Routines and habits are important when trying to keep up on nutrition, hit the gym 3-4 days a week, reading, or taking trash out to the curb.
Sleep and recovery is another area where routines can help exponentially. Sleep and recovery are not just for athletes. If you are not getting a full nights rest you are not allowing your body to recovery from the stress of the day. Stress from work, kids, your neighbors dog pooping in your yard, working out, etc. Your body needs a nightly recharge, sleeping a little longer on weekends won't cut it.
Here are some tips on how to start building a nightly routine:
Analyze your Current 'Routine'
What are you currently doing the hour before you get into bed? Write that list down. Are you doing that same thing every night? Should we add or remove any items to the routine from the below list?
There should be a slow progression of lower energy levels throughout your routine. Your mind should start relaxing.
Limit Blue Light
This is a tough one but it will help. The main culprit here are screens - TV, phones, computers, tablets, etc. We want red/amber light, think dusk. Blue light stimulates the brain so it does not start shutting down for sleep because it thinks it is still day time.
Mobility / Mediation
Right before you are about to go to bed do some mobility/stretching/yoga or meditate for 10 minutes. No screens just you and your thoughts and relaxing.
Anything fiction. Non-fiction will start the brain thinking again. We want some that is entertaining.
Your Bed is for Sleeping and....
Your bed should be used for sleeping. Any other activity should be done elsewhere. Your body needs to associate your bed with sleep.
Check email and Social Media last time for the night.
Do any quick chores that I missed (put clothes away, leftovers in fridge, dishes in dishwasher).
I use this time to reflect on the day and do all my important thinking. If something was eye opening I make sure to write it down in my notebook after I am done.
Chat with Krista while getting clothes ready for tomorrow.
I am a pretty slow reader but I will read anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes depending on the day and how good the book is.
Kiss Krista and tell the ladies goodnight.
I need to add some mobility work to that routine. Krista and I do not have a TV in our room so there is no urge to watch TV.
Do you have any routines for sleep and recovery? Let me know. email@example.com