Not too long ago, I was researching like a crazy woman to find out how to improve mental clarity and focus. Long story short—I tried a 30-day challenge that revolutionized how I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I’ve written about the morning routine I stuck with during those 30 days. Now, I want to tell you about my bedtime routine, which I found was just as important.
After implementing my new morning routine, centered around bringing me more mental clarity and focus, I quickly realized I need to pull my shit together with a solid bedtime routine too. For starters, I’ve heard that your morning routine actually starts the night before (damn, do we ever get a break?), and I’m here to reluctantly report—it’s true.
How to Improve Mental Clarity and Focus With Your Bedtime Routine
For starters, there’s part of my morning routine that is just easier to do if it’s already prepped. For example, I’m in no mood to make my salt and lemon water in the early morning. Turns out I’m too lazy to cut a lime before the sun rises. (Plus, the taste of mixing it fresh isn’t great either because the salt is sludgy. Gross.)
Secondly, if you’re going to get your ass up early to have such an epic morning routine, you need a good night of sleep.
This bedtime routine was instrumental to my 30-day mental clarity and focus challenge.
Here’s what my bedtime routine looks like, which doesn’t go as perfectly planned as my morning routine does, but it’s a rough outline of what I accomplish:
My Bedtime Routine: Phase 1—Prepare and Plan
8:30 pm: Prep my salt and lemon water like a boss. I boil water with my tea kettle, then pour it into one of those bottles that keeps it hot. I add in a little bit of Himalayan salt and the juice from one lemon. I leave the lid off overnight so it can cool down to a temperature just slightly above the room. It’s so perfect.
8:45 pm: Wash my face and jade roll. I keep my jade roller in the freezer, so it feels like an absolute delight when I roll it across my face.
8:55 pm: Read a book.
9:20 pm: Plan tomorrow. I go through my schedule and write out each moment of my day. I include my morning routine, all my calls, etc. I think through 3 big things I need to get done at work each day and make sure I block off space to do that. I schedule it so I don’t schedule new calls or get myself sucked into a never-ending email spiral. Planning is a big part of my routine for how to improve mental clarity and focus. If I don’t plan the night before, I sit at my desk each morning and let emails and Slack dictate what I get done that day. Not only have I been doing this nightly, but I also do larger planning sessions on Sunday evenings and the last day of the month to prep for the next month.
My Bedtime Routine: Phase 2—Reflect and Create
9:35 pm: Journal about my day. I created a template that I call Record-Keeping, and I do this nearly every day using Evernote.
9:45 pm: Write. I’ve been trying to work writing into my schedule on a daily basis for years! Sure, in the morning, my brain feels so good and fresh, but I can’t find my groove knowing I need to get some work done. So at night, I put on some noise-canceling headphones, grab a cup of dream tea, and I write my little heart out.
11:45 pm: Wrap up my writing, usually reluctantly, but I want to make sure I get enough sleep. Brush my teeth. Plug my phone in to charge in the bathroom so I have to get up to turn the alarm off. Then as I lay in bed, I think of an intention or question on my mind I want my subconscious to get to work on answering for me while I’m sleeping. I’m a fairly vivid dreamer.
Having a hard stop or bedtime plays an important role in how to improve mental clarity.
Improve Your Focus With the Right Bedtime Routine
Ideally, I don’t like that I’m writing and staring at my computer screen for a couple of hours before bed. But also, when I lay my head on my pillow to go to bed, I feel good knowing that I’m doing my life’s work, a little each day.
Maybe if I get myself a pair of blue blockers, I’ll get to be an Influencer. I know what you’re thinking too, blue blockers are biohacking 101. I just haven’t bitten the bullet yet because … my special eyesssss. I have to buy prescription ones and that’s just a big commitment, okay?
But anyway, there you have it—my bedtime routine that helps me regain mental clarity for the following day.
Obviously not everything in my routine is going to work for you, so I encourage you to tweak it to match your unique lifestyle and needs. Just make it your own—and watch it work!