I have a problem. It’s a problem that appears to be repeating itself every night of the week. The problem is that I stay up way past my bedtime. In an ideal world, I would end my night at 10pm, having started winding down sometime around 9pm to drink hot mint tea, with a face mask on, reading a good book. In reality…I do make the tea, I just forget to drink it and by the time I remember I made it, it’s cold. I then chug my lukewarm tea (or toss it), mindlessly watch pointless TV while working and distract myself on Instagram. Somehow, I go to bed around 2am. And every single night, around that time, I ask myself “how did I get here, again?!”
The vicious cycle of my nightly routine repeats itself over and over again, and each morning, when I wake up groggy (and miss my workout), I vow to go to bed earlier. The problem is though…that our days are full and busy and often times, there’s leftover work that needs to be done. To cope with the fact that I’m still on my computer at 11pm, I turn the tv on to feel like I am “relaxing” at the end of the day, which prolongs my night even more.
In an effort to try and break my bad nighttime habits, I’m creating a list of goals and self reminders to help me be able to decompress, relax and get a good night’s sleep. After all, how are we suppose to perform our best if we’re not taking care of ourselves? It’s one thing to make a list, but it’s another to actually act on it and put it into motion. Keep reading to see the steps I’m taking to get to bed on time…
- Get my most important work done at the beginning of the day. I believe this is step number one. Because if there’s still deadlines to be met and work that can’t wait, I won’t be able to sleep until it’s done. Hopefully, if there’s work leftover at the end of the workday, it won’t be as pressing and can trickle over to the next day.
- Start my routine at least an hour before bed. I’m hoping to use heating up my tea and washing my face as the first steps to trigger my nightly routine. Routines creates consistency and consistency is what I’m looking for.
- Put my computer, phone and any technology away during this last hour before bed. I don’t need to take one last scroll through Instagram or watch one more episode of Friends or write one more email. Those all can wait.
- Write all my thoughts out in a journal before bed. I usually use the notes section on my phone, but in an effort to put away technology, I’m going to start using an old school pen and paper. Writing down my to-do list always helps me feel less anxious/more prepared for the next day.
- Read more. I love reading and I don’t do it enough. I’m hoping that by getting technology out of the picture in my routine, it’ll allow more time for a good book. It’s also always helps me decompress, relax and fall asleep faster.
- Breathing exercises or meditating. Being cognizant and mindful of taking time to yourself is important. I always feel like I could be doing more, even when I’m capped out, so I have a hard time not stopping. I want to be okay/not feel guilty about taking an hour to relax before bed.
- Don’t just put my phone away, but put it far from the bed. This not only helps get rid of the bad habit of constantly reaching for it, but it also forces me out of bed in the morning when my alarm goes off.
Obviously there’s a lot on this list and if I can start by checking off one or two, I’ll be happy. The goal is to try and just be more aware of the actions and decisions I’m making so that I can be more in control of my routine. But I would love to know- do any of you have tried and true methods that get you to bed on time so you feel fully rested in the morning? I’d love to hear what tips you might have. Good news, it’s only 12am and I’m finishing up..
(wearing these gingham pajamas)