The secret to a productive day? Prepping for it the night before. From jotting down to-do lists to reflecting on the day’s accomplishments, having a pointed p.m. routine allows you to decompress, and ultimately sets you up for success.
Here’s how to hit the hay the right way—and wake up ready to tackle tomorrow.
1. Create a calm space.
Cancelling out noise and making your surroundings as peaceful as possible is important when you’re settling in for the night. Blogger and beauty expert Jeanette Zinno uses scents to create a tranquil environment. “I believe in the benefits of aromatherapy for calming, and use my diffuser with lavender oil before bed every night,” she says. “I also like to stretch on my yoga mat and drink tea to unwind.”
2. Grab a pen and notepad.
Some say a to-do list is crucial to maximize efficiency: “I’m a huge list-maker! Before bed I usually review my calendar for the next day to see what I have to prep for,” says Zinno. And for all of those great ideas that fall by the wayside as sleep takes over, Alyssa Hertzig, blogger and founder of the lifestyle blog, The Sparkly Life, has a solution: “I keep a pad of paper next to my bed so I can jot down any ideas that come to me as I’m falling asleep. Sometimes it takes a little bit of work to decipher those written-in-the-dark notes, but I can usually figure them out,” she explains.
3. Indulge in a skin-pampering ritual.
Treating yourself to a soothing skin treatment can serve as a great stress reliever. “I believe that beauty and wellness are important from the inside out,” says Zinno. “I use sheet masks a few times a week to keep my skin hydrated.” Copy her habit: Anew Clinical Overnight Hydration Mask replenishes lost moisture while you snooze.
4. Reflect on your day.
Taking time to ponder highs and lows helps identify the areas where you’ve been challenged, and assesses where you’re excelling. According to recent research, inward attention is an important contributor to overall thinking, reasoning and well-being.
5. Maximize shut-eye.
Don’t snooze on the importance of quality slumber: Studies show that it’s crucial to boost brainpower and memory. Aim for seven to nine hours a night, per recommendations from The National Sleep Foundation. Even more reason to make it an early night: Janet K. Kennedy, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, and author of The Good Sleeper: The Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby (and You), tells us, “The information that you take in during the day is consolidated into memory during sleep. Fatigue impairs concentration and makes it harder to learn new information.”