B051: How to Set a Bedtime Ritual That’ll Help You Chill Out

By March 1, 2019March 6th, 2019The Simplifiers Podcast

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I want to talk about how to set a bedtime ritual that’ll help you chill out. And I couldn’t think of a more perfect person to help us with this topic than my own daughter, the queen of sleep, Miss Zoe (10).

In the episode earlier this week, I spoke with Carly Pollack, all about how to make sleep part of your ‘non-negotiable’ self-care practice. Which got me thinking about how kids have such great nighttime routines, why don’t us adults have them, too??

In this episode, Zoe teaches us about what’s working for her these days, and answers her Mum’s questions…


1. Zoe, what are some of your favorite night-time rituals as a kid?

I definitely like to have a bath before. Not really a shower, but sometimes I do have a shower anyway.

Oh, and bath bombs, right?

Yes. Bath bombs.

Yeah. What else?

And it’s really important for me to read books with my parents and my brother, and by myself because they give me (like) something to think about as I drift off to sleep.

Which sounds like complete bonkers nonsense. But it’s honestly not. And it just seems to get you thinking about something, something different than (like) the stressors of the day.

Right. What about things like dimming the lights because we do that as well?

Yeah, definitely getting it dark so you’re not like looking at bright lights and it just definitely helps your brain calm down at bed.

Now your Daddy, my husband, he likes to keep our bedroom about the temperature of a fridge. I mean it’s like freezing vampires style in our room, but I heard that’s actually good for you, and sleep. Do you like it super cold or you do you like it warm in here?

I don’t really like it really warm cause then it gets all sweaty and sticky.

But it is nice to have a kind of warm kind of cold, like not as warm as usual in the house, but five degrees colder than that.

Yeah. So you get to snuggle down in the blankets.

2. How do you feel when you’ve gotten a great night’s sleep, the night before?

It kind of depends because sometimes I lose track of time when I’m reading books by myself. So, (um), sometimes I don’t make up for that sleep time, so that kind of doesn’t really affect me too much. But sometimes it just like makes me snap.

Yeah. But when you’ve gotten a good night’s rest, how do you feel?

Where I don’t wake up? (well obviously I wake up, but not in the night.) Um, I just feel more prepared and ready for the day…

3. What about when you DON’T get a great night’s sleep?

It honestly doesn’t really affect me as much as it does some people.

4. What am I like when I don’t get good sleep, as your parent?

You’re like [Zoe does a funny impression of her Mum], I’m just kidding. Sometimes you’re a bit more grouchy.

You’re very kind. I’m very grouchy when I don’t sleep in the morning like ‘COFFEE’ [Mary’s animated voice pretending to shout].

Like, ‘Okay, everyone upstairs now, everyone downstairs now’ [Zoe’s animated voice]

Yeah. I turned into a bit of a drill sergeant. Well, I’d like to think that I’m not bossy. I’m just very direct.

Drill sergeant [Zoe’s voice]

5. How early do you start your bedtime ritual every night?

Well, we try to keep it around 8:30 go upstairs. But sometimes it just gets so muddled up.

But when we do say 8:30pm go upstairs, that’s when we all as a family vow to shut off all electronics, right?


So yeah, no videos, no TV, no phones, no nothing. And just snuggle down, read stories and start the ritual.

And then we usually start going to our own rooms, well most of us anyway, at about 9:30pm.

Now granted you guys are 8 and 10 at the time of recording this.

Mary’s lowdown

If you have younger kids, you’ll probably want to shift those bedtimes a little bit earlier. And if you have older kids, wiggle as to what fits best with your life.

And if you don’t have kids at all, I think that there’s importance in knowing that if you go to bed at the same time consistently every single night–even the weekends–that really helps your mental health on the long run.

If you love hearing Zoe’s point of view, make sure to listen back to episode B023, where she also shares her top tips on how to bring the fun back into your life… the SIMPLE way.


And just one final whisper, just from me to you, dear friend… come in closer.

If you’re like me, by the time you get the kids down to sleep at night, you’re totally tempted to open up the laptop and flick open your inbox to clear out a few emails.

Resist this temptation.

If your clients receive an email from you at 10pm at night, you’re sending off the wrong signals to them…

They’ll think one of two things:

  1. Huh, she’s still at work? She’s not very good at time management and must be swamped
  2. Whoa, she’s still awake? Well, I’ll just email her one or two more things now! (this means you’ve trained them to believe that it’s okay for them to email you super late at night in the future… bad news bears.)

If you simply must check your email at night, use a tool like Boomerang, and schedule it to land in their inbox first thing in the morning, during regular office hours.

Otherwise, avoid work and email at all costs when you’re not officially at work.

Remember, the very best you that you give your clients is one that knows when to have work time, exercise time, play time and yes, good quality sleep time. That’s the secret to get back to thriving.

Don’t get stuck in the work zone for too long and risk burning out.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

If this thought of the day inspired you…

Snap a photo of you doing the thing and send it to me via Instagram, privately or publicly… Just tag @thesimplifiers –  I’ll be your virtual accountability buddy in your quest to simplify your life.

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As always friends, keep things simple.

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