One of the most powerful and true sayings I know is that “Good Nights = Good Mornings.”
What you do on Sunday night sets your tone for the entire week.
While weekends are meant for a more relaxed schedule and less rules, carrying that philosophy through Sunday night sets you up for a chaotic Monday morning that’s hard to recover from. Establishing your own Sunday night ritual/routine will allow you to enter your week with energy and ease.
I’ve found the following Sunday night routine works wonders to set me up for more restful sleep the entire week. Use this as a template to create one that works for you. It’s by no means rigid, but I’ve noticed when I stick to it my Monday mornings, and subsequent nights, flow with a lot more ease.
Around 6pm: Eat a balanced dinner that contains a lean protein, a good fat, and a healthy carbohydrate.
Skip alcohol, added sugar and processed carbs to ensure a good night’s sleep. An example is salmon with quinoa and a salad, a big pot of homemade chili, or red thai curry with chicken and veggies.
6:30pm: I usually cozy up for 1 hour of Netflix or FMTV to start to unwind.
I’ll enjoy a cup of herbal tea, kombucha tea, or healing golden milk while I watch. Again, no alcohol on Sunday nights for better sleep and a fresh Monday morning.
In short, save the indulgences of organic pizza and red wine for Friday or Saturday nights.
7:30pm: Write down the 3 most important things to accomplish this week (this takes 2 minutes).
Instead of a giant long list of “to-do’s” that’s way too long to tackle, I just write the 3 most important things that need to happen this week.
Next, a quick review of my calendar for the week so I know what’s coming (this is about 1–2 minutes, no working, just a review of what’s ahead so I feel prepared).
7:40pm: Prep easy, healthy meals & snacks to grab on-the-go during the week.
I usually do a quinoa dish for lunches/snacks (like Curry Quinoa Salad from my blog), three or four servings of overnight oats for daily breakfasts, and then write a meal plan/grocery list for the rest of the week. Sometimes I do this before dinner and sometimes after.
By 8pm: Turn off all visual electronics and start to turn down the lights.
Going to bed by 9:30pm-ish on Sundays is hard sometimes but it sets the rest of my week up for success. The light from screens on your TV, phone and computer signal your brain to stay awake, so it’s important to turn them all off at least an hour before bed. Make sure there isn’t any residual light in your bedroom from alarm clocks or other electronic devices.
8pm-ish: Take a hot epsom salt bath.
Not only with this self-care bath relax your mind, your body absorbs the magnesium sulfate and it has a calming effect to help you sleep. I also light candles and add a few drops of lavender for an even more restful experience.
I also turn the thermostat to 67 degrees Fahrenheit around this time as “a mild drop in body temperature induces sleep.” (2) You’ll naturally experience this after the bath, and a slightly cooler than normal room will also help you sleep.
8:30pm: I take two supplements: 1mg of melatonin and 500mg of magnesium.
Melatonin is an all natural sleep supplement, and it’s actually a hormone that you already make that has antioxidant activity. Everyone reacts differently to melatonin. If I take it past 8:30pm it’s too much for me. I take it one to two times per week but it’s safe to take every day. I recommend starting with 1mg and going from there if you need more.
I take extra magnesium every night in supplement form because my naturopath discovered that I was very deficient in magnesium. Magnesium plays a key role in sleep (1), so take it at bedtime for a more restful night’s sleep.
9–9:30pm: Read in bed.
Something positive that’s good for the soul. A biography, health-related book, or growth book is always in my rotation. Occasionally I use this time to chat with a loved one if it’s the only time it works. Even though I’m on my phone I keep the screen turned off.
9:30pm Lights out!
Give yourself time to fall asleep. It’s tempting to stay up and check Instagram one more time. Just turn the lights off and lay down; you’ll be surprised at how easy you fall asleep.
Sometimes I have to force it, but I know that this ritual sets me up for a great week. I’ve had too many hectic Monday mornings and off weeks to let it slide anymore. Remember, Good Nights = Good Mornings.