Cited in glo.msn – Nighttime Rituals that Will Improve Your Day

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 8.28.25 AMmsftThis is a great post by Paige Brettingen about nighttime rituals that will improve your day. It is packed full of useful tips to make the most of your evening rituals. Here were a few of my suggestions that I have found make a big difference in the next day.

Power Down

Just as you have a morning routine to wake up (making coffee, exercising, showering), it’s just as crucial to have a routine for winding down. For starters, shut down all electronics 60 minutes before bed, says Dr. Alicia Clark, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The reason? The brightness of electronic screens simulates the blue light of dawn and turns off your serotonin, the neurotransmitter that induces sleep.

Fully Prepared

As Clark notes, anything you can do in the evening to prepare for a hassle-free morning is time well spent. In addition to having your outfit already chosen and the coffee maker set, locate anything else you’ll need (like your keys and the garage opener) and set them by the door. Also, keep a small notebook or pad of paper and pen on your nightstand. If you remember something you need to do, it’s better to jot it down than to pull out your smartphone (see number 3: “Shut down all electronics 60 minutes before bed”).

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD