We have previously covered how you can master the perfect morning routine. This week is all about constructing an evening routine that is conducive to a restful night’s sleep. By improving your quality of sleep, you ensure that your mind and body are fully rested and prepared for the following day. This will not only make your training easier but you will find you reap many more benefits than if you were tired or lethargic.
The perfect evening routine should focus on two main goals:
- How do we wrap up the day with a clear mind?
- How can we set ourselves up for a deep, glorious, and restorative sleep?
There is nothing worse than getting yourself cosy and ready for bed but not being able to switch off your thoughts about the things you did and didn’t do during the day. Follow these 5 simple steps towards perfecting an evening routine and this will never happen again!
1. List the positive impacts you left on the day
This approach was first developed by Benjamin Franklin who would reflect on his day and ask himself, ‘what good did I do today?’ before going to sleep. Instead of stressing over how productive you were during the day, shift your focus into a more positive and fulfilled one.
2. Take the time to wind down for the evening
Research has found that our brains need about 2 hours to cool down before we can really get into a deep sleep. This means that about two hours before bed you should start winding down your brain. Classical music, meditating, journaling, stretching, and pampering routines are all great ways to relax before jumping into bed.
Put away your phones and switch off the TV to make your evening more purposeful. It is worthwhile avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol close to bedtime and steering clear of rich meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks, all of which can trigger indigestion.
3. Make tomorrows to-do list
So often, we are completely overwhelmed by all the tasks we are facing over the next day. This anxiety can negatively affect those precious sleeping hours. By making a to-do list the night before, it helps to clear your brain so it can relax.
4. Make your bedroom a sleep haven
The Mayo Clinic has done a ton of amazing sleep research and found that we need to start thinking of our bedroom like a cave if we want to get a good amount of quality sleep. Consider using blackout curtains, eye masks, ear plugs, ‘white noise’ machines, humidifiers, and fans to keep things cool and quiet.
5. Utilise Sleep Tools
There are several apps out there which are specifically designed to help you sleep or monitor your sleep so improvements can be made.
Sleep Cycle is a great app which will monitor your sleep cycles by movement. This can aid in learning about what evening ‘cool down’ gives you the best night’s sleep.
HeadSpace is another app which takes you through various meditations and mindfulness exercises to help clear your mind and wind down before bed.
Lastly, try to use lights without the blue spectrum. Research has found that the blue spectrum in lights and on our electronic devices actually keep us awake and can disrupt our sleep. Be kind to your eyes and use fixtures that have a more calming light or utilise your phone’s settings to disable the blue light during evening hours.
Remember that an evening routine is just as important as a morning routine. Learn how to perfect both in your life and you will be on your way to a more productive, healthy, and successful day.
About the author: Laura Smith is an athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.
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Leiana grew up on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean and has been practising yoga since her teens. She tells Sundried how important yoga is in her life and how she uses it to ease her anxiety.
How did you first discover your love for yoga?
When I was 17 years old my dad suggested that I start meditation and yoga so I started private sessions with my first teacher Karen Stollmeyer.
What sets yoga apart from other fitness disciplines?
Yoga asks us to dive into the depths of ourselves by focussing on the breath consistently throughout the practice. With different pranayama (breathing techniques) we are able to clear our mind and become calm, realise our centre and use that as a firm foundation to deal with stressors that we encounter in our daily lives. Bringing the breath and the body together, we experience a union.
How has yoga improved your life?
I used to have a lot of anxiety; yoga has really helped me to realise certain thoughts within myself that are unnecessary and that I create my own suffering. Once you are able to see the patterns of your mind, you are able to make positive changes in order to experience a more happy and peaceful life.
How often do you practice yoga?
I practice every day!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of trying yoga for the first time?
Be patient with yourself and the practice. It's not always easy, or sometimes it can seem too easy! Choose a class that's tailored for your needs. If you need to be challenged, choose a class that will do that for you. If you need to rest, choose a more meditative class. Allow the practice to be healing, and a moment of compassion for yourself. It is always good to be challenged, you will find inner growth along the way.
Tell us something unusual we may not know about you:
I grew up in a little fisherman's village on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. My school was on the beach! We used to go at break time and help the fishermen, it was so much fun!
Do you follow a specific diet plan?
I am a vegetarian.
How do you keep your knowledge up to date?
I try to learn something every day, either through reading or looking things up. Learning from others is very important in order to stay humble and be a good teacher as well.
Why work with Sundried?
I love that the clothing is ethical and sustainable; it is in line with my lifestyle and what I want to share with the world!
Favourite fitness quote
"Shaking is weakness leaving the body"