Want to optimise your day? Want to get the most juice out of your 24 hours? Want a routine that will set you up for a successful day?
99 times out of 100, every book/blog/podcast/expert that talks about this topic focus on morning routines. But that’s not actually the best place to start. So much of your life is determined by preparation — a.k.a. what you do the night before. The way you close off your day sets the tone for the next day. So let’s hone in on your nighttime routine.
Here’s how you can set yourself up for a successful day the night before so that your future self will thank you for it. There are four key areas to look at here — preparation, technology, food and spirituality. Let’s focus on each one in turn, and explore the different elements you may want to include in your routine…
- Before you go to bed, lay out your outfit or workout gear (so you don’t have to run around trying to find it in the dark at 6am).
- If needed, prepare your breakfast or lunch for yourself and your kids whilst you’re cleaning up after dinner. You already have the chopping board and knife out so you may as well use it.
- Take 1 minute to open up your digital calendar and chat with your partner and review any items/appointments for the following day and take action to prepare (for example, do the kids need their swimming gear? Do you need to put out money for the babysitter or cleaner? Do the bins need to go out?) Get it done and out of your head before you turn in for the night.
- When you are finished, you are finished. Close your laptop or shut down your computer to signal to yourself that you are finished for the day, this is especially important if you work from home. Close your office door or if you work on your kitchen table put your laptop etc away and out of sight so you can slip into home / relaxing / family mode. This is also a great time to turn your phone on airplane mode. If for some reason you do need to look at your computer or phone in the evening please wear blue-blocking glasses (use the code Melissa for 15% off) and put your phone on night shift mode and use Flux on your computer which takes out the blue light and won’t stimulate cortisol in your body which will keep you awake which is not what we want in the evening. We want to signal to our body that it’s time to wind down, not rev up.
- Mark the end of the work time with a pattern break. You could do a whoosh or what we call an aura cleanse (which is a swim in the ocean). You could also do 10 minutes of rebounding (which is great for your lymphatic system), a walk around the block, or you could have a cold shower, wash your face, or put on your favorite song and bust some moves. We are massive fans of pattern breaks and use them often.
- Change the lighting in your home to softer, warm red lights for the evening. You could even use Himalayan salt lamps but you want to stay away from lights that emit blue light. (For more info on this, check out episodes 203 with Dr Jack Cruse and episode 233 with Andy Mant where you will learn all about toxic blue light that is affecting your health and sleep, and how to protect yourself from it. In these episodes, we go into detail about how blue light at night stimulates cortisol in your body keeping you awake which is not what we want. So either dimming the lights or getting rid of all the blue light in your house is key.)
- Commit to only one episode or 45 minutes of TV per night, as TV can keep you awake and stimulated.
- Eat dinner 2 – 3 hours before bed and make it the lightest meal of the day. For us, that means dinner at 5:30pm. This way you give your body enough time to digest your food before you get into bed. We all know how uncomfortable it feels when we get into bed with a full tummy. Not to mention you won’t be able to fall into a deep, restful and restorative sleep because your body will be digesting your food.
- Where possible, try and be asleep by no later than 10pm. We are in bed by 8pm. There is so much scientific data out there that talks about the benefits of getting to bed before 10pm, not only for your physical health and recovery, but for your mental health too. According to Ayurveda the ‘Pitta Time’ is from 10pm – 2am — this is where the body is ‘cleaning house’. Digesting is not in the stomach but in the small intestines, so you don’t want food in your stomach when you go to sleep as it disrupts the detoxification process.
- Mark the end of the day with a meditation. You could do one of my guided meditations or the One Giant Mind meditation app. This is a great way to close your day.
- Have a shower or goddess bath with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil to help you wind down.
- Put your relaxing and calming essential oils (like lavender, frankincense, clary sage and vetiver) in your diffuser.
- Pop on some binaural beats, yogic or meditation music softly in the background for the evening whilst you make and eat dinner.
- Before bed, you could do a few minutes of yin yoga, foam rolling, Wim Hof breathing, TRE (Trauma Release Exercise) or some light stretching.
- Read in bed using a Blue Light Blocking Clip Light (use the Melissa for 15% off).
- Make love. Your bedroom should be reserved for two things only, sleeping and lovemaking, that’s it.
So those are the different elements to consider, as you piece together a nighttime routine that works for you and your lifestyle for a successful day.
An epic day starts the night before.
Here’s what my night routine looks like:
- 4:30pm – 5pm is when I wrap up my workday. I clean my desk, check emails one last time for anything important, make sure everything is in place, shut down my computer, pop my phone on airplane mode (if it’s not already) and head downstairs to prepare dinner. I have usually already thought about dinner at lunchtime, so most often it’s all ready to go.
- 5pm is when I do my second 20-minute meditation for the day.
- We eat dinner at 5:30pm.
- As soon as it gets dark and we need to turn on the lights, I pop on my blue light blocking glasses.
- Shower or sometimes a goddess bath if I feel like it.
- Pop on my relaxing essential oils.
- Clean up after dinner. Maybe go for an evening stroll, or watch something whilst I do some stretching, TRE or foam rolling.
- Get in bed by 8pm for reading and lovers’ time.
- Asleep from anywhere between 8:30pm – 9pm for a delicious deep and restorative 8 juicy hours.
That’s my night routine.
Now I would love to hear from you. What’s your ideal night routine? Share it with me in the comments and let’s all inspire each other with our epic routines.