We already know that some of the most successful people in the world swear by their morning routines to start their days, but at Fitness Together, we believe the nighttime routine is just as essential for your overall health and wellbeing. Here are three helpful habits to add to your evening routine.
Be consistent: Go to bed at the same time every single night.
You’ve heard of an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning, but how about an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed each night? It’s a very beneficial thing to use. And that’s because study after study has shown us that the body performs best when you go to bed and wake up around the same time every single day and night. If you’re someone who goes to bed early during the week and then late on the weekend, you may notice that you struggle to get to sleep early at times and then feel groggy when you wake up too. That’s likely because your body’s internal system gets confused and doesn’t properly produce melatonin (the sleep hormone) once it senses that your bedtime has changed. Do yourself a favor and set a nightly alarm about 30 to 45 minutes before your planned bedtime. Then, you can wind down and get in bed on time, so you’ll have more quality sleep each night and a regulated circadian rhythm too.
Plan the next day: Review your calendar, write down what you need to get done and set out your workout clothes.
A good day doesn’t start in the morning, but instead, it starts the night before. Each night, you should make it a habit of reviewing your calendar for the next day so you can be mentally prepared for everything on your agenda, even writing down the things you’d like to accomplish with the most important items listed first. In addition, you should schedule time for exercise, set out your workout outfit and make a plan for what you’re going to do to sweat (like meeting with your Fitness Together personal trainer for a private session in a one-on-one setting). This practice of mentally going over everything you have going on the next day, writing things down and even preparing your workout clothes, will let your mind be at ease. That way you can focus on relaxing before you go to sleep, rather than feeling overwhelmed about what’s to come.
Disconnect: Turn off all technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime and spend time with a book, conversation or mindfulness.
How often do you find yourself falling asleep in front of the TV or while scrolling social media on your phone? Not only do these types of habits interfere with your sleep, due to the blue lights from the screens, but they also tend to evoke negative emotions more than positive. We recommend that you take a hard-line policy against technology at least 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime. Turn off the TV, shut down your laptop and plug your phone into a charger in the kitchen, rather than your bedroom. Instead of being connected, you can use this wind-down time to read for pleasure, chat with loved ones or family or reflect on your day and collect your thoughts with solo quiet moments. Whatever you do, make time just before bed for being away from work and digital communication — whatever it is that you think you need to read or respond to can likely wait until the morning anyhow. This will ensure that you are able to get some mental space for yourself, as well as prepare yourself for a better night of sleep.
Pick one of these habits and give it a go. Once you’ve got one down, you can try adding another and another. Be well!