TOP TIP: Make your routines firm—like goal setting, you have to be very specific. If you’re vague, your routine will fall apart.
Plan tomorrow every night. This’ll help put your mind at ease and start your success for the next day. Take five minutes to write out one to five most important tasks for the next day. Be sure to include personal and/or work-related.
If you need to work late, try to minimize blue light. You’ve probably heard blue light is bad for sleep; it’s been proven to decrease your melatonin production and disrupt sleep. Check out the free software f.lux—it diminishes the amount of blue light on your screen at certain times of day.
Set an electronic curfew. Regardless of if you need to work late or get some last minute things done on your smartphone before bed, set a “power down” time and stick to it. If your bedtime is 11 p.m., set your electronic curfew for 10 p.m.
Minimize the number of things you need to do in the morning. Prep the coffeemaker, organize anything you need for work or the kids need for school, lay out your clothes, prepare your food for the next day—anything that’ll make the morning smooth.
Shower in the evening. Some research has shown that showering at night can improve your quality of sleep. It’s also gives you the chance to wash away the day—whether it was stressful, sweaty or serene—it’s nice to have that time to quietly center yourself before bed. Plus, now you’ve shaved time off of your morning routine.
Read for six minutes. Since you’ve already set your electronic curfew (we know it’s one of the hardest habits to break—you can do it!), pick up a book before bed. A study out of the University of Sussex found that just six minutes of reading a day could reduce stress by 68 percent. Bonus, it’ll likely make you sleepy.
Create the right sleep environment. Make your room as dark as possible, set the thermostat to around 67 degrees (or crack a window in cooler months) and use a sound machine. Also, take 10 minutes to tidy up your bedroom—this room should be your sanctuary, your nest (more on this tomorrow), so treat it as such!
Get rid of nagging thoughts. If there’s anything on your mind that you can’t seem to get past, do a brain dump. Whether it’s a voice memo on your phone, a page in your journal or a list of reminders and to-dos for tomorrow—get it off your plate before bed.