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Creating a Bedtime Routine

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You may have heard many people say that routine is the killer, however for those of us who stretch ourselves thin on a daily basis, attempting to solve the wonders of the world, and wear an array of different hats throughout the day, (from CEO to Mom to Elite Power Lifter), having specific and sustainable routines, is what separates the successful and organized, from the stressed and overwhelmed. Routine provides direction and structure, and as Craig Ballantyne so wonderfully put it in his book “The Perfect Day” Structure = Freedom.

As children, most of us were accustomed to a bedtime routine which we followed religiously through our childhood. However, as we moved into adulthood, that same routine was either adjusted or thrown out the window as we entered the demanding world of school and full time work.

Sleep plays such a vital role in our weight management, mood, energy, decision making abilities, and overall happiness. Yet more often than not, it’s one of the first things we tend to sacrifice in order to get through our full to do list. However, if the end goal of the to do list, is to ultimately lead us towards a life of unconditional happiness, one would have to agree that jeopardizing a key component and crucial piece to that puzzle, would not only be counterproductive to the pursuit of our end goal, but also a little crazy! Why is it that as adults, we stray so far away from one of the very foundational rituals, that kept us feeling grounded, and our little training wheels spinning?

Here at Working Against Gravity, we promote and encourage balance, and understand its importance and necessity to ensuring we are living a happy and healthy life. As noted above, sleep is one very essential and key component of this. Below are some suggestions to help you achieve greater balance and a sound night's sleep:

Tips to help create a successful bedtime routine:

  • Unwind early: Listen to some relaxing music, sit on the balcony, engage in conversations with the family and definitely avoid bringing work into the home.
  • Put on pj’s or comfortable clothing upon returning home for the day: This will help to relax you and provide a sense of completion from works daily grind.
  • Set a non negotiable bed time and adhere to it: We create habit by carrying out the underlying behaviours that are its very foundation each day. Pick a time and commit. Train your body clock. Establishing the amount of sleep you feel is ideal for you and ensure you set aside enough hours to meet this is key.
  • Brain dump for the previous day: Spend 5-10 minutes each night, writing down a list of to-do items to ensure you hit the pillow feeling organized and in control. We want to be ready to wake up and crush the next day not tired, grumpy and hating life.
  • Remove TV from the bedroom: Leave the TV watching for the living room and ensure your bedroom remains your peaceful sanctuary.
  • Set out work clothes for the next day: This small task can save you a lot of last minute craziness. Take the extra 5 minutes now when you have it.
  • Use an alarm clock not your phone: To avoid being distracted by notifications should you wake and check the time in the middle of the night.
  • Turn the screen brightness right down on your phone. Put all electronics away and off at least 30-60 mins before your scheduled bed time.
  • Ensure you are hydrated but not so hydrated that you need to take three trips to the washroom during the night.
  • Read a chapter of a book (Hard cover if possible to avoid further eye strain)
  • Journal: Finish the day giving thanks and writing about any challenging feelings or emotions that you are currently experiencing, to enable you to reduce any unnecessary or unwanted stress.
  • Mediate, stretching and breathing exercises: Light stretching, meditation and breathing exercises all help to calm the mind and the body, allowing us to be as relaxed as possible, when we hit the pillow.
  • Save some carbs before bed as they tend to help you sleep and avoid having anything too high protein or fat as these take longer for the body to digest.
  • Wear earplugs and an eye mask to block out any unwanted noise or light.

We hope these tips help you get some much needed rest!

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Posted by Melanie Barnshaw

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