Here is a way to improve your sleep by planning the perfect night time routine. Read on for tips and guidance on how to create this.
Anyone who knows me will know just how much I love a bit of planning and having a routine. Is this nature or nurture, I wonder? Is it a part of me or something that has been instilled in me after over a decade in the military?
As a Logistics Officer in the Royal Navy I served in warships around the world and an important part of a functioning warship is ‘Daily Orders’. This is a schedule of the day published each morning, put up around the Ship detailing exactly what’s planned – so that everyone onboard knows what’s going on, where, for whom and the day’s priorities. Sometimes this would be to the minute!
Creation of Bedtime Daily Orders
So it got me thinking, I often work with clients who struggle with their sleep and if they decide that they wish to improve their bedtime routine, maybe this tool could help them.
Maybe you could create your own Bedtime ‘Daily Orders’?
The 90 minutes before you go to sleep are the most important, so that could be the window of your Daily Orders – think of it as your perfect night time routine.
What would work for you?
You could plan out exactly what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it – then write it down and even publicise it with friends and family so that they can support you. Research shows that writing things down solidifies the connections with your brain and memory, helping you achieve your goals.
Interested? Well here are some guidelines to get you going and my own personal Bedtime Daily Orders…
Bedtime Daily Orders – Guidelines
Things I don’t recommend in those 90 mins:
- Checking work emails or any emails!
- Watching the news or a thriller – getting a burst of grief or anxiety before shutting your eyes doesn’t help
- Looking at your smartphone or a tablet
- Drinking caffeinated drinks (including decaf, as they still have caffeine, and green tea)
- Having any stressful conversations with your partner/friends/family
Things I do recommend in those 90 mins:
- Popping on a pair of amber tinted glasses
- Activating night time mode on your phone
- Charging smartphones/tablets away from your bed, ideally in another room overnight
- Having a light stretch
- Drinking some sparkling water or chamomile tea
- Writing down 3 good things about your day
- Turning on a red light on your landing
- Embracing mood lighting
- Reading next to a dim light
- Opening your bedroom window
- Watching a light hearted comedy, travel show or feel good programme in the evening
- Listening to relaxing music, sleep story or, if a client, my recording!
Lauren’s Bedtime Daily Orders
I like to be asleep by 10.30pm, so my Bedtime Daily Orders start at 9pm – or 2100, let’s go proper military again with the 24hr clock…
2100 – Close laptop (if open), turn off tablet or phone if in my hand.
2101 – Make a cup of chamomile tea in the kitchen
2102 – Notice that night time mode was automatically activated on my iPhone at 2100 so it’s now got an amber hue. Ideally leave my phone there charging until tomorrow!
2103 – Turn down the lights in the lounge, turn out all LED lights in other rooms and nip upstairs to put on red light on the landing
2105 – Pop on my diffuser in the lounge and enjoy a blend of lavender, petitgrain and mandarin
2106 – Relax on the sofa (await the arrival of my cat Smokey!) and watch 40 minutes of feel good TV whilst snuggled under a blanket
2146 – Turn off the tv and have a light stretch
2150 – Return cup to the kitchen
2151 – Turn out lights downstairs and head upstairs to bed (often escorted by a cat)
2152 – Open bedroom window slightly, make sure curtains are properly shut, turn on bedroom diffuser bedroom with the same blend
2153 – Standard bedtime routine (into PJs, brush teeth, wash face, moisturiser etc.)
2200 – Climb into bed and set my bedside light into countdown sunset mode (Lumilights are ace for this)
2201 – Reflect upon my day and write down my victories, what I’ve appreciated and what I want to achieve tomorrow in a journal
2215 – Read a few pages of an easy going book
2225 – Light is too dim to read now so settle down to sleep and do 5 minute Loving Kindness Meditation in my mind
2230 – Sleep.
Have fun creating your own Bedtime ‘Daily Orders’ and notice how your sleep improves. Enjoy a FREE Sleep Story called ‘Golden Eyes‘