By Patti Brown
It became clear to me soon after I started trying to change my morning habits: my day was made or broken the night before. I had to find a way to get better at bedtime.
So I researched, and I experimented. Full disclosure? I’ve been doing HelloMornings for two and a half years, and I am still working on good bedtime habits.
If you struggle with getting to bed on time too, maybe one of these ideas will help:
- You may need to reset your body’s internal clock, and believe it or not, one way to do that is to get out in the sunshine first thing every day. Add a brisk walk to give you energy in the morning and help you sleep better that night.
- Plan your evening schedule based on your target bedtime. If dinner is too late, or the kids’ bedtime is too close to yours, you may procrastinate going to bed because you crave quiet time in the evening. Shift those activities earlier. Remember: “Sleep can not be the thing you sacrifice”
- If you feel like you can’t go to bed because you have too much to do, are you doing too much? Ask God to show you what you can delegate!
- Avoid sugar and caffeine for several hours before bedtime. Instead, make a soothing cup of herbal tea part of your evening. My favorite is Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Vanilla.
- The light from computers, mobile devices and television screens confuses your brain because the light waves are too much like daylight. It is best to avoid screens for at least an hour before going to bed.
- Develop a consistent bedtime routine. Your brain responds to triggers and will learn to wind down when you initiate a certain pattern of behavior.
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to start your bedtime routine. ACE Janice Morrow sets her alarm to ask “What do you want your morning to look like?” My alarm reminds me nightly: “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. – Psalm 127:2”
- If your mind is overflowing with things you need to remember to do, “brain dump” on paper – write it all down and clear your head for a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Certain activities improve the relaxation response. Studies have shown that playing classical music, reading fiction, or knitting can soothe and shift brain activity. Try these to help you wind down.
- Still struggling? Make it a team effort, find an accountability partner… it could be your husband or a friend. It will be like your own mini Goodnight Evenings group!
Is bedtime easy as pie for you, or do you struggle too? Share your ideas for getting to bed on time in the comments!