Doing these things the night before will help make your mornings run more smoothly.

| By Courtney Goudswaard | Wellness

5 Simple Things You Can Do at Night to Make Your Morning's Easier

Doing these things the night before will help make your mornings run more smoothly.

It’s been a long day— you cozy up on the couch with a glass of wine and turn on Netflix. One episode turns into two, maybe three. You crawl into bed and pick up your phone. You only intended to set your alarm, but you got distracted with a late-night scroll.

The next morning, you hit snooze once or twice before jolting out of bed. No time for breakfast, you’ll grab a coffee on the way. Oh, and the thing you didn’t want to forget? Forgotten. Rinse and repeat.

If this is hitting some of the right notes for you, make mornings easier by looking at how you prepare the night before. Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin says routines are essential, especially before bed. The patterns of behaviour of your nighttime routine help your body to prepare and are beneficial for your physical and mental well-being.

If you’re looking to make mornings easier, try working some of these tips into your nighttime routine.

1. Give yourself a bedtime

Distracted by gadgets, a new show on Netflix, or chatting with friends and family — the most overlooked factor in an effective night routine is knowing when to start it. Remember when your parents used to tell you to go to bed? As adults, we don't have a fixed bedtime. You need to create a system to remind you because relying on willpower won’t cut it.

Download a sleeping app or use the built-in wellness function on your smartphone to help you stay on track. You’ll be able to set sleep goals, track your sleep quality, and limit distractions to protect your sleep.

2. Prepare for the next day

Think about what you can do at night to make the morning easier — ‘future you’ will be grateful. Here are some ideas to try out before you hit the hay:

  • Make up a nutritious breakfast that’s easy to grab-and-go (i.e Bircher muesli, breakfast muffins, frozen smoothie packs are all great choices!).
  • Avoid leaving 5-minute household chores to do in the morning.
  • Pack your bag to make it easier getting out the door.
  • Decide on the outfit you’re going to wear for work.
  • Put the washing machine on a timer.
  • Assemble lunches the night before.
  • Lay out your exercise clothes.
  • Use post-it-note reminders.
  • Unpack the dishwasher.

3. Set yourself an electronics curfew

Late-night scrolling, we’ve all been there. Unfortunately, science proves staring at a screen of any measure affects your sleep and alertness the next day. The general consensus is to try switching off from electronic devices at least one hour before bed.

Put your phone (especially if it is your alarm clock) away from your bedside table so you are forced to jump out of bed to turn off the phone. Hopefully, this avoids you hitting snooze too many times in the a.m.

4. Keep your bedding fresh and bedroom clean

You really can’t beat laying down in a freshly made bed. Case in point: A survey commissioned by The Sleep Foundation found people sleep better when their bed is made, the linen is fresh, and the bedroom is clean and comfortable.

Make it part of your nightly ritual to prep your bedroom. It’s the perfect excuse to get yourself some quality bed linen and spend some time creating the perfect sleep sanctuary.

5. Reflect with journaling and templated prompts

Set yourself up for a successful day tomorrow by putting pen to paper.

This plays into the reflective learning concept by Josh Waitzkin, chess prodigy and expert on learning, who recommends journaling at the end of each day on the most important question for the day, and posing it to your unconscious mind before you fall asleep. That way, your unconscious mind can mull it over and you’ll wake up with more clarity and perspective on it in the morning.

Journaling before lights out improves your sleep quality too. The Journal of Experimental Psychology found that journaling before bed decreases cognitive stimulus, rumination, and worry, allowing you to fall asleep faster.

Just remember: a great morning routine starts the night before. And a great sleep is often influenced by a good nighttime routine.

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