19 Feb Goodnight Moon: Creating a Night Time Routine for Better and More Sleep
TV: “Stay tuned for another episode in the “up all night marathon” of Law and Order: SVU.”
Me: “Okay, one more episode.”
Four episodes later, it is 3am.
We’ve all been there, likely with the same show (how can you not love it?) Whatever your late night vice, you may not have had or still don’t have a night time routine. You may not even value sleep they way you should. With every passing year, life seems like someone is pressing the fast-forward button an extra level. If you feel like me, sometimes you’re on 8x, searching for the play button just to get to normal speed. According to the really smart people at the National Institute of Health (NIH), up to 30 percent of adults have sleep patterns that have compromised their work and social functioning. Not good.
We’ve seen the negative side of sleep deprivation and subsequent advocacy of good sleep habits from celebrities like Ariana Huffington. She fainted from exhaustion and ended up with a broken cheekbone and stitches from hitting her head. By the way, if you couldn’t tell already, Swift Kick is a pro-nap company. One day, we’ll work in a space that allows napping…shhhh…zzzzz.
In another post, I talked about the importance of having a morning routine to start your day in the best way possible. Just as important is a nighttime routine. Sleep allows our brains to solve problems and retain information. Without enough of it, we can become moody and put ourselves at risk for an unhealthy future. (NIH)
“But, Melissa, I am so busy.” Maybe, but are you productive? Just because you have a lot to do doesn’t mean you are the right person doing them. Can you delegate things away to someone on your team? Do you really have to get that done today? Asking yourself a few questions before you dive into every email could save some sleeplessness nights. And save your credibility as a leader in the process.
Here are some great suggestions:
Get ready for the next day.
Night time is the best time to make decisions for the next day. Are you going to the gym? Yup, because your bag is already packed. Are you eating a salad for lunch? You sure are, because it is ready for you to grab in the fridge. Take the rush out of your morning by pre-making your coffee and picking out your clothes. Heck, put the spoon on the counter that you will stir your tea with. Make the simple tasks even easier. Goodnight, backpack.
Sorry, that means no late night episodes of your favorite show, and no Instagram rabbit holes. (You know the one: you looked up the author of a book you’re reading and end up looking at golden retrievers who are best friends with raccoons…) No Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, texting, voicemails, emails or e-books. Just no. If it has a screen, plug it in and back away slowly. It is not your friend. Goodnight, devices.
Since we are constantly on the go, we can forget to remember the good things that happen throughout the day. Use your nighttime routine to keep a gratitude journal so that you are smiling before you go to bed. Regular journaling or even reading (a real book) is great too. Just not on a screen. Goodnight, journal.
It takes the average person about 14 minutes to fall asleep. It is also really hard for the average person to meditate. So start with your breathing. Breathe in fully; we tend to not do that enough. Really fill your lungs before letting the breath go. Let your breath guide you to a more relaxed sleep. Goodnight.
Your success in leading a team depends a lot on how you take care of yourself as an individual. Creating good habits is beneficial for you and, in turn, your entire team’s performance. Share your routine with your team and make good habits like this one contagious!
Do you have a night time routine? Have other suggestions to get better or more sleep? Let us know below.