14 Morning & Night Routines: My secret to productive days & restful nights

When You hear the word ritual, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Maybe it’s eye of newt or toe of frog. Oh...is that just me? Shout out to Harry Potter for planting witchy thoughts in my mind from a young age. Well, breathe easy, I’m not talking about conjuring spells at all hours of the day. I’m talking about creating a morning and night time routine that is so consistent it might as well be a ritual. 

To be honest, I’m not a morning person and I don’t fall asleep easily- talk about a double edged sword. Cultivating a morning and nighttime ritual is crucial for me to function productively and as Brandi from Bad Girls Club would say, I “respect my sleep!” In the winter months I can easily sleep eight hours and if I’m menstruating make that nine. But when it comes to actually falling asleep and waking up ready to take on the day, I struggle.

My obsession with my morning and nighttime ritual is totally warranted. Who likes to feel disorganized and disheveled throughout the day? In my search for a cure, I began to read The Miracle Morning and it became apparent to me that not having a set routine every morning was directly correlated with my procrastination and feelings of exhaustion. Which got me thinking about my nighttime routine and why was I wide awake at 2 AM while my partner in life was sound asleep.

Being the wellness junkie that I am, I also began to read The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington, Co-founder, and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post. In her book she states, “I studied, I met with medical doctors, scientists, and I’m here to tell you that the way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is: getting enough sleep.

I was sold on the notion that creating a morning and night time routine was the key to living the energized, joyful and productive life I dreamed about. If a morning ritual would allow me to establish a level of productivity that would extend to the rest of my day, a nighttime ritual would help me disconnect from the world allowing me to fall into a restful slumber.

Below is my morning and nighttime rituals:

Morning Ritual

  1. Drink an 8 oz glass of water or black tea with lemon. Doing so boosts your metabolism and hydrates your body.

  2. Meditate for 10-20 minutes. Meditating first thing in the morning allows you to embrace a quiet moment and clear your mind before entering the world.

  3. Write in your journal for 10 minutes. Jotting down my dreams, thoughts, and intentions for the day puts me in a positive state of mind.

  4. Sweat it out. Whether it’s a morning jog, a 20 minute H.I.I.T. workout or a yoga session, move your body and sweat a little.

  5. Take a cold shower. If you’re still sleepy, taking a 5 minute shower in cold water will wake you up and help you focus.

  6. Drink a green smoothie and eat a protein rich breakfast. You should always eat a healthy breakfast within an hour of waking up. Meal prep the night before so that you can do so without cooking.

  7. Listen to an inspirational podcast. My go to podcast for all things positivity, self-care, and Black Girl Magic is the Black Girl In Om podcast!

Night time Ritual

  1. Drink Herbal Tea. An herbal tea like chamomile is my favorite to relax with.

  2. Dry brush your skin. Dry brushing your skin helps combat cellulite, removes dead skin and can also be very meditative and only takes a few minutes to do. Here’s my go to dry brush.

  3. Disconnect from technology. Turn off your phone 30 minutes before bed and say goodbye to your Instagram timeline and Facebook friends. Fewer stimulants means deeper sleep.

  4. Take a hot bath or shower. A hot bath or shower does a wonderful job at soothing your muscles helping you fall asleep a bit faster.

  5. Write a to do list for tomorrow. I don’t know about you ladies, but right when I’m about to fall asleep my mind decides to think of every single task I have to complete in the AM. Writing everything down before going to sleep clears my mind.

  6. Put on your birthday suit. Stripe down to your B-day suit and let your body cool down. This will allow you to fall asleep a bit more easily. Caution: Might lead to spontaneous coitus with bae. You're welcome!

  7. Count your blessings. If I’m upset, anxious or feeling sorry for myself there is no way I’m falling asleep. The one thing that calms me is counting all of the reasons I have to be grateful right before going to sleep.

I hope you keep an open mind with your morning and nighttime rituals. Remember that if none of these float your boat, there are tons of options out there that definitely will! I have girlfriends who find kickboxing as energizing as a shot of espresso in the morning and sip on a warm glass of milk and honey before dozing off. Others find crocheting to be the perfect way to ease into bed while some wake up for work at 4 AM without missing a beat. Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, finds that singing in the AM is her spark of joy for the day. There is no wrong or right way to craft a morning and nighttime routine. As long you’re open to new ideas you’ll find what works best for you.

Begin by adding one or two morning and nighttime rituals to your day, and you’ll ease right into restful nights and productive days.

What’s your favorite morning and night time routine?

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