A high­ly pro­duc­tive per­son prob­a­bly does­n’t bolt out of bed in a pan­ic after a short night’s sleep or hit the snooze but­ton sev­er­al times — they more like­ly have night­time habits the evening before which help set them up for suc­cess the next day. As a yoga instruc­tor, I know the impor­tance of both sleep and peace of mind. So if you’re look­ing to wake up well-rest­ed, bright-eyed and actu­al­ly excit­ed about your day, here are 10 night­time rit­u­als to help you on your way!


1. Unplug to Recharge

Even your beloved smart­phones can’t go non­stop with­out being recharged, and your mind is no dif­fer­ent. At least 30 min­utes before going to bed, turn off all your devices to allow your mind time to relax and unwind. You may notice the inevitable side effect of feel­ing more present to enjoy the final moments of your day.

2. “Un-wined”

Put down that glass of vino! “Rose all day” on week­ends if you want to, but if you want to wake up alert, focused and pro­duc­tive, avoid alco­hol before bed. It can lead to fre­quent sleep inter­rup­tions in the lat­er half of the night as blood sug­ar lev­els spike. And those dis­rup­tions to your REM sleep can cause next-day drowsi­ness. Try some herbal tea to wind down instead!

3. Stretch It Out

Take some time to give your mus­cles and joints a lit­tle love! They work hard for you all day and deserve a lit­tle TLC each night. Try a few over­head stretch­es, heart open­ers and ham­string length­en­ers. And don’t for­get to open the hips! Pre­vent­ing phys­i­cal ten­sion in the body helps keep men­tal ten­sion at bay as well.

4. Prepare for Tomorrow

Take some time the night before to choose and lay out your wardrobe for the next day. Pack your bag or brief­case too, and don’t for­get a healthy lunch! Being pre­pared the night before makes morn­ings less hec­tic and gives you time to con­scious­ly ease into your day.

5. List Your “Big Three”

Take just a few quick moments to write out the three main things you want to accom­plish tomor­row. Make sure they are achiev­able tasks that help you ele­vate your pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Think “prac­tice patience” rather than “meet and mar­ry Brad Pitt.” This will give you a sense of accom­plish­ment and help you feel suc­cess­ful the next day.

6. Set Aside “You Time”

Bud­get at least 20 min­utes of inten­tion­al decom­pres­sion time before bed. Whether it’s a can­dlelit show­er or read­ing a feel-good book, give your­self some per­son­al time to cel­e­brate a suc­cess­ful day!

7. Have a Pajama Party

Put on those PJs! Experts say that a con­scious tran­si­tion into “bed­time” mode actu­al­ly helps your body and mind begin to pre­pare for sleep. Choose some­thing loose-fit­ting, cool and com­fy for opti­mal relaxation.

8. Practice Gratitude

Avoid the habit­u­al trap of replay­ing neg­a­tive events or encoun­ters from your day over and over again at night. When you’re tired, your brain tends to find things to wor­ry about sim­ply based on your con­di­tion­ing. Repro­gram your mind by tak­ing five min­utes to med­i­tate on things you’re thank­ful for. You’ll find your­self going to sleep feel­ing con­tent and abun­dant, which makes for bet­ter dreams.

9. Forgive and Forget

Keep a jour­nal by your bed and take a few min­utes each night to pour into it any­thing from your day that you want to get out of your brain. This can be a fan­tas­tic men­tal release as you prac­tice for­giv­ing those who have chal­lenged you dur­ing the day. It’s also essen­tial to your well-being that you for­give your­self for any mis­takes or mishaps so you can start fresh the next day feel­ing great about your­self. Get it all out into your diary pages and go to sleep free from swirling neg­a­tive thoughts.

10. Stick to Your Bedtime

Set an ear­li­er, non-nego­tiable bed­time for opti­mal sleep. Get­ting a full night’s rest (sev­en to nine hours is the opti­mal range) gives your body time to replen­ish. It can help reg­u­late your hor­mones, recharge your body on a cel­lu­lar lev­el and refresh your mind as well. A good night’s sleep is one of the best and most sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven ways to enhance our mood, ener­gy and productivity.

by Elise Joan
Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on LiveStrong.com