Tell me if this sounds familiar.
Your night begins around 8 pm and includes you indulging in a little variety television: medical drama, Lifetime movie, reality show.
Your eyelids start drooping around 9:30-10, but you fight against it. You have to know what will happen in this episode of the Real Housewives!
Around midnight, you finally call a truce between you and the almighty Netflix.
You planned on getting a full 8 hours of sleep, but once again, your mind had other ideas…
You suddenly remember you were supposed to do something for work tomorrow, but you didn’t write it down, and now you’re paranoid it was something really important. Well, if you forgot about it, it couldn’t have been that major, riiight? Right.
You make a mental note to buy a planner the next day. Which also conveniently gives you an excuse to stalk the Target dollar section. Win-win.
Hunkering down in bed, you’re exhausted by the recent play of events on Law & Order: SVU. How could Olivia not see that the B-List actor chosen to play this week’s perp was obviously guilty in the first five minutes?
You think you missed your calling as a private investigator. Then, you make another mental note to look up any classes or courses you could take for your new-found passion.
It’s already so late you’ll be lucky to get 6 hours of sleep…
…so why not pull up Instagram one last time? A few minutes of stalking can’t hurt. Better check Twitter too while you’re at it.
45 minutes later, it’s going on 2 am, and you’re already excited about the nap you’ll take later that day.
Let me guess, you promised yourself you’d do better in 2017. This was gonna be your year!
Listen, girl, we’ve all been there — some of us more recently than others. (Hi.) Ain’t no shame. I’m not pointing any fingers. This used to be my daily life, and it was getting me nowhere fast. I was constantly tired and unproductive.
I knew I had to make a change.
It may seem like a small, insignificant part of your day, but getting an adequate amount of rest is crucial to performing to the best of your ability in all areas of your life. If you’re ready to get focused on your goals and knock ‘em outta the park this year, your morning routine is the first thing you MUST get organized.
I got tired of being tired, so I had a come to Jesus moment and created my own nightly schedule for a better morning routine that insures my days start out productive immediately.
Yup, it really is possible to accomplish things when you actually group your poop together.
I’ll admit, I still slip up from time to time and find myself getting to bed at midnight or a little later, but I’m determined to make my new schedule a lifetime habit. So, whether it’s bacon, coffee, or Netflix that gets you out of bed in the morning, the following tips can help make the transition from hibernating bear to functioning twenty-something a little easier.
I said a little. I don’t work miracles. 😉
A Night Owl’s Guide to a More Productive Morning Routine
Okay no more excuses, yo. In order to make a change, you’ve got to do the work and put in a lil’ effort. Are you willing to try something different in the hope that you’ll have better results? If the answer to that question was a “YES” (and if you’re also a night-owl like me who can’t seem to be coaxed to bed any earlier than 12 am), a new morning routine is exactly what you need, friend. Try incorporating the steps below into your new routine — and if you know of any more helpful tips or advice, please feel free to share in the comments. Let’s get it!
1 | Make a to-do list.
Before you call this unnecessary, let me say that I can’t count how many times I’ve thought of something late, late at night that I would want to remember the next day. But, much like getting out of a warm bed to pee in the middle of the night, I didn’t feel like getting up and jotting it down.
I’m sure you know what happened next. The next day, I gave myself a migraine trying to remember what it was.
Sometimes, I hate that my night brain is so much more creative…(Does anyone else have tons of have-finished, barely decipherable notes, hastily typed on their phone at 1 am? Just me??)
Make a short to-do list of items that you know will need to be done the next day. Your list can include doctor’s appointments, online bills to pay, a note to a friend, your grocery list — anything you think you’ll forget during early-morning-sleep-brain-coffee-coffee-coffee! time of day.
Also, sketch out a night-time schedule on your list. Include what time you’ll be prepping for bed (brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.), how you plan to unwind in the evening, and your goal time for going to sleep.
For my fellow restless millennials, I recommend no later than 10:30 or 11 pm. It might seem early, but did you know that during the first third of the night you experience your deepest sleep? A good night routine can help make this a reality!
2 | Stretch it out.
If you’re not active during the day, (maybe you have a desk job, you’re just not able to get away from work for a quick walk at lunch, etc.) you could be experiencing some pent up energy at night. This could result in consuming whole tubs of Ben & Jerry’s (been there…oh, how I have been there…), restless leg syndrome…ya know, the consequences are endless.
One of my favorite ways to practice self care is through different forms of exercise. If you don’t have time to workout in the am, try getting your sweat on before getting some shut-eye. Ideally, you should work out around 2-3 hours before you plan on going to bed. You’ll boost your mood by your body’s natural release of endorphins during your workout and also use up some of that extra energy.
Not feeling an intense workout?
Try yoga for a good night’s sleep. Doing yoga a few times a week is one habit I’m trying to incorporate into my schedule for a healthier, happier morning routine. It’s the perfect workout when I want to really stretch my muscles and work up a sweat but don’t want to do anything too arduous. Plus, yoga has a really calming effect on your body as well as your mind.
Do Yoga With Me has a huge library of free yoga videos — many that are suitable for beginners.
Go ahead, namaste your heart out.
3 | Limit your media intake.
Trust me, this one has been next to impossible for me, so I’ll cut you a little slack.
Catching up on my DVR recordings is my most impressive talent. No really. At any given time, I’m usually watching and recording 20 different shows. What can I say? I’m a reality t.v. junkie at heart.
Lurking around on the ‘gram for about an hour after telling myself I’d go to sleep is another one of my strange talents.
However, I definitely notice a difference when I cut back on using social media and the bright screen of my phone a couple of hours before I call it a night. The brightness of your phone, tablet, or computer can disrupt your body’s melatonin production. This disruption decreases the quality of your sleep.
That’s a real bummer and no good when it comes to getting the best quality sleep possible. So, set your technology aside and turn off the lights.
We’re about to catch some Zzzzs up in hurr.
Finding it harder to resist social media than you anticipated? Dude, same here. Pro-tip: If you just can’t stop the late-night scrolling, you can at least opt to switch to your phone’s “Night Shift”. This reduces the bright light of your phone screen. It also helps provide a warmer light that is easier on the eyes for us rebels.
You may currently be struggling to make the most out of your days and create a functioning morning routine in this new year. But don’t worry. You haven’t failed. I firmly believe that each day is a fresh start and a chance to renew your mind, body, and spirit. With a little bit of patience, the right attitude, and a whole lotta grace for ourselves, we can carpe-freakin’-diem in 2017. Hopefully the steps outlined in this post will help you get your life right and conquer that Netflix addiction…once and for all.
Ready to kick some booty with me, friend? 🙂
Do you already have a nightly or morning routine? How do you unwind after a long day and wake up to a more productive morning? What tips have helped you in the past? Sound off in the comments below (but not too loudly – people are trying to sleep).