Evening Routines and Rituals to End Your Day

The evening is your P.M. bookend to your day. Your evening routine is your “me time” at night that helps you to unwind, quiet the nervous system and prepare for sleep. How you end your day is essential to recharging from it.

Your shut-down sequence - before bedtime - creates the environment for you to rest, relax and sleep. Without a full rejuvenation overnight, it’s harder to take charge of your day.    

In episode 15 of The Incrementalist podcast, you will learn:

1. The importance of both productive tasks and restorative tasks in your evening routine. You need to review your day and plan for the next as well as relax and rest completely. If you wind down enough before your bedtime, you will have space for an effective evening routine. 

2. The value of sleep and how the sleep cycle works -
  • Stage 1 - alpha state
  • Stage 2 - theta state
  • Stages 3 and 4 - delta state
  • REM sleep 
3. Ways to create a sleep sanctuary to improve sleep quality and duration

4.  Key things to avoid in your evening routine - 
  • Screens (e.g. TV, computer, laptop, tablet, phone) in the 30 to 90-minute period before bedtime
  • Dinner in the 2 to 3-hour period before bedtime 
  • Vigorous exercise and full workout in the 4 to 6-hour period before bedtime
  • Caffeine intake after 2 to 3 p.m. or in the 5 to 8-hour period before bedtime
  • Alcohol consumption in the 3-hour period before bedtime
5. Key things to include in your evening routine - 

Productive tasks -
  • Review your day and preview the next day
  • Do prep work, e.g. pick out clothes and clean up your work space and living space
  • Learn new information or practice a hobby
Restorative tasks - 
  • Journal
  • Read fiction or other nonwork-related book
  • Enjoy a teatime ritual with noncaffeinated herbal tea (e.g. camomile or Valerian root) about an hour before you go to bed 
  • Do gentle movement or exercise
  • Practice relaxing breathwork
  • Pray or meditate or listen to mellow music
6. The advantage of a maintaining a consistent bedtime, synching with your circadian rhythm, and building good sleep habits

Resources cited: 

Music by:
  • Sebastian Brian Mehr


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© 2021 Dyan Williams