We all want to start our day with good energy and carry it on through the day. We want to achieve something or just plain feel good.
Starting your day is actually directly related to how you ended your previous day. The state of your mind in the evening and the quality (and quantity) of your sleep will affect not only the energy you have the following day but your overall health – your digestion, immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and everything else.
Many of us can remember all-nighters we were able to pull off and get away with it the next day. Some of us still do that, but it’s getting harder to maintain good health without proper sleep.
Sleep is the King
During sleep, your body undergoes essential repairs, and your brain undergoes maintenance as the cellular waste is being flushed from it. It takes a lot of energy to do all this work, and the deeper you sleep, the more successful these repairs and detox.
So it requires some changes in your lifestyle to start towards a better night’s rest.
Perhaps not every day, but most days during the week, you can perform all the steps. Other days perform only your favorites. But once you set up your night environment, it will be easy.
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I recommend being home for two hours before bedtime. I cannot do it every day because I go out dancing at least once a week, and dance socials such as Argentine Tango and Salsa dancing all start very late. So I have to modify this night ritual to feel more energy the next day.
I will share in a different article what I do in the morning to get myself back to high energy.
- Move electronics out of your bedroom. Do it once for a more permanent effect, like TV, and every day for smaller stuff like iPads and consoles. I’m surprised that many people find it impossible to do. A TV in the bedroom is a big problem. Seriously, move it out. The bedroom is for resting, sleeping, and intimacy.
- Shut down all the screens. Blue light is very stressful for your nervous system. Make sure you have filters or software on your electronic devices to get rid of blue light.
- Many people use phones as alarms and/or running apps that measure sleep/snoring/etc. Put your phone on airplane mode, and turn it face down.
- If you use a standard alarm – block it, so you don’t see the screen.
- Keep the temperature cooler during the night than through the day. The best sleep temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees.
- At least two hours before bedtime, stop eating anything and don’t drink alcohol. The best it to have your last bite before 7 pm and have only water or herbal tea after. Sometimes it’s not possible, but still, keep it in mind.
- Clean up your environment. It is much better to sleep in a clean room knowing that in the morning you will wake up to an organized space.
- Prepare your morning clothes so you don’t have to waste your brain power on ordinary tasks. Even if you are going to work out in the morning – prepare your workout outfit and sneakers.
- Relax with a book.
- Get blackout curtains, and block all the light sources you can. Get your bedroom as dark as possible.
- If you cannot fall asleep for thirty minutes – get up, go into another room, have dim lighting only, and repeat some of your routines. After fifteen minutes you can then go back to bed and try to fall asleep again.
- Drink a cup of herbal tea while reading or listening to relaxing music.
- Journal about the day and write down tasks for tomorrow.
- Take at least ten minutes to practice mindful relaxation and/or spiritual practices. Usually, spiritual practices take longer. Examples – Prayer, Meditation, Breathing, Qigong.
- When you are in bed with your eyes closed – practice gratitude. First – appreciate defeats – they teach you valuable lessons. Then – recite gratitudes for which are good and positive in your life – name every little thing and be really grateful for it.
The steps are not in a specific order, and you can move them around, create new steps, and do whatever is necessary to fit it into your idea of relaxation.
But the main idea is this – create an environment in which every night you will be able to be repaired and washed on the cellular level.
Everything is better with health. And sleep is one of its main components.