I remember a time (a far, far away time) in my life that when I decided I was going to bed, I went to bed. Other than brushing my teeth and cleaning my face, all I had to do before bed was make the decision to go to bed. Wow. I took that for granted! Hahaha! Nighttime isn’t that simple once you become a Mom. I know all the Mamas out there are nodding their heads. I have learned, more so after my second child, that mornings can be much easier if you have a good nighttime routine in place. Here are my tips for a nighttime routine for moms that can lead to more productive mornings.
Nighttime Routine for Busy Moms
Some of the best evening routines can usually be placed within these 3 groups:
- Avoidance of anything that can negatively affect your sleep
- Preparing for the next day
It is crucial to try to avoid anything that can negatively affect your sleep. Here is a short list of things to avoid:
- Certain medications
Sleep.org goes into more detail on sleep-depriving mistakes before bed.
Side note, I know how hard it can be to put down the electronics. Here, I am sitting on my laptop at 9 o’clock at night writing this post so I get how hard it can be. However, experts recommend putting down electronics and turning off the TV at least an hour before bed. Research shows that electronics can alter your melatonin levels (sleep hormone.)
Make a Plan and Prepare
One thing you could do at night since you will be putting down those electronics (right?) is make a to-do list or write out your goals for the week. I am a visual person so it helps me to see everything written out. Plus, I get really excited when I get to mark something off! HA! This is extremely important for me when it comes to keeping up with appointments for myself, husband, and my boys.
This is also a good time to do a little preparation for the next morning. Examples of what I like to do include:
- laying my clothes out for the next day
- laying my boys’ clothes out for the next day (especially if it is a school day)
- Get Nikola’s school bag ready for the next day
- Make lunches
- Set timer on Keurig
Take a moment and think about what you could do the night before to make the morning easier. It really does make the morning run smoother, especially on the mornings you hit snooze one too many times.
Take some time for yourself and do something relaxing. Let’s be honest, as much as you love your kiddos, most days you count down to a little me-time. This is the time that you can actually…wait for it…go to the bathroom alone! Gasp!
However, I am going to challenge you to find something other than watching TV or playing around on your phone. Oh, wait…did I just hear another gasp? I am guilty too. Often times my me-time is filled with binge-watching Stranger Things on Netflix or getting caught up on Fixer Upper on Hulu. However, even though this can be relaxing and I do enjoy cuddling up on the couch with the hubby and watching something that makes me want to double-check the locks on my doors or rip up my carpet and do a little DIY fake wood floors, it isn’t really considered me-time.
So what can we do? Why not take advantage of getting to go to the bathroom alone? I love taking a good, relaxing bubble bath with candles and Pandora playing some relaxing spa music. Other ideas include:
- Reading a good book
- Writing your to-do list
- Writing out your short term or long term goals
- Drink a little Chamomile tea
Find whatever works for you, clears your mind, and helps you recharge for the next day. Use a little time every night to be all about you.
Create a relaxing environment to sleep in
Make sure your bedroom is inviting to you. If you like it cold, turn down the thermostat at night or get a fan. Find pajamas that are comfortable for you. Do you like getting into a made bed? For me, I love crawling into a bed that is crisp and made up without wrinkles from the night before, but not everyone is like that. Do you like it dark? Or do you want a nightlight? Whatever you personally like, do it!
Pick a bedtime and stick with it
Decide on a good time that you would like to be in bed each night and do your best to stick with it. This will help train your mind and body to start preparing for bed. Research does show that irregular bedtimes mess up your circadian rhythm.
Extra prep for the next day
This is a personal preference, but I like to take a few minutes at night to complete a few quick chores. Having a house that is “put together” might not bother you and that is totally ok. However, if I go to bed without completing a few last-minute cleanups my brain will not turn off. I feel really good going to bed knowing that my house is somewhat in order and I don’t have a ton of things waiting to mock me the next morning. Here is a quick overview of my nighttime routine that works for me.
Quick house pickup
Every night before I bath the boys and start their nightly routines, they clean up their toys from the day, at least the ones that are out in our living room and sunroom areas. However, if there is anything they missed this is when I pick it up. This saves me from almost breaking a toe on Sagan’s new Buzz Lightyear, that I swear is heavier than a watermelon if I have to make a trip to the kitchen during the night.
I feel so much better waking up to a kitchen they doesn’t have dishes waiting to greet me. It is actually a pretty quick clean up. Normally, I will load my dishwasher and let it wash overnight so we have clean dishes for breakfast. Then I will wash the few dishes that are left in the sink. Followed by washing countertops and our dinner table.
Once I am finished with my quick clean up, I continue on with the list of things I shared with you above. Bottom line, when it comes to a nighttime routine you have to find what works best for you and your family. I hope this nighttime routine for busy moms is a good starting point to find something that helps you sleep like a baby (or your husband.)
Click here to read my busy mom tips for productive mornings.
Sweet Dreams, my friends.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31