MEN&WOMEN: Reset bedtime routine to make your morning easier

Saturday February 20 2016

Successful people have routines they practise

Successful people have routines they practise every night before sleeping that give them a head start the next day. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 

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Most of us just fall into bed without a great deal of thought. But what you do right before bed has a real impact on your mood the next day.

And so successful people tend to have bedtime routines that give them a head start in the morning.

Get into that habit by planning when you need to wake up in the morning, work out from experience how many hours sleep you need, and count back the many hours that is so you

know when to get ready for bed.

Make that a regular bedtime, and have a relaxed and consistent bedtime routine, because both tend to ensure a good night’s sleep.

You don’t have to stick to business or inspirational reading. You can catch up on news stories, skim the techie blogs or browse Twitter, or even read novels, science or philosophy.

Reflect on your day before you settle down for the night. Think about what went well, what you’re glad about and enjoyed, what progress you’ve made and what you’ve learned. So

that you end the day in a positive, grateful mood.

And make to-do lists, so that you know what needs addressing the following day, and don’t get woken up by anxious thoughts during the night about something important slipping

through your fingers.

And picture tomorrow’s successes. Imagine a positive outcome for the projects you’re working on, so you start the next day motivated and upbeat.

You should also unplug and disconnect from work as the evening progresses. And consciously spend time with your family. So don’t obsessively check your emails, or dwell on

work-related issues. Instead, set up your phones to go into ‘do not disturb’ mode half way through the evening they, so that only your family can reach you.

And give yourself a buffer period between the time you read your last email, receive your last call, make your last posts, and the time you go to bed.

The most successful couples always go to bed together, at the same time, and spend the last half hour or so before bedtime re-connecting and talking about their day.

So make that a habit! And  cuddle up to your partner as you settle down to sleep. You’ll certainly spread out later in the night, but make a point of being close and happy together as

you fall asleep.

Use the last few minutes as you fall sleep to quieten your mind. Avoid replaying negative stuff from the day that you wish you’d handled differently, regardless of how badly your day


A pessimistic spiral of negative self-talk will only create more stress. Instead, get into the habit of repeating a prayer, meditating, or replaying a familiar day-dream, to trigger your

mind into a calm and relaxed night’s sleep.