Sleep is when our bodies repair and build. To progress faster, to stay healthy (and sane) make sure you are getting adequate sleep to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
When we are young we have a lengthy night-time system, a 2+ hour event that might look like: dinner, desert, bath-time, p.j.s, story-time, etc. then… sleep. This system worked great for us as kids. The night time routine trained our brain to wind down and shut off.
As adults, we’re great at waking up, downing a cup of joe and getting busy with our day. But we can’t expect to be going full throttle right until our head hits the pillow and instantly drop down to a mental state that helps us to reach a peaceful slumber.
We need to develop a night time routine to shut off our analytical brains, unwind from a stressful day, and prepare our minds for a much needed night of sleep.
3 Tips to Sleep Better:
1. Schedule Your Night Time Routine
Just as we schedule our workouts, work-meetings, and date nights, we need to plan ahead for our night time routine. If you don’t plan it out, how are you going to be successful?
Think: What time is ideal for you to be in bed heading off to slumberland? (Hint: shoot for at least 7 hours sleep, and work backwards from the time you need to be awake). Now, set an alarm an hour or two before that time, a reminder to start winding down, to turn off the t.v., blue screen devices, and start your best routine for rest.
2. Plan Your Routine
Give yourself a time-frame for your nightly routine, say an hour or two. How do you want to fill that hour or two before bed to start winding down? Maybe it is watching a show with your significant other, making a nighttime protein shake, practicing your daily mindfulness or prayer, etc. (Hint: add a smell like lavender to your night time routine to associate this smell with sleep).
Jot down a night-time routine itinerary you can stick to on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you will need to test it out and edit it as you go.
3. Add Mindfulness to Your Routine
Practice a nighttime mind dump to get rid of the mental residue of the daily grind by journaling, meditating, praying, etc.
It can be helpful to review the day and answer a few questions to your nighttime routine:
• What were the three conversations I had today that were the most meaningful?
• What are three things I am grateful for?
• What did I accomplish today?
Switching to a state of mind that entices us to rest isn’t always easy, but we can train ourselves to follow a night time routine that helps our brain to switch over.
Do you struggle with consistent sleep patterns? What does your nighttime routine look like?