5 Ways to Make Your Evening More Effective

Stockholm in the evening

Did you fall asleep easily last night? I didn’t.

You know those nights.  Despite being exhausted, despite needing a break after a long day, your mind stays awake though your head has hit the pillow.  Maybe your mind races.  Maybe you have a line from a song (or poetry, or a book) circling in your head.  Even worse is worrying about falling asleep.  Have you ever done it before?  When will it happen?

For a solid sleep, I need to condition myself.  Getting into an evening routine takes some time and a dash of discipline, but it’s just as important as an uplifting morning routine.  After all, a good night’s sleep will give you a sunny disposition come morning.

  1. Turn your computer/television/tablet/smartphone off at a set time every evening.  Research suggests that the glow from our devices might disrupt sleep patterns.  Sure, you need to finish that last article, but it can probably wait until morning.  Have a time when you turn off all your electronics, even if you don’t go to sleep at that hour, turning everything off will help your mind register ‘sleepy-time’.
  2. Have a calming evening drink (but not too close to bedtime).  A good cup of mint tea relaxes me after a long day and I enjoy the ritual of making a cup as well.  Find a drink that soothes your mind and turn it into a little bed-preparation meditation.
  3. Try to avoid reading/watching television/working/etc. in your bed especially right before going to sleep.  Experts recommend saving your bedroom for sleep only, but that’s not always practical.  Instead, save your bed for sleep.  Don’t stay up to read that extra chapter wrapped in the covers and find another place to watch your current netflix-obsession.
  4. Indicate your highs and lows for the day. A little reflection on the past day will calm your mind for what’s ahead and help you set goals for the next day.  How can you make tomorrow better?  What happened today that was amazing that you can repeat tomorrow?
  5. Write a happy list!  I write happy lists here from time to time, but I write constantly even if they’re not posted.  Before you go to sleep, take a few moments to think some happy thoughts.  You can have a theme, holiday happiness! happy moments from your day! things to look forward to!, or just free write.  Thinking positively before you hit the pillow calms your mind and prepares it for sleep.

Do you have an evening routine? Do you fall asleep easily?

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