How Taking One Screen Free Hour Before Bed has Changed my Life
Long time, no post. I’m taking my qualifying exams in less than two weeks (!!) so life is nuts, to say the least. I’ve been doing a pretty good job at staying on top of most things but blogging has, unfortunately, had to take the back burner. One habit that has been absolutely critical over the past couple of months has been taking a screen-free hour before I go to bed. I wrote about the benefits of this practice in my “Taking Sleep Seriously” post a while ago. I had gotten out of the habit for a while (Netflix will be my downfall) but I refound it this semester and it’s been amazing. While my first post focused on a developing a more luxurious bedtime routine, filled with face massages, warm showers, and coloring books, this post focuses on things that you can do before bed to make your mornings less hectic. While taking either version of the “screen-free hour” makes a HUGE difference in my quality of sleep, using the time to prepare for the next day has been more useful for me during this busy semester. I’m pretty useless by the end of the day so it’s great time to take care of practical things that aren’t mentally taxing but set me up to hit the ground running in the morning. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I usually wake up at 6 and aim to leave for campus between 7 and 715. Taking this hour before bed to get things in order allows me wake up, get the kinks out, make some breakfast, eat, and get out on time without a huge hassle. Such a lifesaver.
Some things that I do with my screen-free hour:
- Clean the kitchen. I LOVE waking up to clean cooking space so that I’m able to get started on breakfast right away.
- Pack my lunch for the next day. It’s amazing how indecisive I am in the mornings. Choosing what leftovers I should put in a bowl turns into a whole dramatic event. Better to do it at night when I have my head on my shoulders.
- Fill my water bottle and sit it by my bed. I’m terrible with drinking water throughout the day so I try to wake up first thing and guzzle down a 32oz Nalgene full of aqua before I do anything else.
- Pack for the gym / choose my outfit for the next day. Again, I’m super indecisive and also not the most fashion savvy so I have a way higher chance of looking half-way put together if I decide on an outfit at night.
- Catch up on audiobooks or podcasts. The great thing about this is that you can do this while doing all this other stuff. Bang for your buck!
- Tidy my room. I’m very spatially sensitive so waking up to a semi-organized space can make a world of difference for my day. I don’t do anything major, just enough to make me feel like I’m in control and set a positive tone for the day to come.
For more leisure/self-care oriented ideas for a screen-free hour, check out this post.
If you haven’t already tried it, I HIGHLY encourage you to take a week of practicing a pre-bedtime screen free hour. It can make such a huge difference in your quality of sleep and your quality of morning.