Getting the Most of Your ZZZ’s
Evening Habits of Successful Integrative Health Coaches
Welcome back to my new series where I’m sharing the habits of successful Integrative Health Coaches. And today we’re talking all things evening habits! For some, winding down after a long day is hard — there never seems to be enough time to do it all! So below are evening habits of successful integrative health coaches that will hopefully inspire you!
I’m a morning person — when that alarm goes off, I’m out of bed no matter how tired I am. I love having a busy day because it helps me feel productive. Being active is something I crave, which is why I have a really hard time winding down in the evening. Once I get into bed, the lists start running through my head. I start thinking about all the things I did, didn’t do, could still do, and will have to do. My sleep is greatly effected because I wake up in a panic some nights that I am wasting my time sleeping and really should be working.
But sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our mind and body. Our brain needs sleep to function, sleep reduces inflammation in the body and helps us maintain or lose weight. It boosts our immune system to keep us healthy and improves our attention and focus. So without sleep, those lists I keep making can’t actually get done.
Starting a morning routine was hard for me because I like to get up and get out of the house quickly before I realize I am actually tired. But slowing down in the mornings helped me be more productive all day long. So I knew how important it was to start an evening routine that helped me calm down, let go of the day, and stop thinking about those damn lists. The evening routine is still not easy for me and it’s constantly changing because I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me. So below is what I am currently doing for my evening routine and I’m sharing the habits of other successful integrative health coaches. Hopefully this will inspire me to try some other things to make this a regular habit!
Early bird dinner is part of my evening routine mostly because I wake up so early in the morning. By the time 5pm rolls around, I’m starving. So my evening routine starts with a family dinner with Ryan followed by a walk with Sadie. This is usually the last time I go outside for the day and it’s an extra form of exercise. I work out in the morning because I have more energy and it wakes me up, but a stroll after dinner has many health benefits. Some include helping aid in digestion, improves muscle strength, relaxes and tires out the body, improves sleep by helping the body tire your muscles and digest your food so you don’t have indigestion, heartburn or stress.
After a family stroll I love getting in my infrared sauna for 30 minutes. Why do I love sweating at night? The infrared sauna seriously helps me relax. For 30–45 minutes I can do nothing but just sit. There’s no scrolling, no catching up on email, no blog posts to write. I just turn on the television and sweat. This helps reduce any stress or anxiety that I may have because I am not thinking or engaging with any of my work. As long as I don’t get out of the sauna and immediately check my phone, I can stay pretty relaxed and calm after a sweat session.
Here’s where things get tricky
So then what? I get out of the sauna, rinse off in a cold shower to close my pores so no toxins can get in after I just sweat them out and then I get into bed. But my mind doesn’t turn off. It’s not like I’m opening my computer late at night trying to work. But I really just can’t get into a a habit of then going to sleep. Recently I have started to turn off my television when I’m going to sleep so the bright lights don’t trick my brain into thinking it’s still day time. And when I am having trouble falling asleep, I dim the backlight on the television if I want to turn it on for some background noise so my room is darker.
I’ve tried chamomile tea, turmeric lattes, and most recently valerian root. I am always in bed at the same time and try to fall asleep by 10pm so consistency isn’t the issue in my nightly routine. And trust me, my days are jam packed with fun things to do that exhaust me. So now it’s just up to me to find a routine that works for my mind and body. At the end of the day, I still can get up at the same time every single day and go through my morning routine. So I am not sabotaging my days by not having a clear nightly routine. But it would feel better to have a schedule and be organized about how and when I fall asleep, just as I have that for when I wake up!
Leslie McDonald // Instagram
Leslie McDonald is a certified health coach, reiki practitioner and entrepreneur. She provides meal prep for individuals and families so they can stay healthy no matter how busy they are. She promotes health and wellness in all areas (body, mind and soul).
Currently I drink Four Sigmatic Reishi tea, when I remember, about an hour before bed. I feel like this really calms my body and my mind and sets me up for a restful night’s sleep. If I’m finding myself extra anxious and lying in bed wide awake, I take a few droppers of Charlotte’s Web CBD oil, and that usually does the trick. Because I am often waking up between 4–5am to see personal training clients, I have to be in bed at 8–9pm to get a full 8 hours, which has been a big struggle for me.
As an entrepreneur, I’m often working on my laptop or phone right up to the minute I should be in bed (even though as a health coach, I know better)! Ideally, I would love to have a bedtime ritual, involving being off all technology for at least an hour, meditating, breathing exercises, and some light reading. I’ve also been meaning to get black out curtains to help block out artificial outdoor light, which can really disrupt your sleep.
Amanda Carneiro // Instagram
My nightly routine is fairly simple, and the MOST important part of it is that I get to bed at a consistent time. While I don’t have to arrive to my day job until roughly 10 AM, getting a solid 8 hours of sleep each night ensures that I feel rested enough to get through my long and busy days! While everyone has different sleep patterns and requires a differing amount of sleep for their body and lifestyle, I’ve found that 8 hours is my sweet spot, so I try to dutifully tuck myself into bed by 11:00 PM each night.
Before tucking in, I typically follow the same routine:
First, I always wash my hands. It may sound odd, but there’s something really refreshing about having fresh, clean hands before I move on to washing my face or brushing my teeth. After brushing my teeth, I also use my tongue scraper. Tongue scraping is a great way to get rid of toxins and bacteria on the surface of the tongue, and is even said to boost immunity.
Skincare as part of my nightly routine
In the way of my nightly skin routine, I’m all about simplicity and really like washing with a light cleanser, so I typically use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser or my absolute favorite Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Then I moisturize! Growing up, I always watched my Nana thoroughly moisturize every night before bed, and she had amazing skin, so I try to be diligent about it!! I like using a rich cream before bed, something that my skin can really drink up, but something that doesn’t feel greasy or overly heavy.
My go-to right now is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer, or my Rodin Olio Lusso facial oil. Because Rodin is really pricey, I only use it on certain nights when I really want to pamper myself. Finally, I spray my whole face with Pratima’s Rose Replenishing Mist. It was given to me as a gift, but I’ll definitely be buying more as soon as it runs out! The smell immediately makes me feel relaxed and ready to rest my body and mind for the night
Then, on my way to bed, I grab a tall glass of water, so it’s waiting for me on my bedside table first thing in the morning!!
Finally, before drifting off, I write in my Five Minute Journal. I started using it a few months ago, and although I recently came back to it from a hiatus (during vacation), I have found that incorporating it into my daily routine, in the morning and at night, has allowed me to express gratitude regularly, constructively asses the successes or difficulties of each day, and go to bed with a clear vision of where I am now and where I want to be. It’s a great way to start and end each day with positivity, inspiration and gratitude.
Micole is an aspiring health coach. Her passions are food, writing and photography, and her happy place is the where all three of those passions intersect. She desires nothing more than to share with others all that she has learned on her personal journey to a more balanced, nutritious and joy filled life, as well as the delicious recipes she dreams up in her free time. Her blog, Micole’s Meals, is still under construction, but in the meantime you can find her recipes, images and thoughts on her Instagram @micole_r, as well as her website www.micolerondinone.com.
I have a good morning routine, but I can’t say the same about my evening routine. The past few months my evenings have been jam packed and I have not developed a true routine. As a Health Coach, I am not proud to admit that, but I’m only human and I am certainly working on it!
In the past I binge watched intense action and violent shows before bed, and then would struggle to fall asleep. This was not the greatest idea, for obvious reasons. It kept me wired and restless most of the night. One thing that did used to help me was falling asleep to relaxing Sleep Sound noises.
Currently, I usually end up eating dinner, watching a lighter TV show with my boyfriend, doing some work, checking in with my social media, taking my supplements, showering/washing my face, and brushing my teeth/tongue scraping. I make sure to give myself some time to digest my dinner before bed and slow down on drinking water.
I have not had much trouble falling and staying asleep lately. Because of this I haven’t been craving a wind down routine. If there comes a time when I am having trouble falling asleep, I will change up my routine by adding in some journaling, meditating, deep breathing, maybe a bath, something to quiet my mind and calm my body down. I would love to learn more about what other Health Coaches do before bed to try on myself!
Danielle Tamburro // Instagram
Danielle is a dancer with SPDance, a community outreach dance company and an Instructor at The Bar Method Soho. She is currently enrolled in IIN and has found a new passion for nutrition and wellness and can’t wait to share with others. Follow her journey http://www.thelittlebitty.com/
I’m all about keeping it really simple at night and trying to turn off my brain to truly wind down from the day. Here’s my mental check-list, in bullet points, that I go through most every night!
- Phone Detox by 8pm, I plug in my iPhone to charge in the far corner of the living room, literally tucking it away to sleep for the evening. Adios world!
- Comfy Pajamas
- Get Ready for Bed: By 9pm I wash face my face, moisturize and brush my teeth, with products approved by the Environmental Working Group app
- Magnesium: I try to take magnesium drops 1–2 hours before bed. They’re magic for mitigating the stress cycle and they help lull you to sleep like a baby.
- Netflix & Chill: I watch shows with my boyfriend or read a book on my kindle or with a low light on in the bedroom. I used to “not let myself” watch TV a few years ago, but lately I’ve found it allows me to relax, which ironically helped heal my adrenal fatigue (!)
- Blackout curtains: I swear by ultimate darkness, especially living in NYC, and a very cool room with extra blankets.
- Earplugs: I have a highly sensitive nervous system and earplugs allow me to tune out the world and go to sleep in a cocoon-like, womb-like state.
- Casper King Bed: We swear by our big bed, I can’t even feel my boyfriend roll over in the middle of the night.
- Catch the Sleep Bus: I use this analogy with my health coaching clients. Try to catch the first sleep bus of the evening, as they come in circadian rhythms every 90 minutes. Sleepy by 9:30pm? Try to go to bed then, because the next sleep bus might not come until around 11pm! And the next at 12:30pm!
- Goodnight Kiss and I Love You ❤
Then I aim for 8+ hours of sleep and wake-up to an old fashioned alarm in the morning (no iPhone alarm people!).
Michelle Cady // Instagram
Michelle Cady is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the founder of FitVista. She works 1–1 with driven, high-achieving clients to optimize their nutrition, fitness and wellness, with a focus on stress-management and self-care.
- Dinner time with Ben is very important to me. Our goal is 4–5 days at home p/week. We typically sit down for dinner before 7p and have the dishes done, lunch leftovers stored, and the kitchen cleaned up by 8/8:30p. I do most of the cooking and he helps with the cleaning…most of the time 😉 I can’t enjoy the rest of the night without a clean kitchen! 9p is my cutoff for electronics. Give or take, of course! It’s great to be able to work from home most days of the week, but when your kitchen table serves as both a wind down hub and full service office, it’s hard to get that computer away and work off the brain at times. I do my best though.
- Hubs LOVES TV and will plop down on the sofa most nights of the week to wind down. He’s the hermit, I’m the social butterfly. That being said, I have become a big fan of British detectives shows thanks to him. BUT, I’m a bigger fan of quiet nights. At least 3 nights per week, the Netflix is off and we either take a long walk in the neighborhood, read/listen to music, or Ben plays the guitar. We’re out with friends at least once or twice a week as well.
- Because every day is so different for me, it’s really important that I keep track of what needs to get done the following morning. I’ve never been good with to-do lists, so this has been an ongoing challenge, but I know if I keep even just a short note in my iPhone with the must do’s for the next day, I’m much more calm going to bed and those are the nights I typically sleep all the way through.
- I can’t remember the last time I went to bed without checking this box of the routine. I’m a huge fan of Laurel Plant Organics and Tata Harper. My skin has never felt better! Floss and proper teeth cleaning is always a must too, of course.
- I’m in bed and typically asleep by 10:30p most evenings, even weekends! I’ve been called grandma my entire life and haven’t cared one bit 🙂 Ben makes it to bed with me 90% of the time. Routine is important to him as well. I try and read in bed to calm my busy brain, but I don’t usually get beyond a few pages. I’m a good sleeper though and need my 8 hours!
Lauren Wingent // Instagram
Lauren Wingent is the Founder of 80/20 Wellness, a corporate wellness practice that serves a wide range of organizations worldwide. She also owns a Juice Plus franchise and has attracted a team of like-minded entrepreneurs and people passionate about healthy living and sustainability.
As an aspiring health coach, I know I should have some sort of unwind routine, in which I leave cell phones in the other room, turn off all lights except my salt lamp, and diffuse something peaceful. Well, for the most part this is true. I do turn on my lamp but I forget to diffuse sometimes and I always have my cell phone in my bed/near my bed. You see, my day job requires me to be on call. SOOOO this means my sleep suffers the weeks I’m on call and I am so use to having my phone right next to me. I often watch something on Netflix before I go to sleep or on my TV in my living room. I get sleepy enough and pass out in my bed with one or both of my cats. But they typically wake me up around midnight or 3am.
Is this good or bad? It’s neither. This is just my reality right now and it’s something I’m use to because it’s part of my job. It’s not negotiable but I can take my power back by trying to unwind before I hit the sheets. Lately, despite living in California, I try to take a soothing bath. I’ll sit in a nice tub full of water and relax: sometimes I’ll meditate, sometimes I’ll scroll social media. Regardless, I try to find a few minutes for me at the end of each day. By no means is my routine amazing or even inspirational. It’s just average. This is an area I know I can work on but I recognize the ways in which I can work on it.
Somethings that do work for me despite my poor routine: My salt lamp does make a world of difference, as does diffusing some lovely peaceful or serene oil. I love the way my room smells. I don’t know about you but I love cold sheets. It’s not super cold in my apartment so I leave fans on all night to help keep me cool and full of slumber.
Planning for the future…
As a future health coach, I know a routine before bed would create some extra deep slumber so I’m challenging myself to try to complete 15 minutes of nighttime yoga, to diffuse oil, and to get off my phone 30 minutes before bed. I’m into experimenting with new and different ways to get myself into a deep slumber so we’ll see what this next month brings for me!
Victoria Verlezza // Instagram
Victoria is a passionate and driven human who loves all things wellness, balance, and holistic health. I am a current IIN student but also a full time professional and Beautycounter consultant on the side. I love practicing yoga, eating amazing food, and hanging out with my two amazing cats. Check her out at: https://www.authenticallynourishedvee.com/
Originally published at www.balancedlife-leslie.com on September 10, 2017.