better evenings: How to end your day with intention and have better rest.
How do you decompress at night to create better habits and have a more restful night's sleep? For most people, setting up a nighttime routine is always overlooked. We have all been there; laying in bed finally getting that moment to relax but your mind is all of sudden flooded with busy thoughts. Maybe you're suddenly remembering you left out an important part in that last work email thinking, “Is it too late now to send a follow up email?" or " Is my boss going to think I didn’t execute that project well enough?". Once you clear your mind of work, you might fall down the "rabbit hole"; maybe you shouldn’t have had those cookies after dinner and you c could have completed that workout you had planned instead. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the thoughts of the day you just had and the thoughts of the day you hope to have tomorrow. But what can you do to break this nightly stress cycle?
We’ve broken down some steps to achieving a restful nighttime routine to provide a truly better evening:
Disconnecting from your devices might be the most difficult practice to cultivate. Our cyborg nature is possibly the most addicting habit to break from. It’s easy to lay in bed and scroll through your social media feeds or binge a few episodes of some mindless show while "trying" to drift off to sleep. You might think it’s a useful distraction which helps you turn off the stressful thoughts of the day. The terrible truth is; your cell phone, television, computer screen and tablet all emit blue light. Blue light is preventing the production of the hormone melatonin which is crucial to your sleep cycle. When your body produces less melatonin it’s harder for you to fall and stay asleep. Try implementing a "no phones in bed" rule. Keep your phone on your night stand or across the room on a dresser for a better revitalizing night’s sleep.
We all know how hard it can be to maintain healthy eating habits. Sometimes you work late, become enveloped in your passion project or maybe just join co-workers at happy hour and don’t start cooking for yourself until 9 pm. What happens when it’s now 10 at night, you just finished eating and want to be in bed by 11? Is that late meal going to keep you from resting easily? It is recommended to avoid eating at least three hours before you plan on going to bed. This three hour period gives your body enough time to digest your food and is likely to prevent restlessness due to an upset stomach, heartburn or indigestion. We all know that unpredictable life simply gets in the way of this three hour rule sometimes and nobody is perfect, but just having this goal as your mindset could be the one thing that prevents you from satisfying those late night snack cravings. Gently remind yourself that trying to eat earlier could be a real game changer for your goals of having better sleep.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness that can be useful to getting a better night’s sleep. Journaling, reading, listening to some music can all be tools in your nighttime stress defense plan. Journaling can be a great way to end your day on a positive note. Jotting down the stressful thoughts that enter your mind when you get into bed along with any plans, lists or actions you want to remember for the following day can be helpful. Seeing it written out on the page may help you exercise these thoughts in way that can help you move on or resolve them. Turning those negative thoughts into positive action through writing can set intentions for the day ahead and could help soothe your mind for better rest. Reading for a bit or listening to some music or lecture can also really help to focus the mind and be useful especially to those who may need an alternative to replace the addictive scrolling before bedtime.
Meditation practice can be helpful with some time and dedication. Practicing clearing your thoughts is an exercise of commitment and can be done solo or along with breathing exercises, some restorative yoga or just sipping some herbal tea. Practicing a little meditative body scan or utilizing one of the many apps or videos posted online can take you from a stressful mindset to relief. If you are indulging in any calming herbal tea remedies along with your nightly meditative regime then maybe tossing some better triple magnesium powder into the mix could also help you achieve that restorative rest for your mind and body.
All of that being said (well typed); finding what practice suits you best is all up to you. Everyone finds relief in different ways and we hope that these little steps can help you on your journey to a restorative, rejuvenating and all around better evening.