A good day starts the night before. What you do right before you retire for the night has a huge impact on your mood and energy level the next morning.
That’s why you need a bedtime routine!
Having a set bedtime routine will allow you to go to bed with a clearer head and rest better knowing you’re already set to face the next day.
I know, you may be thinking I’m asking you to add more work and activity to your day when you’re barely able to get to the bed before you crash for the night. I get that. But what I’m suggesting is that you just start by adding maybe one or two things to your routine at night that will help to set you up for a better day tomorrow.
You’re bedtime routine has less to do with an actual list of set activities but rather how you clear your head before it hits your pillow. Sleep issues accompany so many chronic illnesses and the things you do in the last few hours of your day will impact the rest you get at night.
Start out by picking one or two of the following examples. Try it out for a few nights and see if it has a positive impact on your sleep and mental relaxation!
Here are a few examples of things you can include in your bedtime routine:
- Set time aside to read. Reading allows your brain to focus on a singular activity. Don’t use this time to catch up on social media – experts say that will only get your brain rushing through a lot of thoughts and stirring emotions that can actually hinder your ability to fall asleep. Instead, choose a devotional or fiction novel.
- Listen to a podcast or relaxing music. If you’re not able to focus on written words, try directing your thoughts toward a podcast or gentle music. Put in the earphones, close your eyes and allow your body to relax.
- Express gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal next to your bed and take a moment to find one or two things you’re grateful for. Write them out and take a moment to express your thanks to God for that gift in your life.
- Brain dump. Have a notebook or notepad by your bed and take a few minutes to think about what you need to do tomorrow or what upcoming events you need to plan for. “Dumping” all these thoughts onto paper has a two-fold purpose. First, it allows you to have a clear head as you fall asleep. Second, it serves as your to-do list for the next day. Remember to include your daily non-negotiables.
- Stop working! At least an hour before bed you need to step away from any work you have going on. Housework, work you’ve brought home from your job, etc. Let your brain turn off the hustle and bustle and begin to relax.
- Spend some time with your spouse and kids. When my kids were little I’d sit by their bed at night and ask them what was the best part of their day. Those were precious times! It allowed me to see the day from the eyes of my children and get a glimpse of what was truly important and impactful to them. It’s also a good exercise to do with your spouse. It allows you both to focus your mind on the positives of the day and end on an upbeat note.
- Decide what you’ll have for breakfast and make sure the kitchen is set for the preparation. This may sound like a silly step that adds a lot of work but it will really help you start each day on a good note. Quite a few of our meds and supplements need to be taken with food. Having the kitchen set up so breakfast is easy to prepare can let you get through the first few hours of your day without the stress of cleaning the blender or counter and deciding what you can toss in your belly.
- Take a bubble bath! Giving yourself a moment for pampering will de-stress your body and mind. Toss some Epsom salts or essential oils in the warm water and your now detoxing as well!
- Check tomorrow’s calendar. Whether you keep a bullet journal or day-planner of some sort, take a peak to see if there is something you have going on the next day.
- Set out your clothes. Making sure you have clean clothes that fit whatever is on tomorrow’s agenda will save you the stress and rushing about that happens thirty minutes before you have to leave the house.
- Meditate on a few verses and take time to pray. If you have trouble quieting your mind and focusing on the positive as you fall asleep this step may just be the key.
I’d love to hear what you include in your bedtime routine. Leave a comment below and share your best tip for relaxing and clearing your mind to ensure a night that’s as restful as possible!