How To Create A Knockout Evening Routine
It seems that having consistent routines has been an age old remedy for moving towards success however, in the past it appears that the art of the routine has been lost. I am not entirely sure who to blame for this, but I imagine it is an amalgamation of a variety of things but do not despair as there appears to be an uprising in the trend of getting back into a daily routine, this is being boosted partly due to people like Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, etc etc all suggesting and releasing books/podcasts on the importance of developing a sustainable daily routine. They have essentially done this by experimenting themselves, or in the case of Tim Ferris have interviewed a multitude of successful people to see if there is any correlation between successful person and their habits/routines.
Now if you are anything like me, you have tried a million and one things to develop a routine that just simply haven’t stuck, this can be as frustrating as anything, leading you to switch from one thing to the other (gaining no ground whatsoever) or ultimately giving up on the whole thing, breaking out the tub of ice cream, whacking the pyjamas on and watching The Jeremy Kyle Show on repeat. This is not pretty & is certainly not the way to develop yourself whilst putting one step in front of the other on the road to success & happiness, trust me I have been there!
Now obviously the above is a generalisation of how routines are coming back into fashion if you will, I can hear your mind ticking over thinking I came here for a knockout evening routine not an update. Well I hear you loud and clear so I will get cracking, the below routine has been something that I have used for quite a while now as I suffer with a varying degree of insomnia, this routine has almost eradicated this helping me to fall asleep much more quickly whilst keeping me in a deeper state of rest once I have.
Do you listen to self help podcasts?
1. Pick A Wind Down Time
This is quite possibly the most important step of all, the point of it is to pick a time which you feel comfortable enough to begin winding down. Now this has to be pretty much on point and consistent every evening, as this will begin training your brain into starting the process of relaxation. This time is usually about one hour to possibly an hour and a half before you plan on travelling to the land of nod. The other crucial part of this step is you must be able to disconnect, which very quickly leads me on to my next step.
At the start of your wind down time you will need to disconnect from all technology, so post your last update on Facebook, upload your final selfie for the evening & stop snapping in all those chats! In fact you will also need to switch off your TV! This is one part that is so easy to forget or let slide, as we all know one more episode of your Netflix binge is a must right? WRONG! The blue light omitted from technological devices affects your brain's ability to release the sleep inducing hormone called Melatonin, in turn keeping you awake for longer.
3. Make Some Tea
Now full disclosure on this step, I nicked it from Tim Ferriss as this was suggested in one of his youtube videos. This tea for some reason really helps to begin the process of becoming sleepy, even continuing to aid you whilst you sleep, helping you to achieve a more deeper, complete sleep overall. I have no idea why this tea works as well as it does, all I know is that it does. I have been using this tea for months now, so I can vouch for its effectiveness. You can find the link for the recipe that I wrote here: https://hubpages.com/health/Honey-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-TEa. Ideally you want to be steeping this tea whilst you do the next step, and then come back to it and consume it within your wind down hour. On a side note please make sure that the tea is decaffeinated, as you don’t want a little pick me up whilst you are winding down, I personally usually use a berry flavoured tea as this contains no caffeine & also helps to make the tea taste fantastic, trust me when I say this you will not taste the apple cider vinegar using berry flavoured teas!
4. Take A Shower / Bath
This step is not only good for your overall hygiene, it is also very good for continuing the preparation for your arrival in the land of nod. I have to admit that I have found taking a bath to be more effective than that of a shower, this is due to the fact that you can add some Epsom salts into your soak to help raise your exposure to magnesium, which has been known to lower your levels of cortisol thus assisting your brains releasing of the sleep inducing hormone Melatonin to become more effective. Obviously not everyone has a shower, in fact I have just recently moved and have gone from a bath to a walk in shower, which means no more Epsom salt soak or more importantly no more playing splish splash with my rubber ducky! So in that case I would suggest switching to a shower gel that is enriched with magnesium something along the lines of Dr Salts dead sea shower gel, again this will not be as effective but it will still help.
5. Read Fiction & Fiction Only
The reason behind picking a fiction book is to help switch off the problem solving element of your brain, you do not want this switched on as you will be mulling over all the things you should of done during the day, as well as all the things you have got to do tomorrow, if for any reason you find yourself doing this, then a good Idea is to jot it all down on a notepad to get it out of your mind, then make sure you tuck that notepad out of sight. If you don’t have a book then go out there and get one! They are readily available, in fact if you are a little bit short on change you can always get one out of your local library for free. The other reason behind picking fiction is to also help you to utilise your imagination, let your brain wonder to the land you are reading about. Don’t forget to keep sipping on that Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar Tea whilst you are reading!
This step is pretty self explanatory however when you get yourself deep into a book it can sometimes be quite easy to forget to put it down and sleep! So once your hour or an hour and a half are up or your eyes are shutting all by themselves, make sure that you put the book down, tuck yourself in & dream the night away!
That is simply it, if you complete these steps you will find yourself venturing round the land of nod for quite some time. These steps however only really become effective when repeated consistently, in turn making them into a routine.
If you have any tips or tricks that you think could benefit my routine then please let me know! Alternatively if these steps have helped you to develop a routine then I would love to hear how you are finding it to both fall asleep & then remain asleep.
© 2018 John Brotherton