Night Moves: Setting yourself up for a high performance morning

The real secret to a high performance morning is the night before.  As a follow up to the blog about Morning Routines of high performers, here are some compelling night routines that will help you jump start the day:

No Phone before bed: Studies have shown that using phone, ipad or computer before bed will prevent our brains from releasing melatonin which tells our brain its nighttime, making it harder for our brains to relax and go to sleep. Putting the phone on airplane mode an hour before bed will reduce anxiety, and increase ease of sleep.

Yikes, this is a tough one.  I don’t know about you,but checking my emails one last time before bed is a nightly habit. 

Wash your face-Sometimes after a long day of working, this can be easier said then done, but you don’t have to be a expert to know that leaving make up on your face overnight, can’t be great for your skin.  Plus, waking up with a fresh, hydrated face feels amazing. But if you still need convincing, here are some expert opinions-

Dermatologist Macrene Renee Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, PhD.  “When you sleep with makeup clogging the pores, the bacteria proliferate overnight. Pollutants and other bacteria adhere to the makeup and further add stress and damage to the skin. Leaving makeup on overnight can exacerbate breakouts and worsen the skin aging process.”

Harold Lancer, MD, the Los Angeles dermatologist who takes care of Kim Kardashian’s selfie-ready skin, recommends using an aloe based wipe when on-the-go “ [My clients] usually want just a quick wipe-down until they get a thorough cleansing.” as told to Elle magazine.

No TV before bed- For many people, watching TV before bed seems like a great way to shut off the brain and just relax. Watching TV increases what psychologists call cognitive arousal, the feeling of being wired and ready to do more. In fact, in the new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, says binge-watching TV was linked to significantly poorer sleep. And then there’s those blue wavelengths of light from the screens can affect the brain regions that govern circadian rhythm, in part by suppressing melatonin secretion.

Last month I got addicted to watching The Looming Tower before bed and woke up every morning not feeling as refreshed as normal.  As soon as I switched back to books before bed, my good sleep and good morning moods returned.  Try reading for a week and see if you notice the difference.

Make a Plan– Creating your task list for the next day will help you wake up without having to think about your plan. You can take it a step further and decide what you’re going to wear, prep your coffee & breakfast, decide on your workout.  You’ll go to bed with excitement for the next day and feeling like you ended the day with some accomplishments.

Whatever your routine may be, if you’re focused on maximizing the 24 hours in a day, its good to have one.