I’ve never been one for “routines”. Morning, night, work, whatever. Despite being an incredibly organised person, I always just tend to do things the quickest and most productive way. I’ve probably watched hundreds of night-time routines on YouTube and can help but think, “what… EVERY night?” I just couldn’t fathom someone doing the same things, in the same order, every single night and finding any joy in that. I just wanna get my make up off and get into bed, pronto.
Until something changed a month or so ago and I found myself as one of those people. UGH I WAS A PERSON WITH A ROUTINE (who else is thinking about The Routine from Friends right now?) What happened? How did I get here?
Well actually, I can tell you. Step by step, I found myself adopting a routine. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen all in one go but eventually I had all the pieces together and realised I had created a pretty effective night-time routine for myself which also happened…
…to improve my sleep.
I know, I can’t believe it either. For the last 15 years of my life, I haven’t slept through the night once. I wake up 4 or 5 times on average most nights either needing a wee or with bad hip pain (idk why, I have big hips okay?) and I’ve always known I didn’t get great quality sleep. It’s still not perfect of course but halfway through January, after doing this same routine more or less every night for a few weeks, I did begin to notice a difference. I wasn’t waking up as much, I was falling asleep quicker and I felt more awake in the mornings too! How did I do it? Well I’ll tell you.
Limiting screen time
In the latter part of last year, it really really REALLY hit me how much time I was spending on my phone (I mean, how could it not when that poxy screen time app was cropping up every day saying I had spent 13 hours on my phone?!) and quite frankly, I was disgusted. Since when did I turn into this person that spends more time looking at her phone than the world around her? What had I missed in all that time I was fixated on Twitter?
So I turned my screen limits back on using the iPhone screen time app. I set it to 3 hours of social media per day and all apps (apart from the necessities) are turned off at 9pm. So no social media, no blogging, no games, no surfing the internet after 9. It was difficult at first but eventually, I found myself actually not picking up my phone way before the 9pm cut off! And within the first week, my screen usage was down by 30%!
The only exception to the screen time was YouTube because I started to introduce night-time Yoga into my routine from Yoga With Adriene. Yoga is one of my favourite things in the world and I’ve fallen it love with it even more (if that’s at all possible) this year. I feel healthier and I definitely feel stronger and I just want to be doing Yoga all the time!
So as well as a more high intensity practice in the morning, I started doing slower, stretchy practices in the evening. I do these in the living room, with the lights on low, in my pajamas and it’s just wonderful. Taking that time for myself each night has been a blessing. It helps me relax, switch off, show some gratitude and then go to bed refreshed, rather than frazzled.
After my Yoga, I then started to pick up my skincare routine again. I’ve always struggled with a skincare routine. Partly because I never think anything actually works for me and makes my skin look or feel any better. But I know I shouldn’t neglect my skin for that reason. I still use most of my Superdrug Simply Pure range, which are cruelty-free and ideal for sensitive skin.
Reading before bed
Then after my skincare is finished, I’ll go and grab a drink and get into bed and read for a while. I’ve always loved reading – if you’ve been a reader of this blog for long enough then you’ll remember me in my book blogging days – but honestly, I have fallen out of love with it a bit recently. I basically didn’t read anything from September to December last year.
But thankfully, I did get back into reading in January and read some amazing books which I actually wanted to pick up. Finally! So settling into bed and reading a bit of my book was the perfect addition to my new night-time routine.
Of course this doesn’t happen every single night. If I’m away, ill or particularly busy then that might get in the way but that’s okay – I’m not strict on myself and I don’t punish myself for not doing it every single night. Which I think really helps as well. But knowing that I have this solid routine that I can delve into, if and when I can, is really beneficial.