Night time routines are important. They set the tone and pace for the day. Just as we prepare for a new year, the most successful like to jump on the day with a smart routine the night before.
Here are some nighttime routines that are sure to contribute to your productivity the following day:
1) Plan Ahead
It’s horribly inefficient to wait until you wake up to plan your day. Emerging research suggests that people who plan the following day by writing a to-do list are more productive and sleep better than those who don’t. Putting things down on paper can help to mentally unload any worries, leaving your mind clear and ready for sleep.
It can also be useful to create a ‘don’t do” list if you notice any unhelpful habits that are impeding your happiness, productivity and wellbeing.
2) Keep a consistent bedtime
Most adults need 7-9 hours of quality sleep to function well and prevent negative health impacts. When you go to bed late, it is tempting to wake up later — especially over the weekend.
Keeping an inconsistent sleep-wake time throws off your circadian rhythms. When you sleep in on the weekend, you have trouble falling asleep on Sunday night — and you begin the week on Monday, being sleep-deprived. It may take you a whole day to get back to your normal weekday sleep-wake cycle. This reduces your productivity.
3) Turn off Technology
Exposure to the blue light emitted by screens before bedtime can interfere with your circadian rhythm and inhibit the release of the sleep hormone, making it difficult to fall asleep. This could in turn reduce the amount of sleep you get and the productivity of your day the next day.
4) Read a book
Reading a book is a great way to give your mind a chance to wind down and prepare for sleep. It can help reduce stress and anxiety. Alternatively, listening to an audiobook can feel like being read a bedtime story which contributes to calming you and preparing you for a sound sleep.
Journaling is a common mindfulness practice that has been shown to increase wellbeing and emotional stability. Using the end of the day as a time to reflect on your little wins, things you are grateful for or proud of, can calm the brain. Adopting this practice regularly can foster healthier thought patterns and help reduce stress.
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