01 May

How To Improve Your Sleep: The Power Of An Evening Routine

how to improve your sleep; jennifer merchant

Do you find yourself lying awake at night struggling to fall asleep? Do you scroll mindlessly through your social media sites while you lie in bed? Do you find yourself exhausted and frustrated throughout your days due to lack of sleep?

If this sounds like you, I used to be in your exact position.

I could never fall asleep and once I did, I typically didn’t sleep well or feel rested the next morning. I would lie awake thinking about all of the things that I needed to do, replay situations in my head, or stress about how little sleep I was going to get that night.

Once I implemented my evening routine, this all changed for me.

Timing is Everything

Did you know that going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning is one of the best ways to improve your sleep?
evening routine; sleeping schedule; jennifer merchant

I used to work a chaotic schedule where some days I would have to be in at 5 am and other days I would have to work until 3 am. Needless to say, I did not have a sleep schedule and I went to sleep at completely different times every night.

This led to me having many sleepless nights and it would typically take me at least an hour or more to fall asleep.

Once I started going to sleep and waking up within 1 hour of the same time every day, my sleep dramatically improved within 1 week!

I always recommend this simple change for anyone who has trouble falling asleep or getting good quality sleep because it is simple and highly effective!

The next thing that I recommend is setting up a “power-down hour” in your evening routine!

My Evening Routine

I spend an hour before I go to sleep each day reading, writing in my journal, meditating, and stretching to calm my mind and body and wind down from the day. I also turn off all electronics and stay off of social media!

These simple changes have dramatically improved my sleeping habits. Now, when I lie down to go to bed, I actually feel tired and fall asleep within 10-15 minutes typically.

Also, I now have more energy, focus, and enjoyment throughout my days and no longer stress about not being able to get to sleep.

If you would like to create your own evening routine, the most important part is to find activities that relax you and do them for at least 1 hour before you would like to fall asleep. Some ideas would be meditating, writing, drawing, stretching, cleaning, or anything else that would help relax you.

If you would like additional ideas on what to do in your own evening routine, check out my post, 3 Simple Daily Habits That Could Improve Your Life.

Some things that should not be in your evening routine are watching TV, using your phone, computer or any other electronics, and anything else that hypes you up or stresses you out.

Why Can’t I Use Electronics?

One of the things that can interfere the most with sleep is the blue light that comes off of our electronics.

The blue light suppresses the production of melatonin which is the main hormone that signals to your body that it is time to slow down and go to sleep.

There a few ways to deal with this if you want to improve the quality of your sleep.

I prefer to take a break from all screens and electronics for at least 1 hour before I plan to go to sleep. This not only helps with the blue light problem, but it also helps me calm down from a long day and allows me and my brain to simply relax and wind down.

If you don’t think a 1-hour break from screens is manageable in your own life, there are blue light blocking glasses that you can buy on Amazon for about $20 for a decent pair which will do the trick as well.

Since I stopped using screens an hour before bed, my sleep quality has definitely improved! I used to lay in bed for what seemed like hours before finally falling asleep. Now, I can typically fall asleep in 10-15 minutes!

If you do not currently have either of these things in place, I would highly suggest it!

Other Tips To Improve Sleep

After you start going to sleep and waking up around the same time, implement a calming evening routine, and stop using electronic for one hour before you go to bed, you should notice a dramatic increase in your quality of sleep.

However, if you would like to make even more improvements, here a few more things that you could implement as well:

  1. Stop working out 3 hours before you go to sleep.
  2. Stop drinking alcohol at least 2 hours before you go to sleep
  3. Stop eating 2-3 hours before you go to sleep.

I’m sure by now you are going to want to implement some of these things into your own evening routine! Make sure you grab my FREE Goal Setting & Habit Implementation workbook to help you implement these new habits!

– Jennifer
Mindset & Habit Coach

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