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How to sleep better by cultivating an evening routine

Sleeping – it’s something we take for granted. When we’re able to that is.

If sleeping becomes difficult for any reason it can turn your world upside down. You have no energy, you feel ill, you can’t concentrate, your mood is low. And all you can think about is sleep.

The end of the day

What you do in the hours before bed influences how well you sleep.

If you haven’t got through your list for the day, there might not be much of a gap between finishing off jobs and going to bed.

Without a plan, the way we spend our evenings can be a bit random –  scrolling through social media, or watching multiple episodes of a favourite show back-to-back.

These are all activities that fire up our brains rather than helping us wind down.

Do you ever feel ‘wired’ when you get into bed? Are you still chewing over the events of the day in your head?

It’s hard to sleep when your body isn’t relaxed.

Creating an evening routine can help you unwind before you go to bed.

7 things to do in the evening 

  1. Plan the next day – take ten minutes to jot down what you intend to do tomorrow while it’s fresh in your mind.  It’s easier to relax when you feel prepared. I use a bullet journal for planning what I need to do.
    If you’re new to bullet journalling, here’s a useful guide to getting started.
  2. Turn off your devices – our sleep is affected by screen time in the evening. Gadgets give out blue light which stops your body producing melatonin (the ‘sleep hormone’). It’s easy to address this by installing software like F.lux, or on iOS devices turn on Nightshift in your settings.
    Set a time by which your phone, computer and TV will be off. 
  3. Remove devices from the bedroom –  including your partner’s! Use an alarm clock to wake up, not your phone.
  4. Have a bath or shower – lavender based products are relaxing and can help promote sleep.
  5. Do what you love – find something relaxing that doesn’t involve a screen.
    I like to reflect on my day and write in my journal. Sometimes I write about things I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s what I feel happy about that day, or what I learned.
    You might want to read or listen to music.
  6. Go to bed at the same time every night. To find the perfect time to go to sleep, count back 7 and a half hours from when you need to get up.
  7. Make peace with the day – when you get into bed, take a moment to acknowledge you did your best and the day is over.

Cultivating new habits isn’t easy – just choose one step and build it up from there. Small changes over time can make a big difference.

Following the same routine every evening will help your body associate this routine with sleep. 

If you’re struggling with ongoing sleep problems, feel free to get in touch to talk about how I can help. 

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