Evening Routine That Puts You In Sleep Early

Evening Routine That Puts You In Sleep Early

First Thing First, Ask Yourself Why You Want To Sleep Early

Let’s be honest here for a minute. You can’t convince yourself to sleep early in a long run just because you want to. The psychology behind it is important, too. Before you start to create an evening routine, ask yourself, “What would I get if I sleep early and wake up early?” Whatever you answer, write it down on the top of your plan. Make sure you really want it because that’s what you’ll use to convince yourself to leave the bed when your alarm goes off.

How Will We Help?

We will walk you through the process of creating a bedtime routine in the coming 5 days. We will offer tips on how to design the routine. So you can put yourself in sleep earlier, and eventually wake up early with full energy.

We will also tell you what are the possible barriers in the process and how to overcome them one by one.

Day 1: External factors that disrupt your sleep quality

We will go through a list of external factors that you have to eliminate if you want to put yourself in sleep quick.

Sleep in (almost) total darkness

Our exposure to light regulates our internal temperature and melatonin production, both of which can be easily disrupted by artificial lightness or darkness. One of the benefits of being in a totally dark room is that it signals to your brain to start producing melatonin and lowering your internal body temperature, but there’s a catch–keep the room too dark, such as with blackout shades, and you never get the signal to wake up in the morning.

Even when your eyes are closed they’re still detecting external light to try to determine when your brain should start waking you up, mostly by releasing cortisol and raising your body temperature. If there’s no light to wake up to, this process never begins, and that alarm clock going off makes you feel terrible.

So what’s the trick? Sleep in a room with no electronics that give off light, and draw the shades enough to cover as much night-time light as possible, but not so much that the sun can’t get in at all.

Remove Your Cell Phone

Put your cell phone on silent while you’re asleep. If you have a child, or friend in the hospital, or anything like that then set your phone to ring for only them, but you shouldn’t be getting audible messages at night since they’ll mess up your sleep. Lay it facedown as well so that the light from it doesn’t affect you either–even that small light from the screen can make your body start to think the sun is coming up.

99% of “emergencies” aren’t, and can wait until the morning.

Sleep in Silence or White Noise

We may not live in the wilderness surrounded by predators anymore, but we’re still listening for threats while we sleep. Errant noises, especially sudden and loud ones, can mess up our sleep.

The best prevention I’ve found is to use a white noise generator like this one which creates a sound similar to air going through a tunnel. It’s something you can focus on while you’re falling asleep and over time, you’ll train yourself to start getting tired as soon as you turn it on.

Today’s Checklist

Day 2: Make your bed a dedicated one

As you have set up a good environment for sleep, you are ready to create your evening routine.

We develop habits related to specific things in our environment. When you go into the bathroom in the morning, you probably grab the toothbrush habitually. When you get in your car, you probably have a quick routine that you go through of checking the mirrors, interior, etc. We fall into little habits based on things in our lives, and our beds are not exempt.

The problem with doing a bunch of different things in your bed (such as reading, working, playing games, watching television, talking on the phone, etc.) is that when you get in it to go to sleep your body has no idea what it should be doing.

Compare this to doing nothing but sleeping in your bed. The minute you get in, your brain goes “sleep time, let’s pass out” and you can fall asleep quickly. If you get in and your brain goes “time to turn on the TV!” you’re not going to sleep particularly well.

Commit to only using your bed for sleep (okay, and sex). By doing this you avoid the confusion from having a number of different bed habits and you tell your brain that it should start shutting down as soon as you get between the sheets.

Possible barriers and how to overcome it

When you think you can’t fall asleep, you might be tempted to use your phone to check emails or any social media on bed. As you know how bad will the blue light disrupt your sleep, here is a simple solution to resist the temptation.

Put yours cell phone away from bed (at least not at a reachable arm-length), or ideally not in your bed room. Buy a “proper” alarm clock to replace your cell phone. Then, you will have no more excuse to use your phone on the bed.

Today’s checklist

Day 3: Design your own evening routine

An evening routine is a series of tasks right before you go to bed. The benefit is that the more you do it, the more your body will get used to going to sleep after doing these things which will make it easier to pass out when you know you need to.

Things to include:

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Reflecting on the day

  • Hydrating

  • Planning your goals for tomorrow

  • Things to avoid:

Bright lights

  • Email / social media

  • Food

  • Exercise, or anything stimulating (video games, etc.)

  • Find the best routine and do it at the same time every night. The routine can last for 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how many items you want to include.

Possible barriers and how to overcome it

When you’re first trying to sleep and wake up earlier, staying up late on weekends will mess you up. Commit to sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, for three weeks. That will make it easier to bounce back when you stay out late on the weekends in the future.

Make use of your calendar to make your habit stick. Mark a red cross for the days you manage to sleep early and follow your evening routine. Use your chain of marked off days as a motivator.If you want the early riser habit to stick, you need to not seriously mess it up for at least 28 days.

Today’s checklist

Day 4: Move in 15 Minute Increments

The trick with becoming an early sleeper is small incremental changes.

If you try to make too great a change too quickly, you’ll fail and oversleep and demotivate yourself to try again in the future. By making small incremental changes, we provide ourselves with “small wins” which are highly motivating and show us that we can succeed, and not only can we succeed, it’s easy.

If you’re already sleeping at 11 or earlier, I wouldn’t try to move your sleep time by more than fifteen minutes a week. By slowly moving your schedule forward like this you’ll be more likely to succeed, and it will make the change easy. It will also give you more time to adjust to the new time that you need to go to sleep at. You might be able to sleep an hour or two earlier for a few days, but without the gradual shift it will be harder to maintain.

Possible barriers and how to overcome it

If you have a tendency to get home late from work, if you have a lot of evening commitments, or if you don’t make what’s important to you a priority, the pull to stay up late often comes from feeling that you haven’t had time to do what you wanted to do. This can lead to late-night reading, browsing the Internet, or simply working on a personal project with the reasoning that you spent the day doing things for everyone else and now it’s time to do something for yourself.

Wanting more time for yourself is a legitimate desire that you shouldn’t override. To honor that need, determine how much time you need to relax and get things done before going to bed. Then set your departure time from work or events to give you that personal space. Also, give yourself permission to do what’s important to you during the day by blocking out time for it. There will always be more requests from other people, so sometimes you simply need to put your own work first.

Today’s checklist

Day 5: Make your plan stick

Make sleeping and waking up early a reward. Yes, it might seem at first that you’re forcing yourself to do something hard, but if you make it pleasurable, soon you will look forward to sleeping and waking up early. A good reward is to make a hot cup of coffee or tea and read a book. Other rewards might be a tasty treat for breakfast (smoothies! yum!) or watching the sunrise, or meditating. Find something that’s pleasurable for you, and allow yourself to do it as part of your morning routine.

Take advantage of all that extra time. Don’t sleep or wake up an hour or two early just to read your blogs, unless that’s a major goal of yours. Don’t wake up early and waste that extra time. Get a jump start on your day! It is good to use that time to get a head start on planning for the rest of the day, on exercising or meditating, and on reading. By the time 8 rolls around, you’ve done more than many people do the entire day.

Possible barriers and how to overcome it

The space between waking and sleeping can be an excellent time to contemplate life. But if you don’t really want to think or feel, this open space with no distraction and nothing to do can be intimidating. That’s why you can have a tendency to resist going to bed until you find yourself at the brink of exhaustion.

To help you not feel helpless when emotions bubble up, keep a journal by your bed. Then whenever something comes to your mind, write it down. Journaling not only helps you go to bed earlier because you’re not avoiding stillness but also can give you mental and emotional health benefits.

It would be perfect if you have already reflected your day and written the journal during the evening routine. This will certainly make you more relax when heading to bed.

Today’s checklist


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