One of the things I learnt about myself during my time in therapy is that I really thrive on routine. My body is so much happier when I’ve got some semblance of a daily routine. My mental and physical health is much better when I’m eating at regular intervals, going to bed and waking up at the same time, and following a morning and evening routine.
The evening routine for me was the hardest to crack, mostly because I’m used to being a terrible sleeper. Now though, I seem to have found a rhythm that works for me, and I wanted to share my tips for implementing an evening routine that really works for you.
Make your bedroom a sleep positive zone.
I’m pretty bad at only using bed for sleep, I’ll sit there and answer emails, binge Netflix, write to do lists, anything. I’ve tried really hard over the last few months to make my bedroom a sleep zone, and that’s really helped. My brain now associates the bedroom with sleep, and that can only be a good thing. I’ve also worked hard to make my bedroom a really calming, sleep encouraging place. Having clutter and mess is not conducive to a good relaxing environment!
Work out how much sleep you need.
For me to be a productive, useful, pleasant member of society, I need to get a solid eight hours sleep. I have to be up at 7am, so working backwards, I know I need to aim to be asleep by eleven. I try to be in bed by 10pm, so I know I have an hour to unwind and fall asleep, and get my full eight hours. Work out how much sleep you need, whether you’re an eight hour kinda gal like me, or you can get by on a good six, and set yourself a bedtime.
Listen to your body.
I know for a good night’s sleep, I need a few things. I need to have moved enough throughout the day, not to feel bloated, no screen time before sleep + for my muscles not to ache. Because of that, my evening routine includes a short stretch routine, a peppermint tea, half an hour of reading and a liberal application of magnesium oil on any aching muscles. Listen to what your body is telling you it needs, and create your routine around that.
Think about what you’d like your evenings to look like.
Would you like to do a little pre bed yoga? Do you want your last task of the day to be taking the dog for a walk? Do you dream of having half an hour with a cup of tea and a good book? Do you want to get ahead and ready for the next day? Make a list of what your ideal evening would look like, and make room for as much of it as you can in your evening routine.
Do you have an evening routine?