Last week we talked about how to wake up peacefully in the morning. One thing we didn’t talk about that can have a significant impact on how you rise is your bedtime routine.
In my personal life, I must admit to despising rigid schedules. But despite my stubbornness to change, I’ve developed an appreciation for a good morning and bedtime routine.
Creating a ritual in the evening can help you sleep better at night and set you up for an easier time in the morning. It can also help you with any mind-body work you’re focused on.
A thoughtfully-established bedtime routine helps the mind ease from the transition of daytime activity or worry to rest and renewed optimism for the following day.
I’m not a sleep expert, so my suggestions are not for the intention of alleviating sleep challenges, but for mentally preparing yourself for the following day.
If you choose nurturing actions and make them a habit, then you better facilitate positive thinking. I’m not advocating positive thinking as an attempt to sweep issues under the rug, but as a strategic way of rewiring your brain for mind-body success.
Mind-friendly bedtime routine ideas:
Have a good laugh
Listen to, read, or watch something that makes me laugh, especially if it’s been a hard day. Better yet, make it an amusing conversation with a loved one.
Regardless of how you go about it, having a good laugh every day is good for your mental well-being. Even when life is not going as you want, laughter is possible and can provide therapeutic benefits.
Even if you’re not a regular tea drinker, I still recommend giving this a go. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the right tea blend that suits you.
Consider chamomile, lavender or rose herbal teas as you unwind for sleep.
Journaling can be a fantastic way to unwind and release from the activities or emotions of the day. Journaling is whatever you want it to be, there are no rules here.
Sometimes I like to write out positive thoughts or desires for my life, other times I might write down what’s been happening if it’s been an eventful week. I also have journals for inspiring quotes, work projects, and my favorite – my mind-body journal just for exercises and thoughts that increase my personal gratitude and joy.
And if writing is too much of a chore for you, try drawing in a sketchbook or adult coloring book. Creativity has many compelling benefits for your mind and can elevate your mood as well.
Whether you like fiction or non-fiction, countless books can uplift your mind and inspire your life. What better time to pull one out than right before sleep?
Seeding your mind with positive thoughts and intentions before sleep is a powerful way to inspire better mornings.
Emotional and energy balancing
Releasing negative emotions from the day and inviting peace into your subconscious is a compelling evening practice. It goes without saying that it can help you have a fresh start the following morning, and might even improve your quality of sleep.
There are many ways to achieve this: tapping (EFT), self-hypnosis, meditation, energy balancing, etc. Commit to learning one technique that works well for you, and stick with that as long as it is meeting your needs.
Turn off the screens
It seems silly to even have to say this, we’ve all been adequately lectured already, eh? But if you find yourself checking Facebook while lying in bed, you might want to consider a habit change.
Parents create rules and guidelines for their kids, but adults must establish their own guidelines and be their own parents!
What will it take for you to make the decision to put your phone down at a reasonable time each night?
Listen to music that you associate with sleep. I do this while in the bathroom prepping for bed. I generally listen to the same album each night because I know how it makes me feel as I’m drifting off to sleep.
In the beginning, you might have to experiment a bit to find the right music. Once you’ve made your selection you can train your mind to associate sleep with a particular type of music through repetition.
Drift off with intentional thoughts
Remember the moments of hypnosis you experience right after waking up? Well, you experience the same thing each time you go from fully conscious to asleep.
So when your head hits the pillow, choose to repeat words that are self-affirming and contribute to positive overall feelings and intentions for sleep and for the day to come.
You might use your perfect affirmation or even choose a sleep-hypnosis track you can turn on and play at a low-volume as you drift off to sleep.
Whatever you choose, do so thoughtfully. Think about how you want to feel when you wake up in the morning. Consider the overall goals you’re focusing on and seed positive thoughts.
Try to frame your words or statements positively, as opposed to “I don’t want to…” kind of thoughts. Your subconscious mind tends to skip over the word “don’t” and changes it to “I want.”
The above-suggestions are my personal recommendations and things that work for me. Now it’s your turn – let me know if you have additional bedtime routine ideas in the comments below!