People always talk about what to do to get a good night's sleep and how to have a good morning. But what about the nighttime leading up to those things? You know, those few hours we all have between getting off work and going to bed. Here are the best things you can do for a good night.
1. Make your bed in the morning.
We know you've heard this one before (if not from your mother, then from all those darn magazine stories out there). So why are you still not pulling those covers up before you leave for work? We're not saying you have to make crisp hospital bed corners — just do the minimum. This way, when you get home, your bedroom isn't a hot mess.
Or get this cheat: Your Bed Makes Itself with this Smart Duvet Invention at Apartment Therapy
2. Stop reading those emails.
Sarah in accounting may feel the need to email you at 10 p.m., but you certainly don't have to respond at that hour. You don't even have to read it. Figure out a boundary that works for you (maybe it starts as soon as you leave the office? Or before you sit down for dinner?) and stick to it. If you have to, let your team at the office know that you simply won't be checking your emails at night.
3. Put your PJs on early.
If you're not leaving the house the rest of the night, you are 100 percent cleared to put on your pajamas as soon as you walk in the door. Hair can go into a messy bun, contact lenses can be removed, and the big cozy socks can come out. You are done looking like a human for the day.
Go shopping: 8 Food-Themed Pajamas for Sweet (and Savory) Dreams
4. Make dinner.
Even if you're just making yourself a sandwich, there's something rewarding, soothing, and just all around nice about making your own dinner. You won't have to spend any extra money, you won't have to wait for delivery, and you won't have to settle when part of the order inevitably shows up wrong.
Some Suggested Recipes
5. Plan ahead for said dinner.
Weeknight cooking is always going to be easier if you plan in advance. That means having the grocery shopping done for the week (no last-minute trips to the store!), defrosting necessary frozen meat, and building a clear plan for what you want to make.
Tips for Pulling It Off
6. Meet a friend or three.
Why wait for the weekend to have fun? Meet for happy hour, a spin class, or a walk around the local park, or have some ladies over for dinner. You worked hard(ish) all day and you deserve to do something fun with your non-working hours.
7. Watch a bit of TV.
If you're not already watching This Is Us, you should be. Ditto for the catalog of Great British Bake Off episodes. Just be careful — you do not need to binge-watch all of these at once. Let yourself watch an appropriate amount and then turn off the tube.
8. Enjoy a nibble of chocolate.
You probably can't justify an entire chocolate bar (unless it was really one of those days), but there's nothing wrong with having a square or little piece a few nights a week. This will especially be necessary if you crave sweets after dinner.
9. Have some tea.
Certain teas (like Earl Grey, chai, and some green teas) contain enough caffeine that they might keep you up. But herbal teas like ginger and chamomile can help you wind down. Drink it for the sleep aid or just because you like the routine.
Make this: Turmeric-Ginger Tea
10. Set a pre-bedtime alarm.
In addition to your morning alarm (alarms?), consider setting one for the nighttime too. Let's say you like to be in bed every night by 11 and it takes you an hour to wash up and really wind down. Then you should set your alarm for 10 and it will remind you that it's time to get your routine started.
11. Read in bed.
Once you're all washed up and in bed, you can enjoy a little extra time under the covers. Keep the screens away (because, blue light!) and read a magazine or a book. You know, those things that keep piling up because you never seem to have any time to look at them?
Did we miss part of your evening routine? Share your favorite things to do in the comments!