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