6 Habits to Avoid in Your Evening Routine
Did you know that it’s not just important how you start your day, but also how you finish it? You might dream of lying on your cozy sofa in the evening after a long day, but if you want to improve your sleep, you’ll have to make some changes.
You might be wondering what you can change to rest easier, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 6 common habits that you can avoid and helpful alternatives.
1. You spend too much time on the sofa in the evening
Do you sit most of the day at work? If this sounds like your life, then skip your ritual relaxation on the sofa after dinner. Sitting too much not only causes poor posture and neck pain, it also leads to problems with your cardiovascular system.
The solution: get moving
Working out is good for your body and energizes you, too:
- Integrate a short workout into your evening routine to stimulate your circulation.
- Take a long walk and get some fresh air.
- Do a yoga session to relax your body and calm your mind.
Don’t plan any intense workouts right before going to bed, because you could have trouble falling asleep. Wrap up your training one to two hours before bedtime, so that your body has sufficient time to relax and prepare for sleep.
2. You eat a large meal before bed
Do you have the urge to eat a large meal or crave sweets after a long workday? When you have a craving you stop paying attention to whether you’re full or not and you might end up eating much more than you actually need to. Fight this feeling so you don’t put a strain on your digestive system and disrupt your sleep. Your body should be able to regenerate during the night.
The solution: small portions are key
Be aware of what you eat in the evening:
- Eat small portions at dinner.
- Think about what kind of foods you eat in the evening and what you cook with.
3. You are always online in the evening
By now it’s standard practice to be connected at all hours of the day. Whether you sit in front of a screen in the evening or scroll through social media platforms on your phone, your eyes and your brain are working at top speed. This habit makes it very difficult to calm your mind. It also causes headaches and affects your ability to concentrate.
The solution: take a digital break
Put your electronic friends, i.e. your phone, laptop, or tablet, away in the evening:
- Read a book instead.
- Try working in a garden.
- Meditation is a great way to rest after a hard day.
4. You drink too much coffee or caffeinated beverages
Is the caffeine kick from a hot cup of coffee or caffeinated soft drink part of your morning routine? It helps you concentrate, wakes you up, and boosts your motivation — but there’s something you should know about your chosen energy source. What helps you during the day can be counterproductive in the evening hours. If you drink caffeine in the evening, it’s possible that it starts to take effect just when you are trying to go to sleep. This results in sleepless nights and exhaustion the next day.
The solution: try a calming herbal tea
Some herbal teas like chamomile or ginger tea with lemon help you relax in the evening.
5. You take a long nap
Sometimes the workday can be really draining, so it’s not surprising that you might long for a nap. You’re tired and want to lie down for a few minutes? Just make sure that you don’t doze for hours. Otherwise you probably won’t get any shut-eye at night.
The solution: try a power nap
Power naps are the ideal way to get re-energized. If you add a power nap to your daily routine, make sure it doesn’t exceed 20 minutes. Otherwise you will enter the deep sleep stage and you’ll pay for it later.
6. You take your work home with you
You’re stressed out at work and want to do a few overtime hours at home? If you want to recharge your battery, you need both a physical and a mental break from your work environment.
The solution: improve your work-life balance
Think about what helps you relax. This could be drawing, cooking, music, or a relaxing workout. Your favorite hobbies not only give you some space from work, they also encourage creativity and personal growth.