How to Master Your Day By Starting the Night Before
A little too much Merlot at night is not the only thing that can throw your day off. Your entire evening routine has a significant impact on not only how you feel in the morning, but how you feel through the day.
When I miss out on my evening rituals, I notice that I wake up feeling less rested, I feel more scattered during the day and my energy wanes. Late night dinners really affect my sleep and alcohol definitely does a doozy on me. It takes me a few days to get back on my routine. The key is to continue testing and tweaking to find out what sets up for a successful day.
Eating dinner just before bedtime means your body has to work throughout the night just to digest your food. Sleep provides quiet time for your body to cleanse itself and take a break from all the hard work it does all day long.
Late night snacking like cookies (sugar) or chocolate (caffeine) can affect your sleep. Sugar affects your blood sugar level and if you’re anything like me, caffeine will keep you counting sheep for hours.
Technology at night (because of the blue light) can suppress the production of melatonin that triggers your body to go to sleep. Other studies show that exposure to blue light at night can increase your risk of some types of cancers, heart disease, and obesity. Turn it off!
Here are some of my tips for creating a productive evening, a productive sleep, and a productive (next) day.
1) Eat early. Sit down for dinner at least 2 hours before you go to bed if not 3. Aim to have your biggest meal in the middle of the day when your metabolism is the highest. (This will also help with weight loss.) Instead of something sweet try a hot cup of water with herbal tea, or fresh ginger.
2) Prep your breakfast. For example, soak your oatmeal in water with a squeeze of lemon – it will cook faster and is easier to digest. I know someone who puts a placemat out with his utensils and cereal bowl the night before - one less thing to think about in the morning. (And it makes you feel very prepared!) Prep your coffee so all you need to do is press start!
3) Turn off the technology at least one hour before bedtime. It has a big effect on the quality of your sleep. (Some call this the digital detox – when the sun goes down, so does the technology.)
4) Decide what’s for dinner for the next day. Assess what leftovers you might be able to reuse or determine what you might need to pick up at the grocery on the way home. Take anything out of the freezer that needs to defrost. Take advantage of prepping stuff during dinner for the next night, for example cutting up veggies for your salad, or pre-cooking rice, or beans. Eliminate the stress out of dinnertime by planning ahead!
5) Write out your “To-Do” list out so you don’t lay there worrying about what you need to get done the next day. Keep a pen and pad of paper near your bed in case you need to add something.
6) Journal. Take a few minutes to what you’re grateful for and assess your day. Unravel your challenges, and write set an intention for the next day. Do a little check-in – were you overly stressed, unforgiving, or anxious about something coming up? What do you need to let go of tomorrow to be more mindful and loving?
7) Meditate. Take a few minutes to quiet your mind. Do a body scan and slow your breathing down. Use a guided meditation (audio only) to help you fall asleep.
What’s your evening routine?
Are you setting yourself up for success?
I would love to hear from you. Share your tips and challenges.
Next, I’ll talk about some morning rituals to light your day on fire!