I am a night owl. I come alive at night, I get my best ideas at night and I am a grumpy monster in the mornings. I have been trying for years to "make" myself a morning person. I have all of these visions of early morning yoga sessions with hot lemon water, long walks with my dog and reading and writing, followed by a healthy breakfast and getting ready with tons of time to spare. In all reality, while I've made progress, I still only have time to make lemon water and toast, maybe meditate for 5 minutes and then run out the door to start my day.
I am not sure why it took me so long to try a different method, but instead of placing all of my focus on forcing a morning routine, I have taken a step back and started focusing on my night time routine. The hopes are that with regular, quality sleep I will be able to get up more easily, allowing time for all the things I'd like to do before my day starts.
A night time routine will be different for every one. Because I am single and only have a snoring, bed-hog of a bulldog to deal with, I can place a little more time and effort into my routine, but you do not have to do what I do. As with every habit change, it is best to start small so that you can gain some consistency and then add on if you want. So start with 10 minutes before and grow from there.
The first step for my routine is an alarm on my phone at 8pm that alerts me to start wrapping up my day-to-day tasks and start the switch into night time mode. My lights out time is usually around 9/9:30pm. From the time that my alert sounds until then my routine looks something like this:
- Make dinner with a Relax and Unwind playlist playing in the background.
- Clean kitchen. Tidy up house.
- Prepare for the next day - clothes, meals, etc.
- Hot shower - w/ lavender oil infuser.
- I then move the infuser and music to the bedroom and dim the lights - Our bodies are designed to sleep in the dark, hence no TVs, phones or computers.
- Brush teeth.
- Meditate or yoga for sleep - Try this 7 Minute Bedtime Yoga (I love me some Yoga with Adriene).
- SleepyTime, Nighty Night Tea or Golden Milk.
- Face and body lotion and essential oils - I put lavender and frankincense on my feet.
- Set alarms and double check calendar.
- Horoscopes - This is my guilty pleasure. Instead of gossip about celebrities I read about real stars :)
- Sip tea and read or write until lights out.
This routine will help to trigger your body for sleep. You cannot expect it to swiftly transition from a go-go-go, race through the day mentality and staring at a bright TV or computer screen, right into peaceful sleep. You have to train it to know when its time for rest. This will not only help you sleep better it is a form of stress relief and self care. It shows your body some love as you drift of to Neverland.
"Let her sleep for when she wakes, she will move mountains." - Napoleon Bonaparte