How to Develop Your Night Time Routine for a Flawless Morning
Last updated: November 2020
If you’re used to waking up tired, rushing around in the morning, and feeling out of sorts for the rest of the day, this post is for you. Creating a flawless morning really starts the evening or afternoon prior, when you’re intentional about what you do, or do not do. Choose activities that promote your goals and values and check out these tips on how to develop your night time routine for a flawless morning.
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Why You Need a Night Time Routine
Let me guess. In the morning, you wake up after your third alarm, only to rush around in the morning getting ready, looking for your clothes, and preparing for your day.
You don’t like the way your hectic morning routine makes you feel, but you don’t want to wake up any earlier. You’re exhausted and need more sleep anyway. So you cram as much as possible into your mornings and make do.
Does this sound like you?
If so, you’re not alone. I was there too.
Before starting my night time routine, I too ran around with my head chopped off in the early moments of the morning. I was stressed on the way to work, and rushed once I arrived.
This is no way to have a productive, mindful, and intentional day. And that’s the goal, isn’t it?
Developing a night time routine allows you to best prepare for your morning. Sure, a morning routine is necessary too – personally I think all routines are important. But a night routine is really what starts your morning successes.
Your Night Time Routine Starts Earlier Than You Might Think
Most people out there would tell you that a night time routine starts when you’re getting ready for bed. Maybe they even call it a bedtime routine or an evening routine.
I would argue that your night time routine starts MUCH earlier than when you’re getting ready for bed.
When I shifted my mindset to include activities much earlier in the afternoon in my night time routine, I was able to be more intentional with my time after work and after dinner.
Depending on what a typical day looks like for you, your night time routine might start when you get home, when your spouse gets home, or around dinner time.
For me, I get home around 4:30pm from my day job, which means that I find the greatest success when I begin my night time routine at this point. You might find that yours begins at dinner, or after, simply that’s because it’s when you arrive home.
If you hold a shift work position, you might even find that your evening routine begins on the drive home, as you will be going to sleep around midnight or 8am.
Whenever you shift in mindset to being home before bed, this is when your bedtime routine begins.
Night Time Routine Activities to Remove
Before we get into some of the great night time routine activities, we need to talk about some of your current routines that might be holding you back.
Stop Drinking Caffeine
Alright, guys. Raise your hand if you drink coffee after 12pm.
If you do, I recommend you think about your sleep priorities before continuing this habit later today.
Caffeine has a half life of twelve hours. If you go to bed twelve hours after drinking caffeine, half the amount you drank will still be inside of your body keeping you awake.
I’ve mentioned this a couple of times on the blog, and I continue to include it because knowing how the drugs we use affect our bodies is SO important. You heard me. Caffeine is a drug. And it alters your brain chemistry just like any other drug does.
While I think it would be great for everyone to never need to drink caffeine again, I realize that this is both improbable and unrealistic. I myself certainly don’t want to give up tea or coffee completely!
Instead, shift your mindset and understand that what your drink or eat today, and affect your morning tomorrow. Choose not to drink caffeine after noon.
Reduce Artificial Light
If you are not sleeping well, and waking up tired, you might need to consider what activities occupy you in the evening.
In an ideal world, we would all wake up with the sun and go to sleep when the sun sets. However, today’s society is certainly not wired for that type of slow living.
When we introduce artificial light to our brains, our brains do not recognize it in the same way that they do sunlight. The accumulation of artificial lights at night – lamps, TV, cellphones – can affect our sleep schedules and our morning success because it inhibits our brains from producing the appropriate bedtime hormones.
If you want to develop an ideal evening routine for a flawless morning, reduce the amount of artificial lights that your body is exposed to. This might mean giving up your nightly scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and reading a book instead.
Don’t Eat Your Trigger Foods
Ice cream is a trigger food for me, and this is such a hard one for me to adhere to. If I eat ice cream too close to bedtime, I often have bad GI side effects, and sometimes get nightmares as a result.
If you eat a trigger food later in the evening, not only is your digestive system working harder than it needs to while you sleep, but when you wake up, you will likely regret it as well. You want your night routine to be a time to refuel and unwind, not one that increases physical and mental stress.
Choose to be intentional about how you fuel your body, even through the evening time when things are more relaxed. Avoid foods that you know from experience will result in poor symptoms.
Night Time Routine Activities to Add
Now that we’ve removed a few of the poor habits, let’s add some healthy habits to our night routines!
Be Intentional with Your Goals
Becoming intentional with your goals is the main aspect of your night time routine.
No matter what you choose to do in the evening, choose activities that help you reach YOUR personal goals.
For me, in the evening, I want to relax, be less stressed, but also stay productive. That’s why some of my specific night routine activities include giving my home a quick clean after dinner, completing a gratitude moment, and diffusing essential oils when I get into bed.
What do your values tell you about your goals? How do these goals shape your night routine?
If you want to learn more about your personal values, and learn to structure your routines around pre-developed goals and personal intentions, download and use my four-page, multi-use, Becoming Intentional packet below.
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With the Becoming Intentional Packet you will be able to:
- Discover your wellness priorities
- Create personalized wellness goals
- Track your new habit progress
- Assess your wellness journey successes
Enter your name and email below to receive your Become Intentional packet and take the first step toward your holistic wellness.
Journal from Today
One of the best things that you can do to as part of your bed time routine is to journal about your day.
When you journal, you intentionally review what happened, how you felt, and keep these items recorded. Journaling can help you develop your ideal night routine, morning routine, sleep habits, eating patterns, and so much more. Through journaling, you mindfully consider what worked for you, what didn’t work, and how you can improve for tomorrow.
Personally, I love journaling and use my bullet journal DAILY. I find that when I brain dump everything from today, tomorrow I’m able to start fresh. I don’t have to think about it when I’m going to sleep, waking up, or starting my day because it’s written down in my journal from the night before.
When you journal from today, it can be quick on one line, or more in-depth over the course of a few pages. Test out a couple of different journaling styles to find out which method works best for you.
Prepare for Tomorrow
Preparing for tomorrow is an intentional step that can encompass many different activities.
When creating my own personal night time routine, I include making my packed lunch, picking out my clothes, and preparing my skin as part of my preparation for tomorrow. Each of these activities prevents me from rushing in the morning, and allows me to intentionally choose things that will contribute to my overall wellness.
Instead of eating fast food and spending money, I choose healthy foods that I meal planned on a prior day. Rather than leaving my makeup on overnight, I deep condition my skin and use great active ingredients. Because I value professionalism, I make sure my clothes aren’t wrinkled, and that they all match.
What do you value? What intentional choices might you make to prepare for tomorrow?
Want More Night Time Routine Ideas?
Have you chosen your values and set intentional goals, but you want specific ideas to create the perfect night routine for you? Check out my post 12 Holistic Ideas to Create Your Ideal Self Care Routine for more specific activity that might help you promote physical, social, spiritual, or intellectual wellness. Any of these ideas can be used as part of your night routine. If you would like specific ideas to promote healthy sleep, check out my post Sleep Hygiene: Secrets for the Best Sleep of Your Life as a good starting point.
Remember, making intentional choices in your night time routine prepares your body and mind for sleep and for waking up. Without a solid night time routine, other areas of your life will most certainly be affected.
What first step are you going to make today to develop your night time routine and becoming intentional in pursuing your wellness?
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Disclaimer: Although I am a mental health professional, I am not YOUR mental health professional. The information provided on this website is for educational and informational purposes only and using this website does not establish a counselor-client relationship, or constitute provision of mental health services. I am not responsible for any damages resulting from your use of the content on this site, as the information provided does not substitute for collaboration with a health professional. Please consult with your health professional before making changes to your health regimen.