On Cultivating a Night Routine

For a week I had a night routine and I slept better than ever. Here are some thoughts. // dreams-etc.com

Last week my sweet Little One wasn’t quite herself. In a previous “10 Things That Made Me Happy” I said that she had injured her leg, but was better. And she was. The morning I wrote that post.

I wrote it during the day on Thursday. That morning she ran up the stairs and jumped on chairs. But in the evening, she wasn’t as ambitious. I thought it was just because I wasn’t home for the most of the evening, but on Friday she was equally unambitious. On Saturday I thought I discovered the issue (a nail that hadn’t been clipped the last time we went to the groomer and was growing too long). I took her right to the groomer to have it taken care of, but after a few days she still wasn’t back to her usual self. She’d have a morning of jumping and running, then go back to looking for help.

And I was a bit of a basket case. I can’t help it; I love my pup and I wanted her to feel better. Each night I’d log off the computer and spend the rest of the night giving her tummy rubs while reading or watching TV until we both fell asleep.

(To end the Little One portion of this story, I took her to the vet and they checked her out. She’s fine, but she probably tweaked some muscles. They said she just needs to take it easy to let the muscles fully heal… instructions that Little One has some trouble with, because she loves to run and jump!)

I slept better that week than I have in… I don’t know how long. It really surprised me. I was so anxious that I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep. And, even though I was anxious, I felt more calm and settled at night.

You always hear that putting away electronics (except for the TV in my case, I guess) helps you sleep and I’ve always tried to ignore them. But one night this week I was working, working, working and suddenly it was 12:30. I put my computer away, hopped into bed and woke up feeling like crap. It turns out, all those articles that I read about putting away computers/phones before bed and getting enough sleep are true.

In the last month or so I’ve also been reading and hearing a lot about the importance of having a night routine. Have a set routine and write it down. I can’t even direct you to all the posts and videos I’ve read/watched that have talked about the importance of a night routine because there are so. many.

Last week it all kind of came together for me. Even though I was so anxious about Little One, I actually felt rested and calm because I was detaching from electronics (except for the TV, I guess) and I had developed a night routine.

I think this is something I’m going to try to cultivate in the next month. And maybe I’ll even right around. Little One, get ready! More tummy rubs are headed your way!


[Tweet “Say goodbye to late nights & hello to a new night routine! #nightroutines #routines”]

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  • Reply
    Michelle | Pop Culture Cottage
    January 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    I can’t wait to read about what you come up with. I feel like I have a good morning routine, but nighttime is kind of a mess. Haha!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Your puppy is adorable. Hope this new routine goes well!!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve been trying to turn my electronics off early too!

  • Reply
    Sarah || Daydreams of Summertime
    January 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I am forever trying to get myself into a good night routine as I really struggle getting to sleep. Lately I have been super strict about electronics and choose to read a book before bed instead of watching silly things on the laptop and that has helped. x

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    It’s SO hard to keep our furries quiet and resting when they’ve hurt themselves. I was seriously bracing myself for bad news but I’m glad to hear it’s just muscular.
    Since Charlie’s injury last year, I’m hyper aware and paranoid that they’re going to hurt those little legs of theirs. Restrict her access if you think she’s bouncing around too much during the day when you’re not home.
    I hope she has a full recovery. I know what it’s like to worry about our pets and it’s an awful feeling. * hugs *

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Having a set nighttime routine is something that I’m striving for. My husband doesn’t get off work until 10:30 some nights and then wants to watch a bit of TV to unwind. I do sleep better if I turn off social media and my computer about an hour before I want to go to bed, though. I think that my brain doesn’t turn off until my phone does. 😉

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    My night time routine consist of getting my kids to get a night time routine. I’m currently losing that battle lol. Great post as always.

  • Reply
    Brittany Putman
    January 22, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    What a cute puppy! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Kim M
    January 22, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I have been really bad about this. Mostly because I like to read before bed and I have been reading on my phone. So Im getting out a book and am going to keep the reading to book only. That might help. I also have insomnia and sleep day reversal to fight but Im willing to try! Hope Little One is back to her cheery self soon!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    The bedtime routine is something I struggle with… I’ve been trying to disconnect from technology about an hour before I go to bed, but at this point it’s more of an ideal I strive for rather than what actually happens.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    First of all, I’m glad Mina’s on the mend. But it’s so hard when there’s nothing you can do for your pup, and when they can’t tell you they’re in pain or don’t feel well. It breaks my heart. (You watched Gilmore Girls, right? Remember when Paul Anka is sick and Lorelai stays up all night with him and then starts crying about how she’s a terrible mother and it must be terrible to be a dog when you’re sick, and it’s sort of a parallel for her and Rory but also still about Paul Anka? I bawl my eyes out every time that scene comes on.)

    Second–before I moved in w/ my now-husband, ie last year, my nighttime routine was really established and it was my FAVORITE part of the day. Knightley would sleep on my bed and I’d sit at my vanity and play with my hair and do my nightly skincare routine and watch TV (usually Forensic Files :P). It was so relaxing, total down time to decompress from the day. I really, really benefited from it. Well, then I moved and had to share a bedroom (ughhhh) and I really felt like I lost that time. I could try to recreate it in the new house, but I won’t bore you with all the details about how that didn’t really work and just wasn’t the same. It was really upsetting for a while and I felt so frustrated. The nighttime routine almost became this symbol for the old life I’d “lost,” even though things were fine with my fiance and step-son, for the most part. Some time has now passed and I don’t feel as anxious/sad about it anymore, and have sort of a different routine now, but when I think about my nighttime routine from last year I feel sort of wistful and want to try to have it again. (Sorry, this is not a super happy story, but it does make me think about that even though things are all right now, I do still want to try to recreate that time again. I’m just honestly not able to recreate it when I have to share the bedroom/master bathroom and never feel like I have uninterrupted time. I could try to just do that routine in another room, but 1, I finally have the beautiful vanity where I always wanted, and a nice bathroom, and I don’t want to give those things up since they are very important to the awesomeness of The Routine. 😛 Sigh. Tricky…)

    Anyway, so yeah. I agree that a nighttime routine is a wonderful thing!

  • Reply
    Heather with WELLFITandFED
    January 22, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    My nighttime routine is everything. It is my sanity. I write out the hours of the following day and plan in detail what I want my day to look like. I check appointment schedule and blog schedule. I clean up the office, turn out the light and shut the door. (60-90 before bed) I read in bed for an hour while sniffing Lavender (not kidding). I drink bone broth (or a glass of wine on a weekend!) and then a squirt of melatonin and lights out. I am not a great sleeper, and this routine gives me the best possible chance at falling asleep more quickly and kicking off my morning with purpose.

  • Reply
    Shann Eva
    January 22, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    I think this is really smart. We have night time routines for the kids, so it makes sense that we should have them for us too. I think I’ll start working on one and see if it helps. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Karin Rambo
    January 22, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Night routines are so beneficial, but it’s hard to be consistent with them!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2016 at 2:51 am

    I have similar steps for a routine at night but the time is different every day. I really want to get better about a more consistent schedule – esp during the week!

  • Reply
    Ariel @ Keys to My Life
    January 23, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I have a lightly set night routine. It could be more solid though!

  • Reply
    Kam Kay
    January 23, 2016 at 4:13 am

    We have a night time routine in place, mainly because our 3 yr old needs to be in his bed in time. I hope your little pup feels better soon.

  • Reply
    Istvan Hetesi
    January 23, 2016 at 4:47 am

    I had a quite good night routine until now and it is very tiring when its disturbed like mine recently.I hope I can go back to mine soon 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2016 at 6:08 am

    My typical night routine consists of school and blogging and then a little reading before crawling into bed for the night.
    Nothing exciting but I have to fit it all in haha.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • Reply
    Natalija Cameron
    January 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Your little one is just so so soo adorable!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalija Cameron
    January 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I tried to subscribe to your blog but I received an error message saying it wasn’t enabled. I just thought I’d let you know.

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