Get to Sleep

Get to Sleep

The Power of Evening Routines and How to Create Your Own

You probably know that having a morning routine can help you start your day with focus, energy, and clarity. Well it turns out that a successful evening routine is step 1 of a successful morning.

Why Evening Routines Matter

Evening routines are not just about getting ready for bed. They are about ending your day on a positive note and preparing yourself for a great tomorrow. The benefits of a solid, repeatable evening routine are numerous:

  • Improve your sleep quality: Having a predictable and pleasant evening routine can help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up refreshed. Sleep is essential for your health, mood, physical recovery, memory, and learning. A good evening routine can help you avoid common sleep disruptors, such as caffeine, screens, and stress.

  • It increases your productivity: Having an evening routine can also boost your productivity the next day. By planning your tasks and priorities for the next day, you can save time and energy in the morning and start working on your most important goals right away. You can also avoid decision fatigue and procrastination by having a clear plan of action. Additionally, if you find yourself lying in bed anxiously wondering if you’re ready for tomorrow, your evening routine will ensure you know exactly what you need to do tomorrow and how you’re going to get it all done.

  • Improve your mental health: Having a predictable and pleasant evening routine has been shown to improve happiness and overall sense of well-being. It can also improve your sleep quality, which is essential for your mental health and emotional well-being. A good evening routine can help you relax and unwind before bed, which can lower your stress levels and improve your mood. Consider reading a book, listening to music, meditating, or doing some gentle stretching.

  • Increase your well-being: Having an evening routine can also improve your well-being. Having a good evening routine can help you reflect on your day, express gratitude, and plan for the next day. These practices can help you gain perspective, appreciate what you have, and set goals and priorities for yourself. Research shows that writing down a list of events for the day and what made you happy or grateful can lower your stress levels and give you a greater sense of calm.

 How to Create Your Evening Routine

  • Start with the end in mind: Before you create your evening routine, think about what you want to achieve with it. Do you want to relax more? Sleep better? Be more productive? Be more creative? Be more mindful? Whatever it is, make sure your evening routine aligns with your desired outcome.

  • Choose activities that suit you: There is no one-size-fits-all evening routine. You have to choose activities that suit your personality, preferences, and needs. For example, if you’re an introvert who likes to recharge alone, you might prefer reading a book or meditating over socializing or watching TV. If you’re a night owl who likes to work late, you might prefer doing some creative work or planning over exercising or sleeping early. If you need to put the kids to bed, account for that in your routine.

  • Be consistent but flexible: Once you create your evening routine, try to stick to it as much as possible. This will help you form habits and make it easier to follow your routine. However, don’t be too rigid or unrealistic with your evening routine. Allow some room for variation depending on your mood, energy level, and circumstances. For example, if you’re feeling tired or stressed, you might want to skip exercise and do something more relaxing instead.

  • Make it enjoyable: Finally, make sure your evening routine is something you look forward to and enjoy doing. Choose activities that make you happy, calm, and satisfied. Avoid things that make you anxious, angry, or frustrated.

Example Evening Routine

 -  No coffee past 1 pm.
-   Keep bedroom cold and dark. My room is a sleep cave – it’s cold, dark, and feng shui’d out in such a way that just being there makes me feel calm.
-   Set a target every day to be done with work. Pencils down - the emails can wait. This time changes often, but I always set a target so work doesn’t bleed into the evening too far.
-   Before leaving the office, I write out my plan for tomorrow. This helps me to offload my anxiety onto a page. I lay my head down knowing that I’ve already thought through what I need to do tomorrow to stay on the path.
-   Target in-bed time. I target being in the bedroom stretching or reading an hour before I want to be asleep. For me, this takes the pressure off getting to sleep and helps me to make sure I’m starting to wind down before bed.
-   Read fiction at night. It took me forever to come around to this – I always felt that there were too many non-fiction books I needed to read to spend time on fiction. Big mistake. Fiction is the ultimate wind down tool and, it turns out, super fun to read.
-   No screens past 9:30 pm.
-   Sleep with phone in the kitchen. Yes, I have a clock from the 80’s.
-   Supplementation. I take ~.75ml of VRB Rest an hour before bedtime. For me, it sets the conditions for a restful and restorative.

Make your routine yours. Make it repeatable and enjoyable. Habits like these are the foundation of a happy and productive life.

There’s no time to wait!