How to have a productive nighttime routine during quarantine
You’ve had a productive day, getting all your work done and now it’s time to wind down and get ready for the next day. Having a night time routine allows you to prepare for tomorrow by feeling energized and ready for any challenges you may face. Below we have listed 10 tips for you to implement into your nighttime routine, to get the best out of your time when the lights dim down.
1. Stop drinking caffeine
Known to be the most popular drug in the world, caffeine seems to be everybody’s first choice on the list, whether it’s tea, coffee, soda or alcohol, it’s probably been messing up your sleep without you knowing.
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant that can make you feel alert, focused, happy and energetic but, there is a flip side to it. As caffeine is a stimulant it keeps you awake by blocking one of the key sleep-inducing molecules called adenosine.
Caffeine also has a long duration life in your body, meaning that if you drink say a coffee earlier in the day, you will still feel energetic hours later.
You should try to stop drinking caffeine before you go to bed, in fact, you should only be drinking caffeine in the morning time due to the average cup of coffee having a quarter life of 12 hours, meaning that if you drink a cup of coffee at noon, a quarter of the caffeine will still be in your brain at midnight.
2. Stop working late
Yes, you should be working hard at home throughout the day but, there comes a time where you need to step back from your workspace and just relax. If you’re a high achiever, when you start to get into something There is always going to be an urge to keep going and I respect that but, you need to understand that at some point you’re going to burn yourself out so, instead you should try clocking off at the same time every night.
Not only is overworking going to worsen your productivity, it also plays a huge role in the quality of your sleep, especially if you’re using an electronic device such as your phone or laptop. When using an electronic device, your eyes are being exposed to higher levels of blue light which disrupts your brain producing melatonin, this is one of the chemicals that help you fall to sleep.
Although this might sound hypocritical to my last point, I do understand that sometimes you might have to just finish off a few more sentences, or do that last job because you have deadlines to fulfill and that’s where swanwick glasses come to the rescue. By wearing these dark red funny looking glasses, you are reducing the amount of blue light you are being exposed to.
3. Connect with others
During this time, you or the people around you may be struggling with their mental health, specifically regarding feelings of loneliness, and this is why it is so important to try and connect with your loved ones.
Obviously because of the lockdown rules, keeping in touch with your friends and family is going to be more difficult than before, as you are only allowed outside of your house for the bare necessity’s, this means that you are going to have to think of alternatives to get around this.
If you live in the same house as other people, it’s a good idea to come together at a certain point in the day, whether it’s whilst you eat tea or when you’re relaxing in the garden and have that face to face connection with each other, I’ve personally been playing the retro game BUZZ with my family and yes, of course I’ve been winning. You can see that connecting with others has been proven to help you live a healthier, happier and longer life in this blog post.
So, how can you stay connected with people, whilst in quarantine if you live alone? Well, one way of getting around the physical boundaries of staying in touch with friends is by doing it virtually. Myself and my family have created a pub (online) where we play quizzes, bingo and much more every Saturday over FaceTime.
4. Prepare for tomorrow
You’ve completed today and now it’s time to prepare for tomorrow. You need to plan everything that you need to do tomorrow from what you are going to eat, to your morning routine.
You might be only focusing on “the important stuff” but, you should be thinking about all aspects of your life where you can be more efficient.
For example, by deciding what you are going to wear the next day, you are avoiding something called decision fatigue, which is where you lose all of your energy by focusing on all the non-important things in life.
You should try to plan everything a day ahead so when it comes to that day, you can spend your time and energy on what you are doing, instead of planning it.
Journaling is the art of keeping a diary or log about your experiences, ideas, emotions and insights into your life every day. You shouldn’t over think what you are writing down too much, just let yourself go.
Journaling has long been a habit that has been practiced amongst people who are interested in self-improvement and maybe it’s something that you should consider starting during quarantine if you haven’t already.
There are many different benefits and uses of using a journal, from keeping in check with you mental health, to coming up with creative ideas.
One of the best things about keeping a journal of your life In my opinion, is that you can look for patterns that you might not of noticed otherwise for example, you might feel really down in the dumps one day and look at your journal and notice that you haven’t been eating right and on the other hand, you might find that you are feeling really good and see that you have been practicing gratitude every day. If you would like to get your hands on a journal with all the tips and tricks, this is the one we recommend.
6. Do some meditation
Do you have a monkey mind? That voice inside your head that never shuts up, the one that tells you you’re not good enough, the one that makes you wonder if people are talking about you and probably at the moment, the one that keeps telling you that you haven’t washed your hands in the last minute.
Your probably never going to be able to stop your monkey mind entirely but, one way to quieten it is through mediation.
Meditation was long regarded as a practice that only bald Men in orange robes do but, thanks to modern science, there are endless amounts of studies displaying the benefits which come from meditating.
I’m a huge advocate of meditation, however, I do understand that it might feel a bit uncomfortable at first and to begin with, it’s actually quite hard to just not do anything for a change and that’s where I think having someone guide you through the process is very helpful. There are many guided meditations out there but, one of the most popular is the app headspace, who have all different guided meditations ranging from one’s that help you go to sleep, to ones that make you feel more upbeat.
7. Read a book
You learn the experiences, knowledge and life’s of so many great people when reading books and what better time is there to start reading than now!
They say that you are the average of the five people you spend the most of your time with but, due to the current circumstances, surrounding yourself with these people who push you to a better version of you, is pretty much impossible and that’s where books can become useful.
By surrounding yourself with factual books that are written by great people, you allow yourself to gain insights into their life and apply what you have learnt to your own life. If you are interested in health and nutrition, get yourself a diet book. If you are interested in growing your own business, get an autobiography written by someone who has already taken the path which you choose to, this allows you to follow a similar journey and avoid the mistakes they made.
If you struggle with reading or just prefer to listen to someone else read, you can still enjoy your favorite books with audible. Audible is a service which allows you to listen to your favorite audio books wherever and whenever you want, whether you’re working out or having 5 minutes rest, all you need to do is press play. If this is something that you would be interested in, you can click here for a 30 day free trial.
8. Listen to binaural beats
Wouldn’t it be cool if you hack your brain into different states of mind? What if I told you, you could do. Binaural beats are sounds that you play through your headphones to induce different states of consciousness.
Before you click off this blog because you think I’m going crazy, let me explain. Binaural beats are frequencies of sound played into your ears however, one ear will hear a certain amount of Hz and the other ear will hear a higher or lower tone of Hz. When your brain hears two different frequencies from each ear, it gets confused and makes it’s own frequency from the difference in Hz, this will make you hear a oscillating wave sound in your head.
Cool, you now know what sound two different frequencies make but, where’s the part about it giving you super powers? Well, superpowers might be a bit of a stretch as there aren’t enough scientific studies on it yet but, binaural beats work by altering which brainwave state you are in. there are 5 different brainwaves that can induce calmness to wakefulness.
I personally like to use binaural beats that put me into a low frequency, otherwise known as the delta brainwave state, this is the state which you are In whilst sleeping. You can learn more ways that you can hack your brain by reading this article.
9. Disconnect from the world
If you haven’t already, right before you go to bed, you need to disconnect from the rest of the world so you can go straight to sleep with no problems.
If you’re living with your family, this is the time to say good night, after a busy day. Say goodbye to your friends over the phone and switch off the TV.
Whatever you are doing, it’s time to stop and get ready to go to sleep.
10. Get to bed on time
No, you’re not a Child anymore but, setting a bedtime is still a great habit to have. One of the most important factors of getting a good night’s sleep, is to have a consistent scheduled time to go to bed every night so instead of having an alarm to wake you up in the morning, you should set one to remind you to get to bed!
So, what time should you be heading off to bed? Well it really does depend on your life and what time you are planning to get up. You should also take sleep cycles into consideration as they can affect how you feel when you wake up so, to know what time you should wake up use my friends sleep calculator which considers everything.
There are lots of things you can do to improve your sleep quality and some of the things are quite easy, like having better “sleep hygiene”, this is where you improve the environment of your bedroom to make it easier for you to get to sleep, this includes things such as temperature and lighting.
Here at brain boosted, we believe that sleep is one of the foundations of a better and healthier you and that’s why we talk about it so much. If you would like to learn more about sleep you can read some of these articles we’ve written in the past.