10 Nightly Routines

May 12, 2020

Teressia Crandall-Mutch

One of my New Years Resolutions was to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Now, that is vague, but seemed like a resolution I could keep. Now most adults need between 7- 9 hours of quality sleep and I was getting maybe 5-6 if I was lucky. Here’s the kicker, burnout is real. It catches up with you and can knock you right on your butt.

So why do we need good sleep? It can help us stay healthy (aka can also help us lose weight!), boost our immune systems and potentially even reduce anxiety and depression.

It is our last chance to make an impact on our day AND the best opportunity to set yourself up for success for the following day!

In my quest for more sleep, I came across 10 completely doable steps that I have been working into my life:

1. Set AN Alarm

I used to be the “set 15 alarms and it’s OK, I will wake up to the last one!” type of person. But by doing this you are literally training your brain that you do NOT have to wake up to the alarms. If this is you, try to lower the amount of alarms you have each night. If in the end, you find you still need two, a “main alarm” and a “just in case” backup, you are still doing great!

2. Stop Screen Time Before Bed

This is a no brainer, yet the HARDEST for me to do. My time, is right when I lay down in bed. I used to tell myself that I could “relax” and scroll through Instagram for a few minutes. Well most nights a few minutes turns into an hour or more. Plus there have been tons of studies about the blue light that our electronics emit that mimic the light we see during the day. Which, affects our brains ability to understand it’s time to sleep. Put your charger across the room and plug in your phone waaaaaay over there before you lay down.

3. Create A “Brain Dump”

I love brain dumps. It is my chance to just write down every thought, idea, to-do, all in one swoop. I use bubbles and lines. I scribble and even draw my thoughts. When you finally lay down at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is have your mind race around what you did not get done or what you need to do the next day. Promising yourself you’ll remember 8 million things won’t let your brain wind down. Take a pad of paper and run with it! It will be so mentally freeing!

4. Set Out Your Clothing The Night Before

Simple, yet effective. One less worry in the morning especially if you already have minimal time! 5 minutes at night can save you a headache in the morning.

5. Make Your Bedroom Your Oasis

Keep your bedroom clean of clutter and piles. In my younger years, if you took off clothing, it went right on the floor. The magazines I was reading, over in the corner on the chair. Before you know it, you have things and piles and stuff. It feels overwhelming and not a place you want to relax. Now we have a “no pile” rule. We purchased white bedding (Oh yes, and we have kids, we are asking for it) which has made the room feel so bright and fresh! Another thing that I look forward to each morning, is making the bed. Sounds silly right. Not at all! Every time I walk into the bedroom after that, my fresh bed looks like something out of a hotel and I get SO excited to be able to lay in it each night. Take a few minutes each morning and evening to make sure things are tidy and you will always look forward to sleeping in your room.

6. Enjoy A Hot Bath (Or Shower)

I will never forget my mom saying to me, “Take a bath tonight, you will sleep SO much better!”. I always assumed she wanted me to get ready at night so I wouldn’t be so rushed in the morning, but it turns out that taking a bath at night allows me time to relax both physically and emotionally.

7. Stick To A Regular Sleep Schedule

This may be one of the hardest for me because I love my job. I know, I know, you are thinking, “Oh here’s another one that just loooooves what she does.”, yea I know, blech! But for me I get the kiddos ready in the morning, then work until they are both home and after they are asleep, I am ready to keep working. So telling myself that there is a cutoff is super hard! I am really trying at this one though!

8. One Word. Melatonin.

If you read above, I love working. (Blech!) So it is SUPER hard for me to shut my brain off at night. One of my friends recommended Melatonin (it is over the counter) and it has been a game changer. It helps the body recognize that it is time for sleep, helping your brain calm and reduces dopamine levels a hormone that helps you stay awake). *I am not a doctor, so please consult yours if you so choose, but it has been an amazing choice for me!

9. Stretch

Every day you should be moving your body 30 minutes. Getting that heart rate up and giving your heart a good rush. But at night, a nice stretch can help relax your muscles and any tension you have built up throughout the day. You would be surprised at how nice a 30 second stretch can feel before you lay down for the night.

10. Reflect

So you’ve brain dumped, you went to bed “on time”, phone is waaaaaay over there, clothes are out, you are showered AND now it’s time for bed. Reflect. Take a few moments to be grateful for all that you have accomplished. You did AMAZING today! Taking time to acknowledge gratitude can help decrease stress, increase your feelings of purpose and has proven physical health qualities.

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