We hear a lot about the importance of getting your morning off to the right start.
But let’s not forget about the end of your day. How you settle in, and the way you manage your evening routine can also have an impact. Think about it: your bedtime routine — the way you wind down — can affect your sleep.
Sleep is an essential part of your health, and it can also help you run your business more efficiently. From your business to your finances, good sleep is necessary to being the best you can be.
If you want a better shot at a good night’s sleep, here’s how to end your day on a positive note:
1. Step Away from the Gadgets
If you want better sleep, it’s a good idea to step away from the gadgets. Your phone, tablet, or TV can actually lead to less productive sleep. You’re much better off staying away from the gadgets for at least an hour before bed. Instead, read a good book, have a conversation with a family member, or just relax in a way that doesn’t involve electronic media. I like to play the piano and read before bed.
2. Drink Something Soothing
Contrary to popular belief, an alcoholic nightcap isn’t going to help you sleep better. It can actually cause problems with your sleep schedule. Instead, drink something else soothing. There are non-caffeinated teas that can help you fall asleep naturally. Chamomile is a common tea that is used to help people fall asleep. Others like a cup of warm milk, or a mixture of warm water and honey, can also be helpful. Figure out what works for you as you end your day, and go for it.
Physical activity during the day can help you sleep at night. Don’t do it too close to bedtime, though. Get in your exercise, and you’ll be healthier overall, plus you’ll sleep better.
If you want to do a little physical activity before bed, make sure it’s slow and soothing. Certain yoga poses and stretching can be a good way to get your body ready for sleep and end your day on a positive note.
4. Prepare Your Environment
As part of your bedtime routine, get your environment prepared for sleep. This includes making sure it’s dark in your room, and that the temperature is comfortable. I love a bedtime routine that involves setting things up for sleep after a relaxing shower. My bedtime routine of preparing the environment also soothes me and cues my mind and body that it’s time to sleep.
5. Review the Day
I use the 5-Minute Journal to help me with my day. In the morning, I set my intention. In the evening, I record the best parts of the day, plus write what I can improve on. This reflection before bed is a good way to acknowledge the day and let it go. This can help you prepare your mind for sleep so you are less likely to keep chasing thoughts around. It’s a good way to end your day and prepare for the next.
Yes, you want to avoid using your gadgets before bed. However, I do use a meditation app to help me clear my mind and fall asleep. I don’t use my phone for an hour before bed, except to pull up the app and get it started. Then the phone goes face down so I can’t see the light. And the meditation app helps me get in a good frame of mind to sleep quickly and deeply.
Figure out a routine that works for you and keep to it, and you’ll have a good way to end your day and be ready for more productivity tomorrow.