I absolutely love bedtime. But it hasn’t always been the case. Actually, I struggled with it for quite some time.
For some weird reasons, in the past, whenever I got myself under the blankets, my brain would immediately wake up. Not only I would overthink every single detail of the day I just went through, but the best.ideas.ever would come to my mind – you, the ‘too good to ignore’ type.
Basically, my mind had assumed that the fact that I was going to sleep meant it was ‘thinking’ time – which caused me to stay awake.
Luckily, with time, I got to learn some tricks – and most importantly a few routines – that get me ‘in the zone’ and help me unwind and sleep better more easily and more frequently.
You might be surprised by how much of a difference some little changes can make into your life.
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TURN OFF THE SCREENS
It’s scientifically proven that the blue light that phones, tablets, TVs, Laptops and other technological devices emit makes it difficult to both fall and stay asleep. Our brain thinks that light is the sunlight and delays the production of melatonin in our bodies, which is an hormone that regulates our sleep patterns.
That’s why I suggest you start using Twilight (for android)) or the night shift mode (if you have an Iphone). Basically, they will filter the blue spectrum on your phone or tablet after sunset into a soft and pleasant red filter so that your device screen adapts to the time of the day.
While these apps offer a good solution to be able to use devices before going to sleep, I would still suggest you turn off the screens and enjoy other more relaxing activities, like reading a book (honestly, the best sleeping pill I tried to this day!) or taking a long hot bath while listening to relaxing music, a podcast or an audiobook.
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PLAN & ORGANIZE FOR THE NEXT DAY
This is probably the reason why I manage to stay mentally safe. For real!
With a million tasks to check off everyday, I would literally spend the night before going through the entire list, which would make it almost impossible for me to fall asleep.
Writing everything down on a to-do list (I’m currently doing it digitally on my computer) will not only help your mind prepare and stay focused, but will also make you feel like you have your sh*t together and nothing to worry about except getting a good rest!
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If you’re about to skip this paragraph because you’re thinking “um no, that’s not for me, I could never be able to do that”, please hold on for a second. Or you could regret missing on it.
Tim Ferriss – productivity expert, author, angel investor, winner of Tango World Championships (honestly, whatever you have on your bucket list, this guy has probably done that!) – said that his first productivity hack would be meditation for sure. No doubts about it.
And even thought I couldn’t see the benefits of meditation at first (despite the incredible amount of scientific research in its favor), I decided to give this habit a try. In two words: it’s a game changer.
It’s actually a very simple habit if you think about it. I mean, you just have to sit, relax, close your eyes and focus on one single thing (it could be your breath, a specific point in front of you, or the color you see when you close your eyes).
The goal is not ‘to think about nothing’. It is to observe how your thoughts tend to wander without judging them or stopping on any in particular. 99% of the time you’ll feel distracted, but don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal. As long as you catch yourself and bring back the focus on that one thing, it’s working.
A 10-minute meditation before bedtime is now one of my favorite bedtime habits. It doesn’t only calm me down (which is crucial for my anxiety) but also allows me to get more control over my thoughts. Instead of feeling like a victim to my own bad thoughts and feelings, I can now notice them and simply let them go. I choose what I keep in and what I ignore.
And that feeling of power is priceless, I swear!
Like meditation, this is a life-changing habit whose goal is to improve your mood and happiness, on an everyday basis.
It basically consists in giving yourself 5 minutes (I personally do it both in the morning and at night) to be grateful for everything you have in your life. It can be anything, from your partner, a friendship, to the clean sheets you slept in or the cup of coffee you’re about to drink – or simply the fact you’re breathing and alive.
You can purchase the 5-minute journal here.
Stretching is very important not only to improve your flexibility and your range of motion but also to prevent injuries. It relaxes muscles and increases blood flow and nutrients to your cartilage and muscles.
I used to hate stretching or practicing some relaxing yoga, especially at night, and now is something I actually look forward to every evening.
We all run around all day, we work and get things done – but we also deserve a rest. After a long day, this sacred moment to share only with your body can be a great way to recharge and unwind at the same time – and practice some love and kindness toward yourself.
Related post: How to practise Self-care During This Year
Here’s a great video you can follow:
If you’re a beginner – like me – Adriene (the girl in the video above) has also an entire playlist dedicated to beginners – there you’ll find all the main poses and how to perform them correctly. Plus she’s a great teacher!
SET OUT YOUR CLOTHES AND WORK BAG
…Or really any other necessity you usually do in the morning. This will not only save you some extra time while getting ready in the next morning, but will also make sure you don’t run in a rush and enjoy your morning routine to the fullest.
You’ll sleep like a baby knowing your clothes have been laid out and your work bag is ready to be picked up!
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Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Did you find this blog post interesting? Do you have troubles unwinding or falling asleep at night?