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  • When talking about how to build an effective daily schedule, morning routines usually get

  • all of the attention. Although having an effective morning routine is important, having an effective

  • night routine is just as, if not more, important. Here are five reasons why your night routine

  • is holding you back, and what you can do to fix it.

  • Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.

  • I recently did a video covering eight morning routine mistakes that are holding you back.

  • In this video, well cover the flip side and talk about five common night routine mistakes

  • and how to build your own perfect night routine. Let’s get into it.

  • Mistake number one is not having a consistent nighttime routine. Every good day starts with

  • a good night’s sleep - so if you want to have an effective tomorrow, you need to start

  • preparing today.

  • Having a consistent night routine gives you the necessary time and space to decompress

  • after a long day. It helps you ease into sleep so that by the time your head hits the pillow,

  • your body and mind are ready for bed.

  • Think about wakefulness like driving a car. After you wake up, it takes some time to warm

  • up the engine and get to speed. But once you get up to speed, it’s pretty easy to keep

  • going. After a day of driving, the time eventually comes when you need to start slowing down.

  • You don’t want to redline the engine and slam on the brakes from 100 to 0. Doing so

  • is incredibly jarring, both for you and the car. Instead, you want to ease into it and

  • slow down gradually before finally coming to a stop.

  • An effective nighttime routine is similar. It gives you much-needed time to decompress

  • and lets you gradually relax into sleep - both physically and mentally. Without it, youre

  • just slamming on the brakes and trying to force your body to sleep when it’s not ready

  • to.

  • Mistake number two is not optimizing your routine for sleep.

  • According to the CDC, more than a third of American adults do not get the recommended

  • seven to nine hours of sleep per day. This is a big problem if youre trying to maximize

  • your productivity as research has shown that both acute and chronic sleep deprivation negatively

  • impact cognition.

  • In addition, inadequate sleep has also been shown to negatively impact mental health.

  • Although we often think of difficulty sleeping as a symptom of an underlying mood disorder,

  • research suggests that inadequate sleep can also be a causal factor contributing to the

  • development of mood disorders.

  • If that isn’t evidence enough, think about it this way: you can function without food

  • for several weeks and without water for several days, but you experience the most rapid decline

  • in function without sleep.

  • Despite millions of years of evolution, we still spend overof our lives asleep.

  • If it wasn’t necessary, then evolution would have prioritized things like finding food,

  • finding a mate, or simply not being vulnerable to predation.

  • Just getting enough hours of sleep isn’t enough either if you really want to be at

  • the top of your game. A huge part of sleeping better also comes down to waking up and falling

  • asleep at consistent times.

  • In one study, researchers found a positive correlation between having a consistent sleep

  • cycle and increased academic performance. They concluded that even when you control

  • for the amount of sleep, participants who had a more consistent sleep schedule tended

  • to perform better.

  • To optimize your sleep schedule, start by deciding what time you want to wake up and

  • then work backwards seven to nine hours. This will tell you what time you need to be in

  • bed, falling asleep. After that, subtract one more hour and that will be the time that

  • you should start winding down and initiating your nighttime routine.

  • Knowing what time you need to initiate your nighttime routine at and when you need to

  • be asleep is only half the battle though. The other half is actually following through

  • with it - which is much easier said than done. This is something that I continue to struggle

  • with even to this day.

  • If there’s anything I’ve learned though, it’s that if you really want to adhere to

  • your nighttime routine and have a consistent sleep schedule, you can’t rely on sheer

  • willpower and awareness. You need to focus on building systems instead.

  • For instance, sometimes I get so caught up in what I’m working on at night that I completely

  • lose track of time. To combat this, I’ve invested in a smart light setup which I’ve

  • programmed to dim and turn red at 9:30 PM. This serves as a visual reminder to me that

  • I need to start wrapping up and winding down. Making this one adjustment has helped me to

  • adhere to my night routine and go to bed at a more consistent time.

  • That being said, you don’t need a fancy light set up that makes you feel like a sith

  • lord to remind you to go to bed, a simple alarm will work just as well.

  • Mistake number three is not activating your parasympathetic nervous system.

  • There are two major divisions of the autonomic nervous system - the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.

  • The sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as thefight or flightsystem. It

  • prepares the body for higher acuity situations. The parasympathetic nervous system, on the

  • other hand, is therest and digestsystem. It returns our bodies to a calm, relaxed state

  • and prepares us for rest.

  • For optimal sleep, we want to activate the parasympathetic in the hour or so leading

  • up to bedtime and avoid activating the sympathetic.

  • The first step to achieving this is to lower your body temperature. The optimal bedroom

  • temperature for sleep is believed to be somewhere between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit; however,

  • you can accomplish the same effect in a few different ways. Setting your A/C to a cooler

  • level is one solution; however, you can also use a mattress cooler, such as the ChiliPAD

  • or Bedjet, or reduce clothing while in bed.

  • For example, I live in a hot climate so I set my A/C to 72°F and sleep in a pair of

  • shorts with a light blanket. This allows me to lower my body temperature, without having

  • a huge energy bill at the end of the month.

  • The next step to activating the parasympathetic nervous system is to avoid things that stimulate

  • you. This means no caffeine, no high-intensity music, no backlit screens, and especially

  • no smartphone right before bed.

  • Blue light, like the light from a phone screen, stimulates photoreceptors in your eyes which

  • suppress melatonin release from your pineal gland. Melatonin is a key hormone involved

  • in regulating our circadian rhythm and priming our bodies for sleep. When melatonin production

  • is inhibited, we don’t feel as tired, and it becomes more difficult to fall sleep.

  • Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, explains that

  • using your phone at night can also result in sleep procrastination. You start by checking

  • your email or social media, and the next thing you know an hour has passed, and youre

  • still wide awake.

  • The easiest way to avoid this is to not bring your phone into the bedroom. If this is not

  • possible, he recommends imposing a rule on yourself that you can only use your phone

  • while standing up. If you follow this rule, after a few minutes youll probably feel

  • the urge to lay down in bed at which point you will have to put the phone down.

  • The last thing to do to activate your parasympathetic nervous system is wind down and relax. Do

  • something that makes you feel comfortable. Something that eases your stress. For some,

  • this might be stretching or doing some light foam rolling. Others prefer to practice deep

  • breathing or meditation.

  • My activity of choice is to read a relaxing book on my Kindle. This is often fiction,

  • or a biography, or something related to my personal interests. I try to avoid reading

  • any kind of intellectually stimulating book because I’m not optimizing for learning

  • in the last few minutes of the day, but rather easing into restorative sleep.

  • Mistake number four is not setting yourself up for a successful tomorrow.

  • One of the qualities of an effective nighttime routine is that it prepares you for the next

  • day. Take some time to reset your environment so everything is ready for you when you wake

  • up. Clean and organize your desk, do the dishes, pick up your laundry - do all of those little

  • things that will prepare you for the next day.

  • After you reset your environment, ask yourself if there’s anything else you can do to make

  • things easier in the morning. This might include prepping your backpack, or laying out your

  • clothes, or leaving reminders for yourself for anything you might forget in the morning.

  • When I go on an early morning flight, for example, I leave a sticky note next to my

  • phone reminding me to pack my glasses and retainers, as I can’t pack them the night

  • before.

  • By setting yourself up for a more successful tomorrow, future you will thank you, and it’s

  • a good feeling. In fact, I find that the more you do this, the more inclined you are to

  • do it in the future. It acts as a positive feedback loop.

  • Lastly, mistake number five is not taking time to reflect on your day.

  • Too often we focus on the negatives - the things we wanted to accomplish but didn’t

  • - and forget to appreciate the small wins.

  • A great way to remind yourself of the small wins and express gratitude for the things

  • youve accomplished is through reflection. The way that I do this is by journaling at

  • the end of the day. And just like I have a journaling template for the morning, I have

  • one for the night as well.

  • I write about the three most amazing things that happened today, three lessons I learned,

  • and what would have made today better. This reflection provides perspective so that I’m

  • not always focusing on what I didn’t do, and also helps me with future direction. I

  • can identify consistent themes underwhat would make today betterand can focus my

  • energy in a more data-backed manner that’s more likely to improve my life.

  • The last item that I journal about at the end of each day is the singular most important

  • question for the day, which I then pose to my subconscious before I sleep. Doing so gives

  • my unconscious mind the chance to mull it over while I sleep, often giving me a fresh

  • take in the morning.

  • If youre trying to optimize your night routine, remember that there is no one size

  • fits all solution. Use these points as a guide and experiment with what works for you. And

  • don’t be afraid to change things up if theyre not working. Find what works best for you,

  • and even when you think youve got it all figured out, keep experimenting and trying

  • to make it even better!

  • And that’s it. Those are five night routine mistakes and what you can do to fix them.

  • If you have a night routine that works well for you, or if you think I missed a night

  • routine mistake, be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below. You never know

  • who you might help out!

  • Thank you all so much for watching. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to check out Anatomy

  • of a Perfect Evening Routine, or my video going over Surgeon Sleep Secrets. Much love

  • and I’ll see you there.

When talking about how to build an effective daily schedule, morning routines usually get

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5 Night Routine Mistakes You're Making (& How to Fix Them)

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    Summer posted on 2021/11/05
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