Having a good evening routine can ensure you get enough rest and set you up for success the next day. Today we’ll look at 10 things to do before bed that you should try and make part of your evening routine.
After having that long, stressful day at work, you probably can’t wait to get home and relax, reunite with your family and get ready for the next day.
On the other hand, it’s also possible that you are so occupied that you rarely think of going home or relaxing. You have lots of engagements, in fact, “sleep” is the last thing on your mind.
Well, do you know that among all the things that are required to keep living fine, you really need sleep? Funny enough, enjoying a good night’s rest seems to be one of the easiest activities you can freely engage in. However, getting a really good rest is often not as easy as it sounds.
You must have heard people complaining of having sleepless nights due to; 1) Some Psychological health conditions like insomnia and anxiety, 2) Situations like having too much workload or 3) Other issues and challenges of life.
It feels relieving though to acknowledge the fact that most of these conditions above can be resolved by adopting some simple strategies, routines and lifestyle changes.
There are quite a number of necessary things to do before bed each night if you want to get a good rest and ultimately live a good life.
1. Put your body in the best condition
The first step to always take in the evening before bed is to prepare your body and condition yourself to be in the best physical state before sleep. I’m sure the question you’d be asking right now is “How?”
Of course, there are numerous ways you can condition your body to enhance sleep. Some of the many ways are:
Firstly, engage in simple exercises like stretching and twisting in the form of or similar to yoga. This is important especially if you sit in front of a desktop at work for over 8 hours every day. Stretching out will definitely make you feel better and will also relieve you from the resulting body aches due to extended hours of sitting. You’ll be better conditioned to sleep afterwards.
After you have completed the exercise, bathing is another activity that sets your body in the mood for sleep. That soothing feeling you derive from drawing a warm bath can only make you relax and sleep with ease. Also, make it a routine to brush your teeth every night before bed. You will surely feel refreshed the next morning.
Another way to put your body in the best state for sleep is by dressing comfortably to bed. Ensure your nightwear is not too tight (yep, even if you need to look sexy when you go to bed, go for loose-fitting clothes). Preferably, the clothes should be made of cotton material. This will ensure you don’t feel too hot or too cold at night.
2. Put your mind in the best condition
You don’t only get your body ready for sleep but your mind too. One simple way to condition your mind for sleep is to clear it of all the problems, anxiety and mental stress you experienced during the day. In order to achieve this:
- Meditate and reflect on your daily activities.
- Write in a journal.
- Record your wins and losses.
- Map out ways you intend to recover from the losses.
- Take a deep breath and reassure yourself that you will get better.
If you are religiously inclined, another good way of reflecting and meditating is by saying silent prayers before bed. While praying, you will definitely think and remember your daily achievements and be thankful for them. Also, you’ll remember your losses and ask God to take control over the situation. Therefore, you can also pray before you sleep at night if it brings you comfort.
3. Put your sleeping environment in the best condition
Another thing to do before bed is to set a comfortable environment for sleep.
- Make your bed.
- Ensure your sheets are clean and smell nice.
- Switch off the lights or ensure the room is dimly lit.
- Tidy the room.
- Ensure the room is well ventilated.
- Make the temperature not too cold or hot.
- Limit noise to its barest minimum.
Conditioning your room in this manner will make sleeping more pleasurable. Also, adopting this as a lifestyle will make you peaceful, happier and healthier.
4. Watch your foods and beverages
The type and quantity of food we eat, as well as the type of beverages we drink before bed can go a long way to affect our sleep in one way or another.
Talking about foods, experts generally advise that you eat very little before bed. If you must eat a heavy meal, then make sure you do so earlier. Don’t consume too much carbohydrates/starch as they are too bulky. Note that it takes the body a lot of time and energy to digest bulky foods. Now, you don’t want to stress your body digesting bulky food while sleeping, it will definitely be counterproductive.
For beverages, you should avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is known to stimulate the central nervous system. It keeps you highly alert. If you want to sleep appropriately, then you don’t need any drink that contains caffeine. According to Pharmacological findings, some of the adverse effects of caffeine include: dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, etc. I’m sure you don’t want any of those to interrupt your sleep!
Reading is one ideal activity that befits evenings. Being an eclectic reader can help ease you from stress-related anxiety and nervousness.
Apart from the fact that it is a form of exercise to the brain which enhances memory and the brain’s capacity to: concentrate, coordinate and assimilate, reading also gives you a sort of relaxation that is only second to that of sleep. Have you ever wondered why you often feel sleepy whenever you pick up a book to read in the evening? That is because reading can actually give you the relaxation you need to fall asleep.
6. Put away your electronic gadgets
Whether you have been reading all evening with your phone or you’ve been socializing with friends on social media or you’ve been checking your emails, you should know when to shut down. Preferably, do it several minutes before bedtime; at least 15 minutes.
The lights from your phone, desktop or laptop do not aid your ability to fall asleep; especially when your eyes get exposed to such lights for a long period in the evening.
In recent times, many people complain of sore eyes or temporary impairment of vision after spending hours on digital gadgets. The reason for this is the blue light that these gadgets emit. Those lights also suppress hormones that enhance sleep. This is evident from a recent study which shows that people who read via electronic gadgets like phones or laptops find it more difficult to fall asleep than those who read (hardcover) books.
Having taken note of this, it is important for you to use your gadgets sparingly during evening hours to enable you to sleep optimally. In order to implement this, you can set an alarm that will notify you when to power down your electronics, including your television. Finally, obey the alarm and stick to the time. Shut down.
7. Conclude and complete your tasks for the day
Whatever has a beginning also has an end. As the day gradually draws to night, you should start rounding off your daily activities.
Start by closing from work just on time. This will enable you to get home earlier and start off preparations to go to bed earlier. Also, you will have enough allocation of time to spend with your family which is also very important for conditioning yourself for a good sleep.
Most importantly, it’s necessary to finish up your work for the day; including the tasks you might have carried home from your office. Surely, you don’t want to start the next day with the workload of the previous day.
As a matter of fact, you cannot sleep comfortably if you have some pressing tasks you’ve not attended to. And if you eventually keep carrying your tasks over to the next day, the workload might accumulate to the point that it becomes both physically and psychologically unhealthy for you.
The sense of accomplishment that you would derive from completing your daily tasks before bed will not only make your sleep more relaxing, but it will also make you a joyous person; you will always be in a great mood.
8. Plan for tomorrow
Among the things to do before bed, you as a person should envision tomorrow and plan ahead for it. By doing this, you’re getting ready for tomorrow and whatever comes with it.
Planning ahead will give you the confidence that tomorrow will not be overwhelming and that you are equal to the task. You will feel confident to say “I’ve got this” because you’re better prepared.
One good strategy of planning ahead is to set minor goals that you’d like to achieve the next day. These minor goals should be in line with the bigger/ultimate goal which you intend to achieve in the long run.
For instance, if you are a final year student whose ultimate goal is to graduate, your task (minor goal) for the next day might be to read up some topics in a particular course. Although those few topics you read will not qualify you to graduate, it’s a step in the right direction. It is a simple plan that will get you on the right track tomorrow.
In essence, when you plan for the next day before you retire to bed, your sleep will be more peaceful because you are already confident that tomorrow will be well handled.
9. Ensure your mind and household is at peace
You must be familiar with the notion that “you don’t sleep with bitterness in your heart”. As simple as this might sound, it’s worth considering.
Before you go to bed each night, ensure you are happy. Build positive energy within you. Forgive any offender and ask for forgiveness if you’re guilty. Be at peace with yourself and your household.
This is not about the religious preaching of love. Rather, it’s about generating and distributing positive energy within your household. By doing so, you will definitely be in the right frame of mind to sleep and you’ll wake up a happier person.
Making this your lifestyle will not only affect your sleep positively, but it will also affect your life and existence in a positive way.
10. Early to bed…
Benjamin Franklin once insinuated that when you retire early to bed, it results in you rising early, being healthy and getting wise. I agree with him on that (I mean, it’s Benjamin Franklin?).
The body needs at least 7 hours of sound sleep to be revitalized and to recover from the wear and tear resulting from the stress experienced during your daily activities.
When you sleep on time, you will likely enjoy the full revitalizing period and hence, you’ll wake up the next day stronger.
However, sometimes, sleeping early could get difficult. Especially if you are typically not used to that. In this case, you don’t have to stress it. All you have to do is ensure you do not consume any stimulant like caffeine. Also, ensure you adhere to the steps already discussed above. You can indulge further in those activities that condition the body and environment for you to sleep; like switching off the lights and doing away with noise. You’ll eventually fall asleep.
In situations where you can’t sleep due to health reasons, consult your doctor or psychologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
To conclude this article, I’ve got to emphasize on the importance of having a good night’s rest. For the fact that you work hard every day, you strive to survive and to be happy, and you pass through a lot of stress just to be alive, then, you should not forget to give your body what it deserves (sleep).
The electronic gadgets we use every day often need to be charged, remember? The same thing is applicable to you and I; we all need time to recharge and that’s exactly what sleep does to our bodies.
Above all, endeavor to familiarize yourself with the tips discussed above if you must learn the right things to do every night before bed.
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- Top 10 Morning Habits To Supercharge Your Day With Positivity
- How To Have An Abundance Mindset: 10 Habits To Cultivate
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