Markus and I rise together and go to bed together. For such a small gesture, this habit does a lot to strengthen our bond. Do you practice this with your partner, too? This time I thought about sharing our evening routine for better sleep.
I read that people are sleeping worse following the coronavirus crisis. It is definitely not easy. But pandemic or not, I suspect tips on improving quality of sleep are always useful. I hope our simple habits can inspire and help you.
1. We have a light dinner.
Because we eat plant-based, most of our meals are light and easy to digest. Of course, we have savory and treatly stuff, too, but we rarely fall into a post-food coma. Eating fresh, whole food every day sure makes a difference. Some days we have dinner as early as 6 PM, like the retired old couple that we are, but we like it because it gives us more time to relax inside the tiny house.
2. Followed by warm drinks.
Part of our evening routine are warm drinks after dinner. We particularly enjoy herbal tea, such as chamomile or a mix of fresh herbs, flowers, and leaves – so calming. Other times we have oat milk with honey or hot chocolate from scratch when we are feeling indulgent. There is the added benefit that these drinks support better sleep and encourage tired eyes naturally.
3. We talk about our day and list to-dos for tomorrow.
As simple as our days are, we still ask each other ‘How was your day?’ every night. Most of our hours are spent doing individual things, like studying, learning foreign languages, reading, working, gardening, and so on, and it is always nice to hear about something new that the day brought.
We add to our running to-do lists as well. We find that this helps us get more things done the next day because we know our high value activities. It is also much easier to relax because our minds can let go of concerns and chores, knowing that everything has been noted.
If we had any misunderstanding during the day, we talk about it, too. We listen, address the issue, and never attack each other personally. We are on the same team, after all!
4. And make time for evening cuddles.
Physical touch and quality time are high on our love language list so we make time for it, every day, before sleeping. Some days this is as simple as cuddling while catching up on our favorite videos on YouTube. Often, Markus watches politics, history, and video games, while I indulge my love for plants and food. We are also greedy for belly rubs, back rubs, and head massages. How can anyone not sleep well after that?
5. We do not use our phones in bed.
This is a big one. After showering and brushing our teeth, we go to bed and place our phones on flight mode. Sometimes we do not even carry it to the loft of the tiny house where we sleep.
It is just easier to wind down and disconnect. We are not tempted to look at anything and the chances of anyone pulling us away from sleep are gone. See, when we give our eyes and brains the opportunity to wind down correctly, sleep will definitely be close by! But we have to consciously create these moments for better sleep.
6. Rinse and repeat.
Having an evening ritual is a powerful tool for better sleep. Doing these things every night signals our body that we are heading for bed soon. It creates a healthy rhythm and the more we are able to do it, the better rest we have.
Of course, after saying good morning when we wake up, the next question we ask each other is “How did you sleep?” More often than not, we are able to enjoy restorative sleep that feels really good for the mind and body. We hope you are able to experience quality sleep more frequently, too!