Many successful people swear by their morning routine as the key to a life on top, but let’s not forget about the evenings. How you spend the hours leading up to bedtime has a huge impact on how the following day turns out, because it directly affects how you sleep. Here, we’ve collected evening routines from authors, books, and the people who appear in them to give you actionable tips on how to improve your sleep and health for a better you by tomorrow.
- Call it a day and spend time with loved ones Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg makes a point to leave work at 5:30pm so that she can have dinner with her family and spend time with her kids. When they’re asleep, she catches up on emails but turns off her devices when she goes to bed to allow for uninterrupted sleep.
- Eat fats, fish, and raw honey Fat is a long-burning fuel for brain and body and by eating a fat-heavy meal for dinner, you ensure that your body gets a stable stream of energy as you slumber. And eating fish will help you get that process started! Here’s why: fish contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid which studies have shown help you produce serotonin, which promotes feelings of happiness and decreases the stress that can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. According to The Bulletproof Diet, a spoonful of honey is the ideal end to your evening meal. Raw honey supports the production of glycogen, the sugar stored in your liver which your brain uses as an energy source. When this source runs dry, your brain wakes you up so you can fill it up with more fuel, possibly interrupting your sleep too early.
- Go to bed with the right mindset We’ve all been there, staying up far too long the night before we have to rise early. But take a tip from author and keynote speaker Hal Elrod and instead of worrying about waking up exhausted, tell yourself that you’ll feel well-rested and refreshed! Try to get yourself to look forward to the next day, like you would if it was your birthday, and rising will be much easier.
- Turn off your screens Cozying up in bed with the latest Orange is the New Black season is for me a perfect ending to a busy day. But, however much I’d like to believe that this is the best way to be lulled to sleep, it’s actually doing the opposite! The Sleep Revolution explains that our laptops and phones emit blue light that suppresses the natural production of melatonin, a substance that helps us nod off. We end up staying up later and getting fewer hours of sleep. Thankfully, the solution is quite easy, just turn off your screens a few hours before you head to bed and instead of scrolling your social media feed, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read but never get around to.
- Review your day In addition to loftier goals, like building the United States of America, Renaissance man extraordinaire Benjamin Franklin strived to achieve moral perfection. Before going to sleep Ben would look back at his day and ask himself: “What good have I done today?”—a practice which surely did him good. Reminding yourself of what you did well during the day will let you go to sleep feeling positive about yourself and nix any nagging worries that might keep you staring at the ceiling into the wee hours. In the Blinkist office, one of our developers has scribbled “Stop starting, start finishing!” on the wall. This is a great mindset for creative office work, and you can apply it to your daily routines too. How you end the day is just as important as how you start it, so set yourself up for success by wrapping up your day right before you get to sleep so you can start fresh every morning.