7 Tips for A Restful Night and a Productive Tomorrow

August 24, 2014 | by Masumi Goldman

7 Tips for A Restful Night and a Productive Tomorrow

Anyone who has young children realizes the importance of a bedtime routine. My kids, in particular, require a warm bath, cozy pajamas, story time, a lullabye and a prayer. If I get lazy and skip the lullabye, my younger child will get out of bed and remind me to sing. The ritual is ingrained and promotes feelings of being settled. These feelings of comfort then lead to a peaceful slumber. I’m not sure why so many adults have abandoned the idea of a bedtime routine when it’s obvious that it works so well for children! Today, I am encouraging you to bring back the bedtime routine. I am a big believer that my actions each night are essential for me to sleep well and to perform at my highest level the next day.

So…here are my suggestions to promote a restful night of sleep and a productive day tomorrow.

1. Lay out tomorrow’s exercise clothing. You have enough to do each morning without having the added task of selecting your exercise outfit. Besides—your brain may not be working quickly in the early morning hours, so take care of this task now. If you are packing a gym bag, fill it with everything you need, and put it by the door. If you are practicing yoga at home, roll out your mat and place your strap and blocks nearby. Setting out your clothes and yoga mat doesn’t guarantee that you will exercise, but it facilitates the possibility. By removing obstacles and by picking out your clothes, you are setting a much stronger intention to move your body than if you just make a soft commitment by saying “I will exercise tomorrow”.

2. Plan your breakfast. Start tomorrow on the right foot by knowing exactly how you will be fueling your body when you wake up. If you leave it all to fate, you may find yourself skipping breakfast altogether or gulping down a huge bucket of coffee with a handful of cereal. A few minutes of planning at night can make all the difference in how you start your day. Start thinking. Are you going to make a smoothie? Great! Maybe you want to wash and chop the fruits and vegetables that you plan on putting into that smoothie. If you’re really ambitious, you may even want to pre-load your blender, and refrigerate it. You can prepare as little or as much as you would like. The idea is to have a plan.

3. Count your blessings. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of the day and to be overwhelmed with responsibilities and thoughts of everything that went wrong. Go to bed on a positive note by setting aside a few moments to be grateful. A gratitude journal or even just a mental list of everything good in your life is a wonderful practice to begin.

4. Remove Physical Clutter. Particularly in the kitchen! No one wants to wake up in the morning and face a sink full of dishes or a breakfast table cluttered with mail and crumbs from yesterday’s dinner. Set aside 10-15 minutes to straighten up. No, I’m not asking you to pull out the vacuum or de-grease your stovetop. I’m talking about going to bed with the dishes put away, the toys off the floor, and the table/counters clear! Physical clutter weighs on the mind and the soul. Trust me, you will sleep better knowing that your house is tidy, and you will wake up feeling motivated to prepare breakfast on uncluttered, clean counters in your kitchen.

5. Remove Mental Clutter. The goal here is to clear your mind by setting tomorrow’s intentions on paper. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish tomorrow. If your mind is racing with all of the items on your to-do list, it will be difficult to fall asleep. Feel free to make your list as detailed or as simple as you would like. Personally, I love the feeling of satisfaction that I get from crossing completed items off of my to-do list, so I am happy to include very obvious tasks, such as “floss teeth” or “exercise”. Make sure to include all of your personal errands that need to be done the next day, as well as all of your work-related responsibilities/projects that need to be tackled.

6. Create a short ritual that is soothing. Everyone will have a different idea of what feels soothing, so see what works for you! My personal ritual is to brew a cup of herbal tea, rub lavender oil onto my chest, listen to soft music and get into bed with a book. Your own ritual may include journaling, meditating and a warm cup of cashew milk. Think about what makes you feel at peace, and do that.

7. Stop checking Instagram. Now you KNOW how much I love Instagram. BUT (and this is a BIG but), you can waste hours of your day and night. It’s such a wonderful escape to scroll through your feed and see beautiful photos of people you’ve never met and places you’ve never seen, but your phone and these images are stimulating. Trust me—I’ve kept myself up way past my bedtime by checking Instagram one last time. Don’t do it. It will be there tomorrow. Just go to bed. You have an empire to build in the morning.