Many of us are guilty of not putting the proper routine in place before we go to sleep in the evening. However, this can lead to us not being able to wake up properly in the evening, or even laying awake for hours when we should be asleep. Having a good night routine in place can help you have a productive morning the next day, but you do need to make sure that you are putting the work in to create this routine. Let’s take a closer look at how you can do so.
How Does a Good Night Make a Better Day?
When you go to bed relaxed and prepared for the day ahead, you should find that you wake up feeling a lot calmer. You won’t have to run around and get everything done in the morning. Some might choose to get up and go, others might want to take some time to themselves, but both paths can lead to a good morning.
We tend to have more time in the evenings, even if we feel like we might not. This is the time where we should be organizing our next days, as we have the time to address everything that we might need to. In the mornings, we only have a finite time, and it can therefore be difficult to squeeze in everything that we might need to do.
Think About How You Wake Up
The best place to start is at the end – when you wake up. Think about how you feel when you first open your eyes in the morning, as this could be a key indicator as to what you need to fix in the evenings. By learning about the science of sleep, you might be able to gather the tools you need to make a realistic improvement to the way in which you sleep.
One of the days you find yourself waking up tired, what is it precisely that makes you feel tired?
Some people can feel groggy and disorientated, others might have aches and pains from sleeping in funny positions, and others might just not feel quite right until they have been up and about for a bit. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to create a good night routine that will feed through to a productive morning.
Get to Know Your REM Cycle
You might have heard that we need eight hours of sleep to have a functioning day. However, this isn’t strictly true. There are plenty of people who are able to get by on six or seven hours of sleep and function perfectly normally, while there are others who might need nine or even closer to ten hours of sleep.
Instead of trying to get eight hours on the dot, you should try to learn how your REM cycle functions. REM stands for rapid eye function, and it is where you can have your most intense dreams. There are four stages of sleep that cycle over and over throughout the night. The first is a very light sleep from which it is easiest to be woken from. The next is where your body prepares you for deep sleep by lowering your body temperature and heart rate. You then pass through a period of deep sleep where your body works to repair itself, with the final stage being REM sleep.
Each of these stages is a different length for individual people. Knowing how long it takes for you to pass through each stage means that you can plan your sleep patterns a little more easily. The best time to wake up is in the first and very light stage of NREM sleep. Since this is so light, you should be able to awaken and start your day with fewer issues than if you were to try to wake up in the middle of your deepest cycle. Have a look at sleep tracker apps and other gadgets that can help you monitor your sleep cycle – they could give you the best time to wake up.
Relaxing Before Sleep
Are you taking the time to destress and calm down before you go to sleep? If you go to bed stressed and exhausted, you might find that you struggle to get to sleep. You could then just wake up sleep-deprived and stressed out once more. Establishing a good night-time routine is crucial.
Coming up with things to do to relax in the evenings is easy – the hard part can be committing to them and making sure that they get done. It could start as soon as you walk in the door in the evening, or it could be just in the hour or so before you want to go to sleep – it is up to you.
You could start with cooking a good meal for yourself, with music or a TV show that relaxes you in the background. If you spend a lot of time around screens as part of your job, you need to make sure that you limit your activity with them in the evening. Take a long bath or shower, read a book, or do something else that does not require a screen. It is a great way to switch off and relax before you have to go to sleep.
Plan for the Day Ahead
Try to think about some of the tasks that you have ahead of you the next day. Prepping for these tasks can often be a little bit easier to do the night before, as you can get it down on paper (either in a planner or maybe in an app) and get them out of your head.
You can also try small changes like preparing your outfits for the next day, or prepping your bag so you can be certain that nothing is going to be left behind. By organizing what you need for your morning the night before, you can relax and know that you have everything you need to be sorted.
Know How to Put Yourself to Sleep
If you feel like you are someone who tosses and turns for ages until they get to sleep, you need to make sure that you are going to change this up in some way. Though falling asleep can be very difficult for some, there are several shortcuts you can try that could be beneficial to you.
For example, some people benefit from stretching before they go to sleep. They also like to indulge in meditation to calm their mind and body. Others have specific tracks they like to listen to when they are trying to sleep, whether these are music, audiobooks, or even just white noise.
You might think that there is nothing you can do to address the way that you wake up in the morning, but there are actually a few things that you can do to improve your day. Your sleep routine the night before can majorly dictate how you are able to face the next morning. By changing how you approach your night time routine, you can make a big impact on how your morning might turn out the next day.