I’ve been tired these last couple of weeks. Or maybe that’s not the right way of putting it. Let’s say I’ve been falling asleep really early.
In the past few weeks, I’ve rarely seen a day past about 9:30 PM, and I think it might have something to do with my new evening routine. It’s putting me to bed nicely, keeping me there, and getting me up consistently around 6 AM.
After eating dinner around 6:30 or 7:00 PM, I may sit down and watch an hour of television or so. Then I pick up a book or magazine, sit quietly, and read until about 9:15. At that point, my body is starting to feel mighty sleepy.
Relaxing before bed – and particularly shutting off the television – is the key. I also have my phone on sleep mode if everyone is at home, and I know it’s unlikely I’ll be called for an emergency. Any temptation to have my phone close is gone.
What makes relaxing easier is that I’m getting plenty of activity during the day. There’s no sitting around at 8:00 PM with this excess of energy or adrenaline to spend.
I also try to avoid eating food after dinner, keeping my last meal relatively small, and if I get peckish, snacking on something light like cherries or a few nuts.
So, all of that is adding up to some great sleep, allowing me to feel energized and awake all day every day.
Overall, it’s been working. The routine essentially works like this:
- A consistent sleep schedule (without the use of alarms)
- Adequate activity each day
- Avoiding caffeine in the afternoons and alcohol in the evenings
- Generally avoiding food after dinner
- Shutting down screen time in the evening
- Performing relaxing activities as sleep approaches
- Doing my best to limit – or at least manage – daily stressors
Most people should be able to follow a similar structure to help them sleep better and improve overall health and wellness. Give it a try. If it works for me it might work for you!