It is time to give our night time some consideration
Do you ever squander away minutes, or even hours of your night? Spending precious time on activities that aren’t all that fulfilling, only to glance at the clock and see all of a sudden it is much later than you thought. You immediately regret your time-wasting ways as you turn off the light or put down your phone. You hope you nod off quickly to maximise the possible time remaining for sleep before your alarm goes off in a few hours.
I do this. More often than I care to admit.
Recently I have been getting better at my end of day activities, with the sole intention to get more sleep.
A benefit of fitness trackers is the visibility of your sleep duration and an indication of the quality of the sleep. I don’t think it is completely accurate, but it is a good guide.
However, I don’t need my fitness tracker to tell me when I have not had nearly enough sleep. I know when the alarm goes off and I groggily hit snooze that I did not get enough z’s. I sigh wearily at myself. For my actions put me here. In a sub-optimal state, awake, but not quite ready to face the day ahead.
So many people are talking about the importance of a morning routine. I say we stop and think about the importance of a night time routine.
If we showed a sliver of the attention paid to creating the optimal morning routine to our nightly activities, we could make significant and lasting impacts on our life.
I am not saying we need to stop caring about the morning routine. This is not an either/or. I’m suggesting we think about how we spend our night time as well. This is an and/both scenario.
The buzz of a morning routine focuses on the habits and choices to set yourself up for a productive day. The idea being, if we get the first steps right, the rest of the day will follow in a similar fashion. We’ll achieve our goals and lead a successful life.
I believe we also need to consider our habits and choices at the end of each day too.
Having a well-planned nightly routine means creating the conditions and environment for a sound sleep. A restorative and rejuvenating sleep, for the ideal duration of 8 hours.
The benefits of 8 hours of sleep are well-documented. Arianna Huffington credits the growth and success of her business to when she started to take better care of herself, with quality sleep a significant factor. Huffington is now recognised as an advocate of the importance of quality sleep.
A good day starts the night before – The Sleep Revolution, Huffington
A sound sleep establishes the foundation for not just a productive day, but a long and healthy life. It is an exercise in sustainability with short and long-term benefits. A longer life gives us more time to enjoy the success of our triumphs – the triumphs we achieve from following our optimum morning routine.
Realistically, a well-executed nightly routine will lay the foundation for an effective morning routine.
I think we can all agree that a sound sleep does wonders for our energy and enthusiasm for the day ahead.
Some things that I have found to help me fall asleep:
- Writing in my journal – even just a couple of minutes to jot down my final thoughts for the day, this releases the thoughts from buzzing around my mind as I try to unwind
- Avoiding coffee during the day – no coffee at all! This one has been a bit hard in the morning, but I really notice the benefits at the end of the day
- Reading a book – something about concentrating on the words on the page helps me drift off
- Avoiding using the phone or watching tv right before bed – we know about the stimulating effects of our screens – making a conscious decision to avoid screen time helps me wind down and feel ready for sleep earlier in the night
- Going to bed early, before I am ready for sleep – giving myself the time to rest and relax before needing to be asleep, and it feels good knowing I am maximising the possible time I have for sleep
So, unless your morning routine involves an IV drip of coffee, give some thought to your nightly routine. How can you create a rhythm that induces a calming effect on body and mind, sending you to a deep and restorative sleep, setting you up for a great day ahead?