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Episode 31: Creating a Nighttime Ritual

Description: This week, Dr. Boogren emphasizes the importance of a nighttime ritual and suggests steps to help you curate better, healthier sleep.


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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode 31 of season two of Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren. Before we get started, I want to remind you that we have ... You know, this makes me so happy. And so, I'm going to keep talking about it. I'm going to keep sharing. We're going to link everywhere to how you go find all the goodies. It's a site. So, you're just going to go to You've got to use that link. So and you're going to find the stickers and the magnets and the journals and the hoodies and the t-shirts. And, it's oh so fun. And, oh my gosh, good. Treat yourself. Buy a little gift for your colleague. Oh my gosh. It's making me so happy to see the pictures starting to roll in of your stickers on your computers and your water bottles and your tote bags. And, you're wearing the t-shirts and my heart is just exploding. So, you asked for it, and we got it. Now onto today's episode.

Today. I want us to revisit our sleep routines. It's kind of is a theme I realized with myself of thinking about rest and sacred rest and kind of informal rest and formal rest. Today I want to get real specific and think about your bedtime routine. And, the reason I want you to think about it is because it's something that I've been thinking about. Remember, I definitely walk beside you on this journey. I am not preaching from the top of a mountain top. I am still learning this myself. And, I've just been reminded again of the importance of having a sleep routine. Those of you that are parents, you know, how important it is to have a sleep routine for your children. Right? So, they get used to when we do X, it means we start moving towards Y. Like just, you've got all of the things in place and it kind of changes is that age has changed. But, I think it's something we get away from as adults, and that gets us into trouble.

There's so many things that add up to this, you know, you've heard me talk about decision fatigue, and most of us were we're in the depths of decision fatigue, especially at night. And, remember what happens is when we reach that place of decision fatigue, which is when we make choices and decisions, our brain gets tired. What happens is their brain starts seeking shortcuts and shortcut number one is to do nothing. It's the ultimate energy saver to do nothing. And, the second shortcut is to act impulsively. We do things without really thinking through the consequences. And, I think for a lot of us, myself included at night, what happens when you reached decision fatigue that shortcut of doing nothing comes in that the exam doll I often give for this, that I chuckle about, but it's the truth is that idea of, you know, what's easier than going to bed? Not going to bed.

We've all had that experience. Sitting on the couch thinking, I need to go to bed, but the thought of actually getting up and doing all the things it takes to go to bed means that we don't. And, we just sit there and we watch episode after episode of whatever show it is on Netflix until then all of a sudden we've messed up our sleep completely. Oh, I think the way to conquer this is to get a very sacred nighttime routine and ritual in place. Many of you have worked on or are working towards, or have nailed your morning routine. And, just as essential as our morning routine is our evening routine. So, sit down with a piece of paper. That's what I do. Maybe you're going to do a Google Doc. You are going to just think through it. But, I sit down with my journal and think this through like, Back up. Okay. What time do you need to get up? And in order to get those seven to eight sacred hours of sleep, where do you need to start winding down?

So, remember you don't start brushing your teeth and washing your face when you need to actually be sleeping. If you need to be in bed at 10 o'clock maybe at 9 o'clock is when you set an alarm to nudge yourself, to go make sure that your teeth are brushed. Go wash your face. Get your jammies on. Start turning screens off. Start dimming the lights. Maybe you take a bath. Maybe you drink herbal non-caffeinated tea. Whatever it is that you need to do to start getting yourself in that mindset. We need to kind of wind down just like in the morning, we kind of have to rev up, right? This is why it takes me so long to get ready in the morning. I got a lot of rev up time that I need in the morning. Right? Jump out of bed at night, we need that kind of wind down time. So thinking about how are you going to remind yourself of that nudge?

I think what I said earlier, I hold true to this set an alarm. The alarm goes off on your phone, and it's like, Yep. Okay. It's time for me to shift into thinking about night-time mode. Maybe you're doing this alongside your kids. Maybe this is just something you do on your own. You got to figure this out. Maybe you're on a different schedule than your partner and that's okay. You got to own it. And, you got to make it work for you. If you need your partner to make sure that they're watching TV in a different room so it's not in your room. Ask for that. Advocate for that. Try it out. We know the importance of sleep. I mean, it just, we can not stress this enough. You know, I always say our level one needs, which are physiological needs or our physical needs are the most essential. And, I oftentimes break this down into thinking about the doozies of our food routines, our movement, routines, and sleep. And, when people ask, like where. And thinking of those, I always say, start with sleep. I know for me personally, if my sleep is out of control or something's not working there, it, everything else it's like dominoes. Everything else starts to fall apart.

I make terrible food choices. I just want caffeine and sugar. I certainly don't feel like exercising, and it's just this vicious cycle. So, getting my sleep ... I am sleep zealot now. And, sometimes my brain and my body works against me, but I do everything in my power to get my sleep under control. And, when it's gotten out of control, that's when I know that my bedtime ritual or routine has kind of, it slipped for whatever reason and different things can throw it off. Just a change in schedule. Been on vacation recently that threw everything off. I'm like getting back into my old routines, like try and remember how things work. But, I know that when I prioritize this and I take it seriously, and I commit to it ... For me, what my nighttime ritual looks like is kind of what I just shared. I always make sure that I brush my teeth and wash my face right after dinner. So, sometimes it's actually really early. Because, that's usually that stopping point for me. I'm like, oh, I just don't feel like washing my face. So, when I'm getting up front from demeanor, it's kind of my clue that I'm done eating.

So, I go brush my teeth, wash my face, get the jammies on. Right? And then, I back up whatever time. And for me, my bedtime changes all the time. Because different time zones, different cities ... But, when I know what time I need to wake up, and it is essential to me that I get, and for me, I like to get closer to eight or nine hours of sleep if I possibly can. It's not always possible, but if I can. And so, you know, if I need to be in bed by eight o'clock, then at seven o'clock, that's my nudge to start kind of winding things down. I turned the TV off. I put the phone away. This is where I pick up my book and I read, I really just need my brain to kind of unwind and relax. Sometimes I'll do some journaling in the evening and might have some tea. You got to kind of figure out what your routine is, but that's what I want us to tackle this week.

That nighttime routine, as always, I'd love. If you jump over to the Facebook group and kind of share, we can get ideas from one another. What can help us really make sure that we are getting those sacred seven to eight to nine hours of sleep every single night. Awesome.

As always, a huge thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for this amazing job I get to do, even though it puts me in a lot of different time zones with a lot of different wake up calls. And, my bad-ass self care squad. I'm so grateful for you, and I want you to feel amazing, which means we got to sleep. We've got to get a nighttime ritual. We've got to hold true to it. And, don't forget to jump on over to that, and treat yourself. Have an amazing week.

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