Without a doubt, I’ve noticed that my kid is a much happier human-being – when she follows a certain night-time routine.
- No screens, one hour before bed
- A warm shower or bath
- Lights out, Kindle in bed
It’s a simple routine that makes her feel demonstrably better the next day – yet when night-time rolls around, she’ll fight it if she can.
And here’s the thing, I don’t think us adults are any different.
We get tired, stressed and overwhelmed and often all we need to do to feel better – is to go.to.bed.
I used to be terrible at going to bed. I basically never wanted to go to sleep. Don’t get my husband started on this!
Something about lying there in the dark, in the silence – it almost makes me more alert. My mind starts spinning and I’m up again… restless.
And then I learned about the importance of nighttime routines ( for my kids…) and I realised that the same principles of having consistency and predictability to ease their mind, work for us too.
So I started creating my own night-time routine, a grown up version of what all the baby books say to do. And I’m not ashamed to tell you, it worked.
Night-time routines create the kind of days you feel really good about.
Because when you end the night feeling relaxed, you wake up feeling refreshed. Having a night-time routine makes you less cranky in the morning, more clear-headed and with far more energy to be productive.
So if you’ve been needing it – how about a night-time routine makeover? I’m going to share my current routine with you, it’s what works for me now, I hope it inspires some ideas for you!
My Three Step Night-Time Routine
Self Care + Podcast (9pm)
As part of my routine – I always take my shower or bath, prepare my skincare and slowly get ready for bed while listening to a podcast.
I have a list of podcast that I listen to. They’re hilarious, and inspiring and thought provoking and entertaining… depending on my mood, I’ll switch around.
They’re usually around 30 minutes to an hour long, if my kids kick up a fuss during this vital “me time” – I press pause, come out with my scary face mask on and get back in as soon as I can.
- Mortified – people read their high school diaries to a live audience. It’s hilariously awkward.
- 99% Invisible – explores what goes into the everyday things we don’t think about. Like water fountains, turns out it’s fascinating!
- Song Exploder – well-known musicians explain, beat by beat, the thought process and inspiration behind one of their songs.
- Baby Geniuses – these girls crack me up. I don’t know how to describe this podcast. They’re successful creatives, they talk about nothing, and it’s funny.
- Slack Variety Pack – it’s all about work, innovation in the workplace, office culture, coffee drinkers vs. tea drinkers… that kind of thing – it’s good!
- Star Talk – my favorite – Neil Degrasse Tyson. Do you know, I once saw him in person, went up to him and actually said “can I please shake your hand” Not embarrassing at all! But I did get a picture of the handshake, see that’s my hand:
Organize tomorrow (10pm)
Ok, so now I’m relaxed, I enjoyed my podcast and my skin smells nice. It’s a good mood to be in to think about what I want to focus on tomorrow.
In my Moleskine notebook, I mind dump. List out tomorrow’s tasks and even thoughts down on paper – so that I don’t go to bed with it rolling around in my head.
The organizational system that works for me is a very loose interpretation of the Bullet Journal System. I don’t do the whole shebang, but I do list out tomorrow’s important, actionable tasks with a dot.
And I list out thoughts or ideas that come to mind, with a dash.
It looks like this:
. email Frank to line up an interview
– avocado in Indonesian is alpukat
. call the restaurant to book a table for Saturday
. buy four alpukats for the “Guacamole Four Ways” photo shoot
Just get it all out of your head. In the morning, you can map out the day adding the dots to your google calendar or what I do is refer to my list throughout the day and check things off as I go.
If anything doesn’t get done, just bring it over to the next day, or maybe decide to leave it behind for now.
Lights Out (10:30pm)
Now my mind is clear. Good sleep, here I come!
Truth is, I’m still not really good at just laying down in the dark, in the silence and closing my eyes. So I bring in my kindle and read until I fall asleep. I’m lucky if I get through a chapter.
I have ridiculous taste in books. I need suggestions, let me know what you’re reading! I love books about business, life skills and self-improvement (I listen to those on Audible when I’m commuting)
But at night, I like a bit of fiction. Usually Sci-fi.
Right now, I’m reading:
- The Zombie Survival Guide. It’s written like a real survival guide, technical and super detailed, but for incase of zombies.
- The Martian. A story about an astronaut left behind on mars and how he calculates his way through surviving.
- Half Way Home. A space adventure survival story.
Hmmm… I just noticed a survival theme happening there…
How to start your own night-time routine:
If you’re starting a night-time routine, start small. You don’t need to go and create an entire structured routine.
Right now, you may start just by noticing what your current habits and patterns are.
Think about one thing you can do each night, something that you would enjoy doing. Think about doing something slow and simple, that you never seem to have time for in the day.
Do this one thing each night leading up to bedtime, signaling to yourself that it’s time to start winding down.
And the moment it stops being enjoyable for you, do something else. Stay focused on noticing and doing the things that create the right mood and environment for restful sleep.
Soon you’ll get into a nice, sleepy rhythm and you’ll feel much better for it tomorrow.
I’d love to know what’a your current night-time routine? And if you don’t have a good one yet – tell me in the comments below what your ideal night-time routine might be.
Thanks for reading, and if you know someone who might find this energy giving tip useful – make sure to hit those share buttons below.
Sleep tight Xx
8 responses to “The first step to waking up with more energy”
I just started my blog dailylittleluxury.com 3 months ago and thats when I got into trying to organising my life. I realise having a kid it’s just so difficult to find time to blog. Anyway I found that by organizing at night I get to start my day with purpose. But I like your routine and love the podcast recommendation.Thanks for sharing.
Hi Sandi! Congrats on your blog – it makes such a huge difference to start the day with that advantage of having control and clear purpose. Keep it up – it’s amazing how much time opens up when we do! 🙂
Thanks Militza for this post and recos. Now, my routine is organized with to-do’s around my son and husband . As a mother of 14 months old, i have things to do before having time for myself (clean the kitchen, prepare set for early morning milk, ironing, paying the bills). I find it sad that i left with 1 hour for myself :): having shower, pumper myself with after bath routine, listening/watching some shows (i love history so i am listening some educational tv shows on youtube) or reading a book before falling asleep around 11.30 pm and 12 p.m. And i noticed if i fall asleep before 10.30 or 11 i feel much better in a.m. here i must mention that as my son is a little one, i am waking up 2-3 times per night before morning, so my night is cut into pieces which impacts my energy capacity as well. I have thoughts how to change it so i thank you for your tips, as long as i have results – i will share with you. Cheers
Hi Olga! I’m so happy that the post inspired some ideas for you! It’s not easy, and it’s never perfect – but doing the things that make you feel your best – it’s always worth it! Good for you!
Hi Militza, I’m finding your weekly newsletters, tips and what I learnt from the how to be a morning person course very useful. I enjoy reading them and go back over the course tutorial emails to help me remember when I slip and have start a part of it again. Also helps to give me back some structure in my life again. At the moment I’m trying to change my night time routine by staying away from all things technical aboutique half an hour to an hour before bed. I’ve found doing some ironing for a hour or two some evenings is therapeutic and last night I went for a long slow walk with my partner which made us tired and relaxed us both. I hope I can persuade my partner to stay off all things technical at night as he doesn’t sleep well. Thank you, you are a godsend 🙂
Hi Laura! I’m so glad to hear it. I love that you’re exploring what gets you into that meditative, relaxing state of being. Keep it up!
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