Routines are an important factor of being successful in both your career and your personal life. Sometimes they help with personal development (breaking bad habits or routines), and they allow you to appreciate all that having a great routine will do for your life! This is critical especially when you are in the midst of changing your life for the better. Improving your attitude towards yourself and your life, getting that promotion, losing those pesky pounds and keeping them off, or fixing broken relationships – even building new ones – are all needed to be at your best every day.
A good morning routine is a pretty good indicator of how your day will go. Did you know a good bedtime routine is a great indicator of how well you sleep at night? Nighttime routines are not any less important than your morning routine! Think about it, what things do you do every night before you go to bed? Do these things help you get an amazing night’s rest? A night of tossing and turning will absolutely have you waking up very tired in the morning or leaving you lethargic at work the next day. Even when you think you have had enough sleep, you could very well be mistaken.
The kind of sleep that you need that leaves you rested is the deep REM sleep. But things like worry, stress, and over-stimulation can keep you from reaching REM sleep. Typically, what little benefit you did have from the sleep you got, is gone when you start rushing around trying to get your day under control come morning.
Here are some practical tidbits that successful leaders do to help get a nighttime routine started!
Go to sleep at the same time every night
Being consistent is important when it comes to routines. If you can’t go to sleep at the same time every night, its not really a routine is it? Set an alarm about an hour to a half hour before you intend to lay down. Knowing that you intend to lay down at a certain time will help your body get used to the new routine.
Let go of your day properly
One of the biggest things to help shut your mind down come bedtime is being able to reflect on your day and acknowledge that you’ve accomplished all the things you set out to do. Typically, worrying about what you did not get to finish up that day, and any perceived failures and negative encounters will keep you from the amazing, solid rest you can have. Therefore, it is important to let go.
Make a list
This is part of the letting go process. By adding the unfinished business to your To-Do list, you are forcing it out of your mind, and into tomorrow where it belongs. Try to prioritize your tasks from most to least important!
Studies show that we need up to two hours to clear our minds, so that we are ready for a good night’s sleep. This means no work, or anything that will have you actively engaged before bed. This will vary from person to person. Some people can watch a movie, or a couple of episodes of tv before bed; and some people just need some tea and a good book. Some people can be actively engaged by these activities. Find the right non-engaging activity for you and take your time so you don’t ruin your chances of a good night’s sleep.
Now that your head is clear, and you are properly wound down, how about the space you spend most of your life in? The ideal sleep environment is total darkness, quiet, and a cool space (studies show about 68 degrees Fahrenheit) to sleep comfortably. But for some, a dim light is needed for a good night’s sleep. Make sure that you don’t use your bedroom for a workspace, as doing so will keep your mind up and focused on other things to do when you are trying to get settled in for the night.
Establishing a proper sleep routine is essential for solid rest and so that you can be the best leader you can be. With only a small amount of prep, you will sleep better and have a more productive tomorrow. This will allow you to be better energized to lead throughout the day.
If you need additional support on your leadership and personal development journey, please join my supportive tribe at www.trendyeliteleadershiptribe.com where we dig in deeper to topics like these and provide strategies to be successful in both your personal and professional life. Hope to see you there!