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Are you the person to always push bedtime in the evening?
And do you often feel frustrated about not falling asleep when you’re supposed to?
Then listen carefully…
What you need is an Evening Routine.
An evening routine will create a closure for your day and make your body and mind ready for sleep.
Having an evening routine is like having a finish line for the day. Once you have crossed the finish line you are done with your day and are ready to sleep, because there is nothing more to be done than to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
In this article I will teach you My Favorite Evening Routine in 3 Simple Steps so you can:
- Go to bed at your desired time
- Get enough sleep
- Fall asleep fast
Evening Routine Outline
This evening routine is my personal favorite and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
It consists of 3 parts:
- Bathroom (~10 min)
- Reflection (~10 min)
- Relaxation (~10 min)
It’s exclusively designed to first take care of your body (bathroom), then your mind (reflection), and lastly your spirit (relaxation).
Does it seem complicated?
Rest assured… it’s not!
Just remember BRR; Bathroom, Reflection, Relaxation – the formula for a perfect evening routine.
However, before you start with the BRR you have to do some preparations.
Some BRR Preparation, or BRRP… okay, I will stop!
- Decide what time you would like to go to bed.
- Your evening routine will start 30 minutes before bedtime. For example, if you want to go to bed at 11 pm, your evening routine starts at 10:30 pm. No excuses!
- Put your mobile phone away and turn off any notifications, sounds, or alike.
- If you use your phone as an alarm clock make sure to set your alarm for the next day before the evening routine starts.
- Switch to sleeping clothes and turn off all the lights that are not necessary for you to complete the evening routine.
Pro tip: Start the evening routine with a chill song that makes you happy and relaxed. I can for example recommend “Visa från Utanmyra” by Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson or “Local Hero” by Dire Straits (I think the live version is the best one).
It’s important to have a positive feeling about your evening routine.
It should not be seen as something forceful.
Help yourself to a good mood by listening to some good music!
So, now we have the preparations out of the way, let’s dive into the details….
1. Bathroom (~10 min)
Once the clock hits your specified time your first part of the Evening Routine is to take care of your body and do your bathroom duties.
I will not go into details here but some qualified guesses included in this part of the routine might be:
- Go to the toilet
- Brush your teeth
- Take a shower
The shower could be at your desired temperature but I would encourage you to actually take a cold shower before going to bed.
This might sound counterintuitive, isn’t cold showers supposed to wake you up?
Yes, they are and that’s why we specifically encourage you to take a cold shower in your morning routine.
But I’ve personally found that taking a cold shower before I go to bed helps me clear my mind and makes me feel more refreshed which helps me sleep better.
Of course, I get a little more alert but that will only benefit me in the next part of the evening routine.
2. Reflection (~10 min)
The next part of the evening routine consists of a reflective practice.
This is where a clear mind is so beneficial because it will help you reflect deeper and in more detail.
So what are you supposed to reflect about?
Some examples are:
- Your past day
- Your future goals
- Your insecurities and life obstacles
My favorite way to reflect is to journal. And I dive deeper into the reasons why in my article 9 REAL Reasons to Start a Journal Today.
The easiest way to start is to just write about what you’ve been up to. From the time you woke up until now.
Don’t be over-specific, spend at most 10 minutes on this. Don’t worry about what you write. That is not the point.
The point of journaling is to start thinking about your day and what you’ve been up to.
To your surprise, you will most likely find that your day, after all, was quite good, that you accomplished a lot of stuff, and that the small drawbacks or mistakes you made aren’t the end of the world.
Another major benefit of journaling is also the process of letting go of thoughts, by putting them into words. This way you don’t have to think about them when you’re trying to sleep.
The 3 Questions
I would also suggest this small reflection practice as an addition to the journaling:
Answer these 3 questions:
- What do I let go of?
- What am I grateful for?
- What will I focus on tomorrow?
Write down at least one answer from each question and try to be as specific as possible.
As an example:
- I let go of not completing all my todos for the day.
- I am grateful for all my close friends which support and believe in me.
- Tomorrow I will focus on making the most out of my day and living by my values.
This reflective practice is also something we use in our 7-Day Morning Routine Guide and we’ve heard a lot of people especially enjoying this one.
So, you’ve now taken care of your body and your mind, and it’s time to spend a little time on your spiritual self.
Does it sound a bit strange?
Well, if you’ve never paid attention to the spiritual part of yourself, it surely will!
But I promise you, strange as it may sound, it’s the most important (and my favorite) part of the evening routine.
3. Relaxation (~10 min)
This last part is all about connecting with the deeper parts of yourself, your spiritual self if you may.
It’s time to get your entire being into a relaxed state and ready for sleep.
Sit or lay down comfortably on a chair, on your sofa or in your bed. Whatever you prefer.
Examples to relax:
- Do a breathing technique
For example, 10 minutes of Box Breathing or 2-3 rounds of the Wim Hof Breathing. You can read more about them in our article 4 Breathing Techniques that will Change Your Life.
You don’t have to do anything super advanced here. Just sit still and focus on your breath. Treat yourself with a quiet 10 minutes, light a candle to create some coziness, and be curious, not judgemental, about your thoughts and feelings.
Once you have completed your preferred way of relaxation you have completed the evening routine and your next destination is the dream world! 😉
Have a good night’s sleep!
A Last Bonus Tip
I recommend doing the evening routine at the same time every night to get consistent and start building habits around your evenings.
Eventually, your body will know by itself when it’s time to go to bed and the evening routine will become like an elevator, leading you towards sleep.
But, from my own experience, I know this is by far easier said than done.
One problem many people face when implementing new habits and routines is consistency and to stay committed over time.
Thankfully we know of a tool that can help you!
The Vanaboard is an incredibly sleek offline habit tracker that helps you develop new habits and to stay consistent and committed over time.
We love the experience of using the Vanabord, it is so easy to use and makes habit implementing both more fun and exciting.
Also, if you want to dive deeper into our thoughts on consistency and commitment, I would highly recommend our podcast episode about The Power of Commitment.
Your Perfect Evening Routine starts TONIGHT!
To summarize, your perfect evening routine consists of 3 parts (BRR):
- Bathroom (body): do your “stuff”
- Reflection (mind): Journaling / 3 Questions
- Relaxation (spirit): Breathing Techniques / Meditation
- It’s finally time to create a finish line for your day!
- It’s finally time to take control of your sleep!
- It’s finally time to create an evening routine!
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