I am in bed I mentally think of what I am grateful for, I may read some contemplative book, one with short entries or meditate for 10 minutes. Then I’m asleep ready to embrace the adventure of a new day.
What steps can you take to improve your sleep and build the cornerstone of your healthy habits?