5 Eveningtide Rituals
I recently was babysitting a nine year old and after dinner we started reading a book about sleep. She has trouble sleeping, and so the book was helping her figure out how to create a healthy and helpful evening structure to help her fall asleep and stay asleep.
I’m 27 and take my own sleep fairly seriously. The only regret I have about my university years was not sleeping more (and not eating better). Sundays naps are a real thing, and a gift from God.
I need a solid 8-9 hours a night. I can function on 7, but several nights in a row with 7 or less and I’m full on witching and twitching all day. I think I’m a highly sensitive person, and sleep really impacts my ability to function and be my best. So I try to have a structured approach to bedtime, grateful that my mom instilled this in our home throughout my entire childhood.
I don’t do this perfectly at all but here are some things that help me:
1. I bought a real alarm clock
It’s from Canadian Tire and cost $12. My phone charges in the kitchen every night so if I wake up in the middle of the night I don’t check it. The urge to scroll and decompress on Instagram is real. And it’s okay for a bit, but also my brain and heart need a screen break, especially before I sleep.
As B and I prep for marriage and figure out new #familygoals, we will be talking about how we handle tech and we may consider storing all electronics in one room to charge for the night and not be on them after a certain time of day. Also I need to read The Techwise Family by Andy Crouch and good tech habits.
2. I shower at night
Going to bed feeling clean is incredibly refreshing. And spending time getting ready for bed in the bathroom: showering, moisturizing, brushing teeth, etc. is part of my decompressing time before I sleep. Thankfully B does this too. I wake up feeling ready for the day (thankfully my hair is super low maintenance), and don’t need caffeine or hot water to wake me up. This is rare, I know.
3. I read
I try to read part of a book before bed. Usually it ends of being my book club book, but recently I’ve been diving into Placemaker by Christie Purifoy and it’s been incredible. Here’s the about:
Weaving together her family’s journey with stories of botanical marvels and the histories of the flawed yet inspiring placemakers who shaped the land generations ago, Christie calls us to cultivate orchards and communities, to clap our hands along with the trees of the fields. Placemaker is a timely yet timeless reminder that the cultivation of good and beautiful places is not a retreat from the real world but a holy pursuit of a world that is more real than we know. A call to tend the soul, the land, and the places we share with one another. A reminder that we are always headed home.
I’m reading and learning more about the idea of home. I’ve always longed to feel rooted, secure, and stable. A feeling that’s normal I know. But I’m expanding that to consider how I can create a space or place that welcomes others in to help them experience peace and joy and refreshment. It’s more than hospitality–it’s placemaking.
4. I make my bed every morning
I cannot get into a messy bed with the sheets and covers all over the place. Every morning before I get dressed and ready for the day, I make my bed and fold all the sheets down so it’s ready to crawl into in the evening. If we cannot be faithful with the small things (bedmaking), will we be faithful with the large things (people, God’s kingdom, loving others)?
Also a freshly made bed looks so beautiful and brings me joy. So, that’s something.
5. Sometimes I throw my clothes on the floor
Shocker, right? If I have energy, I put them away. But if I don’t, the floor is where they go. It’s always the same spot too. Anyone else do this? When I’m tired and need to sleep, I need to do what I can and leave the rest to the next morning. I love tidying up and cleaning but I have much more motivation to do it in the morning than at night.
How do you sleep best? Decompress? Would love to hear what helps you!