Have you ever gone to bed tired and laid there only to stare at the ceiling, unable to sleep?

This used to happen to me, virtually every night. I had the best of intentions of getting up early, full of energy ready to tackle the day, but those plans lay wasted in the 3:00 am glow of my alarm clock. Bad nights were wrecking my mornings.

Then things changed. It had nothing to do with the thousands of sleep drugs that are advertised on TV or some superfood sold in a health store. I simply began looking at my evening the way I look at my morning.

Everyone is writing about their morning routines. I posted mine a few months ago. Morning routines set you up to win the day, but having a solid evening routine can do the same thing for a good night’s sleep. Here’s mine:

I Make A Plan

Like all things, getting to bed on time starts with a solid plan. Leave work late, rush through your evening meal, still want to spend time with your family? It can wreck the entire night. Make a plan to leave work on time. It starts the dominoes falling in the right direction for a change.

I Limit Caffeine In The Afternoon

I love stimulants. I love coffee and caffeine but when I drink a diet coke after 2, sleeping is a struggle and this has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. Sticking with water in the afternoon and early evening allows me to sleep much better at night.

I Shut Off My Ringer at 8 pm

There are those that advise staying off of your phone all evening. This being the real world, however, I shut off my ringer beginning at 8 every night. I use an application that does this for me. What this does for me, is allow me to read online articles, cruise through social media and even text a family member, without having to respond to every email that pops in. This makes using the phone my decision and not based on someone else’s emergency. 

I Review My Calendar

Knowing what I can expect the next day allows me to not worry about it as I try to sleep. Taking a couple of seconds to see what meetings are scheduled and where I need to be, takes the guessing about tomorrow off of my mind and lets me sleep.

I Read

Instead of television, spending my last thirty minutes reading helps relax me to the point of sleep. I wish I could read fiction, but since I choose not to, I typically read a biography at night. It’s one of the best ways of shutting down that I know of.

I Journal

Getting everything out of my head is the absolute best sleep aide that I’ve ever found. I use a template that allows me to capture the high points of the day and drift off free from thoughts of things left undone or projects that need to be tackled tomorrow. I have them safely recorded somewhere so there’s nothing pulling my attention away from sleep.

I Listen To Audioprograms

Ok, this last one is weird and I don’t recommend it, but I got hooked on listening to audiobooks and lectures as I sleep and now I’m addicted. Using a pair of Bluetooth “bedphones”, and YouTube and on my Firefox browser, I fall asleep listening to things that inspire me. It puts me right to sleep every time.

I really believe in the saying that he who wins the morning wins the day, but we can’t win the morning if we’re up all night unable to sleep. This is a routine that works for me. I’d love to read yours. Post in the comment below.

 

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