When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. —Proverbs 3:24
For years, I have struggled with prioritizing my sleep. Getting enough, high quality, and consistent sleep has been hard.
Having a schedule consisting of a full-time job, several online businesses, and taking care of elderly family members while trying to keep up with your own physical, mental, and spiritual health is very challenging.
Did I mention adding in some kind of social life is a new level of difficult too?
As I’ve made great strides on the consistency of my spiritual walk, physical fitness, and water intake over the years, I feel I can now focus even more on improving my terrible sleep habits.
I know, I know. I should put sleep first. But hey, since there’s only one of me, something was bound to be less of a priority.
With daylight savings time a few weeks away, I wanted to share my top tips I’ve implemented in my evening routine.
Here’s what has helped me in creating better bedtime habits:
MAKE A LIST OF YOUR NIGHTLY ROUTINE
If you find that you get to bed later than intended, make a list of everything you need to do before bed. Then write down how long it takes you to do each task. From there, subtract the total time it takes for you to finish your bedtime routine from the time you want to be in bed.
A few things on my evening routine list are: taking my liquid collagen, evening skincare routine, journaling about my day, reading my Bible, and planning my to-dos for the following day.
CLEAN UP YOUR HOME
This may sound weird, but IF you can, clean up your home before going to bed. At the very least, clean up your kitchen. That way, when you wake up, you wake up with a clean slate to work with as you begin your day.
For me, at the very least, my kitchen has to be clean before going to bed. I prefer waking up the next morning “feeling light” and motivated. I mean, which feels better, trying to make a cup of coffee in a messy kitchen and not being able to drink from your favorite mug because it’s dirty? Or grabbing your clean mug from a cabinet and taking in the tidy view while the aroma of your favorite coffee blend fills the air?
DO A BRAIN DUMP
Have you ever tossed and turned because your mind is going a hundred miles an hour? How about thinking about your long to-do list for the next day? Or how about getting excited about an idea you just had for your business?
Dump it. Write down EVERYTHING you’re thinking of including grocery lists and the to-do list for the next day. Getting everything off of your mind and onto paper helps clear your mind.
This is one of the best bedtime habits I’ve incorporated into my evening routine. If I have a bit of trouble sleeping, I take this melatonin and off to la la land in about 30 minutes! Note: your to-do list will be never-ending so just embrace it.
UNWIND AS A BEDTIME HABIT
Going to bed wired is a sure fire way to have a restless night. To unwind, do one relaxing thing or a small set of things to get your body ready to be in sleep mode.
Some people watch television before bed and that’s how they unwind. For me, I prefer to do my bedtime skincare habits (sometimes, I include a clay mask), write in my Five Minute Journal. A high-priority bedtime habit is reading my beautiful Bible. Practicing gratitude and making a connection with my Creator helps me to sleep soundly.
HAVE A BEDTIME ROUTINE IN PLACE
To me, having a bedtime routine in place and sticking to it helps reduce my stress and anxiety. As humans, we’re wired to thrive with daily routines. With some kind of structure, we are less stressed because who wants more stress?!
Whether I come home late from an outing with friends or am catching up on something that has to be done, but didn’t have a moment to do, I have to have a bedtime routine. And I stick to that routine even if I have to push it a few hours back or up.
I know I’m not always going to be perfect, but the goal is to create healthy bedtime habits. After so many years of slacking on quality sleep, my goal is to void out the bad bedtime habits for an overall healthier lifestyle.
I hope my tips help if you have bad bedtime habits you want to improve!