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An evening routine to reduce stress and improve sleep

Having a night time routine is a great way to set yourself up for success the following day. How often have you had plans for the day then wake up late and tired, achieving nothing you set out to do. Many executives often have trouble sleeping due to their demanding schedule. They often work late, resulting in sacrificed sleep. Then when they do get to bed, not allowing enough time to wind down which results in poor sleep.

The good news is, there is a way to combat this perpetual cycle. Here are six activities to include in your evening routine to reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep.

1. Set your priorities for the day

Take a few moments to plan the next day. Check your schedule to make sure you have not overlooked any appointments or events. Determine the things you must do for that day. These will be the things that you prioritise above everything else on your to-do list. This should include personal and work related tasks. Having a plan for the next day allows you to jump straight into action.

2. Limit screen time

That's right, you need to step away from your computer at a decent hour. By now we have all come to learn that too much screen time before bed can impact our sleep. The blue light that our screens emit tricks our brains into thinking it daytime and can make it harder to fall asleep. Limiting screen time a few hours before bed will help you unwind and prepare for sleep. Use that time to connect with your partner and have some quality time with the kids. If you must use your device, try switching the brightness down or select night mode. Shifting the colours of your display to a warmer colour of the spectrum after dark may help you get a better night's sleep.

3. Wind down

What activities help you to wind down? Everyone is different when it comes to what helps them relax. Some activities you could try include yoga, meditation, drawing or reading. Relaxing music or having a cuppa with your partner. Since we've already talked about screen time, try not to get any screens involved here. The idea is to bring the heart rate down and prepare your body and mind for sleep.

4. An evening snack

If you find yourself a little hungry after dinner, try to snack on some sleep inducing food and drinks. Kiwi fruit, a glass of milk or a cup of chamomile tea are all proven to help sleep. They contain melatonin which is a hormone that helps sleep. Try to avoid sugary snacks and caffeine a few hours before going to bed.

5. Get ready for the next day

This can include things like preparing your lunch, tidying the house, packing your bag and deciding on what clothes to wear. These are all aimed at making the next day easier. It can also help you relax, knowing that you are prepared for the next day. Ultimately, helping you to sleep well.

6. Preparing to sleep

The final part of your evening routine should signal the brain that it's time to sleep. This can include diffusing some essential oils, your skincare and cleansing routine as well as physically preparing the bedroom. Make the room cool, dark and turn off any noisy electronics.

The key to a good night time routine is to be consistent. Try following a night routine for at least a month and see how you feel. Remember, there's no one size fits all approach. Adding or subtracting activities is the way to tailor a routine that works for you. If you find that you still aren't sleeping better, it might be worth chatting to your healthcare provider to ensure you don't have any underlying sleep disorders.

If you are finding it difficult to apply healthy routines and habits in your life, feel free to reach out and discuss. I help many clients to create balance and forward movement towards their goals.

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