Night routine ideas

14 Best Night Routines to Help You Sleep Better

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You've probably heard about daily morning rituals to help set you up for success, but what about daily night routines? When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, the various habits that we engage in before bedtime — otherwise known as sleep hygiene — can have a significant impact on both the quality and quantity of your rest. In fact, our sleep is more like a dimmer knob and not a light switch you can flip on or off, notes Britney Blair, PsyD, CBSM, AASECT, a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified behavioral sleep medicine specialist. (Dr. Blair is also the co-founder and Chief Science Officer of a leading sexual wellness app called Lover.) For this reason, it's important to have a consistent nighttime routine in which you allow yourself at least an hour before bedtime to begin winding down. "In an hour to hour and a half prior to bedtime, the golden rule is do something that's relaxing for the body and calming for the mind," says Dr. Blair.

To help you find some relaxing activities to add to your bedtime routine, we consulted Dr. Blair as well as Chris Winter, MD, neurologist, board-certified sleep medicine specialist, and author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It, to identify some of the best bedtime habits you can engage in before hitting the hay each night. Whether you favor a cup of tea while soaking in a warm bath or simply a good book, here are 14 healthy nighttime habits that will help you get a good night's rest — and will allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle each morning with ease.


Set Your Alarm

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Setting your alarm might be the one thing that's already in your daily bedtime routine, but what's most important is that you're setting it to the same time every day — even on weekends when you might be tempted to sleep in. "The single best thing anyone can do for healthy sleep, is choose a time in the morning and get up at that time every single day," says Dr. Blair. Not only does this help make the timing of you getting sleepy consistent, it'll also help you sleep better in the long run, too.

RELATED: 9 Best Alarm Clocks to Actually Wake You Up Each Morning


Put Away the Screens

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There's a reason why we hear again and again to put away the screens at bedtime: Blue light emitted from screens negatively impacts our production of melatonin, the body's natural sleep-inducing hormone, thereby disrupting our sleep. "In the evening, we don't want light that interferes with our body's secretion of melatonin," explains Dr. Winter.

If you absolutely have to use your phone or tablet at night, Dr. Winter recommends turning on "night shift" or a similar dimming feature — or even trying some glasses designed to block blue light.


Dim Your Lights

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Since light affects our melatonin production, it can be especially difficult in modern times for our bodies to get the natural cues to go to sleep. That's why Dr. Winter recommends installing light dimmer switches to create a kind of "artificial sunset" in your home, mimicking the level of natural light outside as it gets darker. "The best thing you can do to increase melatonin production is get as much light as you can during the day, and then after dusk, keeping your lights as dim as possible," adds Dr. Blair.


Drink a Cup of Tea

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Craving something to sip on before bed? Skip the alcoholic nightcap — which can actually disrupt your sleep — and go for a relaxing cup of un-caffeinated tea instead. Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute, recommends chamomile tea in particular, which has been found to help with symptoms of anxiety. "A soothing cup of warm, chamomile tea may be just the thing you need to relax after a long day," she says.

RELATED: 6 Sleep Teas People Swear by for Total Relaxation



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When it comes to simple rituals to do before bed, putting aside a few minutes to meditate each night can be immensely beneficial to help calm your mind in preparation for sleep. If you don't exactly know where to start, try out some guided meditations or a meditation app — or if meditation isn't really your thing, try any sort of quiet activity such as prayer or devotions reading, as Dr. Winter recommends. "It'll help you kind of settle your mind and quiet your thinking — and all of those things are fantastic for right before you go to bed," he says.


Take a Warm Bath

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A warm bath or shower about an hour or two before bedtime can do wonders to help you relax in time for bed — especially since it lowers your body temperature to help facilitate the body’s natural flow into sleep. "Heating up your body and then letting it cool naturally is a real good trigger for sleep," says Dr. Winter.

However, you should avoid taking a hot bath or shower, as Dr. Blair notes, as this can actually make your body take longer to go into deep sleep. "If we think about evolution, the core body temperature being elevated was a sign of two things in the wild — one, you have an infection, or two, you're laying too close to the fire," she explains.


Listen to Music

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Since the key to preparing for sleep is to do something that's "relaxing for the body and calming for the mind," spending some time listening to music is a great activity to add to your daily bedtime ritual — provided that the music you're listening to is personally relaxing for you. If you find that music amps you up too much, try listening to some calming nature sounds — or even some white noise to help you drift off to peaceful sleep.

RELATED: 10 Best Sleep Apps to Download in 2020, According to Experts


Read a Book

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Prefer a more engaging activity to do before bed? Try unwinding each night by curling up with a good book — but try to avoid any exciting page-turners that might keep you up. You should also go for a traditional paper book instead of a digital one, as light-emitting e-readers have been shown to negatively affect your sleep (though those that don't emit light should be fine). Or if you prefer to listen to a story instead, try out an audiobook.

RELATED: The 35 Best Books of 2020 to Add to Your Reading List ASAP


Eat a Light Snack

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It's best to avoid heavy meals or sugary snacks in the two to three hours before bed (certainly avoid caffeine and alcohol), as indigestion can disrupt your sleep — but it also doesn't help to go to bed hungry, says Dr. Winter, as a rumbling stomach can keep you up, too. If you're craving a nighttime nibble, go for a healthy, light snack like a handful of nuts, which Sassos notes as having high levels of melatonin (especially pistachios!) to help you get to sleep.

RELATED: 17 Sneaky Foods That Make You Sleepy


Watch TV

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Watching TV can be another relaxing activity prior to bedtime — and though you should avoid using screens at night because of exposure to blue light, television screens are okay as it isn't typically bright enough to affect your body's melatonin production. In terms of the content you're watching, both Dr. Blair and Dr. Winter recommend avoiding anything activating to the mind (that means no horror movies or action-packed thrillers!) and instead opting for something calming and light.


Do Your Skincare Routine

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Turns out there's an actual reason it's called beauty sleep! If you don't already have a nighttime skincare routine, consider making it a part of your daily ritual before bed — it'll not only lead to healthier skin, but will help you feel more relaxed (and pampered!) in time for sleep. A soothing night cream will help nourish your skin overnight — as will an ultra-hydrating facial or sheet mask that will provide the best nutrients to help the skin repair itself throughout the night.


Write in a Journal

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Before trying to get some shut eye, take a few minutes each day to reflect on your day and write down your thoughts (and things you're grateful for) in a journal — it'll allow you to mentally wrap up your day, and will help you get in a better frame of mind for sleep. Daily journaling, in fact, has been shown to not only improve your sleep, but also reduce stress, boost your immune system, and generally improve your overall emotional well-being!

RELATED: 8 Simple Habits That'll Add Years to Your Life


Make Sure to Hydrate

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"Hydration plays a very crucial role in sleep quality and energy levels," says Sassos. Since we lose moisture when we sleep (and going to bed dehydrated can disrupt your sleep as well), it's important to hydrate well throughout the day — but make sure not to guzzle too much water right before bed, as this may lead to nighttime bathroom trips. Generally, if you're pretty consistent at drinking water throughout the day, it's best to back off a little in the hours before bed, says Dr. Winter.

RELATED: How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day, According to Experts


Make a to Do List for Tomorrow

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Beyond just writing down your thoughts in a journal each night, try making a list of tasks you want to tackle the next day — especially if you find that worrying often keeps you awake. Physically writing down a to-do list can not only help you be more productive the next day, but can help establish peace of mind for you to sleep better. In fact, a recent study found that those who jotted down a to-do list fell asleep significantly faster than those who wrote about tasks they had already completed!

Hannah Jeon Associate Commerce Editor Hannah (she/her) is the associate commerce editor for Prevention.

23 Tips for Your Ideal Nighttime Routine

Trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. About 1 in 3 adults in the United States get less sleep than they should.

In the midst of the pandemic, you might have more time for sleep, but sleep quality might still take a hit, thanks to added anxiety and stress from loneliness, health worries, financial concerns, and other issues.

Nighttime routines also commonly factor into sleep quality, regardless of anything else happening in the world. Your activities during the evening hours can have a big impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep each night.

Poor sleep can have plenty of health consequences, many of which you might worry about while lying awake. If you have trouble getting enough restful sleep on a regular basis, try exploring your pre-bedtime habits to identify potential problem areas and create a new routine that promotes better sleep.

Here are some tips to get you started.

A bedtime routine that includes a few steps toward preparing for the next day can have several advantages.

First, getting a head start on tomorrow’s to-do list gives you one (or two or three) fewer things to stress over as you try to fall asleep.

Having less to do in the morning can help you feel less rushed, making it easier to set aside a few minutes for morning meditation or a mindful breakfast that’ll start your day off right.

Take care of morning chores

If you struggle to get started in the morning, ask yourself what usually holds you up.

Maybe you spend a lot of time deciding on an outfit or never know where to find your keys. Perhaps you need a hearty breakfast to begin your morning but have to clear the sink of last night’s dishes first.

Setting aside 15 to 30 minutes every evening to prepare for the next day can help prevent hectic mornings and promote peace of mind as you get into bed.

To reduce bedtime stress and feel more relaxed in the morning, try taking care of these chores in the evening:

  • Make your lunch for work or school.
  • Gather your essentials — think keys, wallet, sunglasses — in one spot.
  • Wash the dishes.
  • Set out your clothes for tomorrow.

Make a to-do list

There’s only so much you can do in preparation for tomorrow. But for everything else, there’s a list.

Spending just 5 minutes writing a to-do list each night can help you avoid the sleep-disrupting habit of thinking about everything you need to do as you’re trying to fall asleep.

A paper to-do list can free you from the urge to constantly run through a mental version. It can also help you feel more in control of tomorrow before it even begins.

Try journaling to relieve stress

A journal provides a space to express any concerns weighing on your mind, reducing the need to unpack them mentally in bed.

While journaling may not be enough to relieve severe anxiety or chronic stress, it can help reduce anxious thoughts. Physically writing about things stressing you out can help you visualize them leaving your mind and reinforce your sense of relief.

Writing about stress-provoking upcoming events (and noting a potential solution or two) may also help you feel more prepared to face them, which can ease anxiety.

You don’t have to wait until it’s lights-out to start winding down. Filling your evening hours with calming activities helps you avoid overstimulating your mind and body as the day draws to a close.

Cut off caffeine early

A regular post-lunch cold brew might help you make it through the day, but this caffeine boost can have consequences later.

Having caffeine even 6 hours before bedtime can disrupt your rest. If you often have trouble sleeping, try sticking to beverages without caffeine after lunch.

Avoid strenuous exercise

Yes, regular exercise can improve sleep, but you’re better off saving intense workouts for morning or afternoon.

Vigorous exercise shortly before bedtime raises your body temperature and heart rate, making it harder to fall asleep and potentially reducing the amount of sleep you get.

It’s perfectly fine to do light or moderate intensity exercise in the evening, though.

Instead of a run or heavy weightlifting session, try:

  • stretching
  • walking
  • yoga

Just keep in mind that even with light exercise, it’s still best to wrap up an hour to 90 minutes before bedtime.


A regular meditation practice can help you relax physically and mentally. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, may help improve your ability to release the day’s stress and tension in preparation for a good night’s sleep.

Focusing your awareness and sitting mindfully with your thoughts gives your body a chance to rest and relax. All those slow, deep breaths you’re taking? They cue your body to slow down at the same time.

Meditation can also help reduce behaviors that keep you up, like cycling through anxious thoughts.

Can’t meditate in the evening? Try these tips to make it a habit any time of day.

Put on some calming music

Playing soft, soothing music as you prepare for bed can trigger the release of hormones that help improve your mood. Feeling emotionally at peace can help your body feel calmer, too.

While music may help you fall asleep faster and get better sleep, make sure you stick with calming tunes. Energizing, upbeat music probably won’t have quite the effect you’re hoping for. For best results, try slow music without lyrics.

Change up your hobbies

Catching up on a favorite show at the end of a long day can feel relaxing, but try to avoid doing this within an hour or so of bedtime.

The blue light produced by electronic devices can confuse your brain, which links this light to daytime. If your brain thinks it’s time for you to be awake, it won’t tell your body to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps prepare you for sleep.

Using devices to scroll through social media, play games, watch videos, or chat with friends can also keep your brain active when you need it to start calming down.

Consider adding these activities to your nighttime routine instead:

  • assembling jigsaw puzzles
  • building models
  • reading (but stick to paper books or an e-reader that gives off minimal light)
  • drawing or coloring
  • doing word or number puzzles

Create a family bedtime ritual

Connecting with loved ones — whether that’s your partner, children, or (good) roommates — can increase feelings of love, trust, and happiness.

Generating these positive emotions just before bed can put you in a better mood, helping you feel more at ease when it’s time for bed.

Regardless of any other benefits, spending quality time with people you love can strengthen your bond and help lower stress.


  • reading aloud to each other
  • trading massages with your partner
  • sharing highlights from your day
  • cuddling or playing with pets

Make time for sex

Experts continue to explore the connection between sleep and sex, but evidence does suggest a potential link between sex before bed and improved sleep.

In one 2017 research survey, over 60 percent of the 282 adults who replied to the survey said their sleep improved after having an orgasm with a partner.

Oxytocin release during sex may be one explanation. The release of this “love hormone” can promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. Kissing and cuddling can also trigger oxytocin release, so any type of intimate contact before bed has benefit.

You don’t need a partner to add sex to your nighttime routine. Solo orgasms are a perfectly natural way to relax and get off to sleep more easily.

Make hygiene a ritual

It’s pretty normal for basic bedtime hygiene to happen on autopilot. But performing cleansing routines with more mindfulness than absentmindedness can help your brain and body tune in to your approaching bedtime.

Washing your face and showering can feel like boring chores you’d rather skip, but it’s possible to make these mundane tasks more pleasant and relaxing.

Build a ritural

  • Instead of a quickly scrubbing your face, practice the 60-second rule. Gently wash your face for a full minute. Imagine washing away the stress of the long day as you cleanse your skin, or use a mantra or focused breathing to slow down.
  • Take a hot bath. Research suggests that an hour or two before bed is ideal for a nighttime bath. If you’re sensitive to bubble bath or bath salts, create a relaxing atmosphere with scented candles.
  • Avoid bright lights. That bright overhead lighting in your bathroom? Not a great vibe for getting sleepy. Consider bringing some candles into the bathroom and doing your nightly routine with the lights off. For an added benefit, choose one with a calming scent, like lavender.

Don’t forget your teeth

Every nighttime routine should include 2 minutes for toothbrushing. Practicing mindfulness during this essential ritual can make it even more beneficial.

Set a timer for 2 minutes, then focus on your motions as you brush. Notice the sensation of the bristles on your teeth and the taste of the toothpaste.

Remind yourself of everything your teeth do for you. You might even try a mantra, such as “I’m grateful for my teeth.”

It’s also never a bad idea to revisit the basics of proper brushing.

Instead of simply switching off the lights at bedtime, try preparing your environment for sleep earlier in the evening. This gives your body time to adjust to the idea of sleep.

Dim the lights

Like electronics and the sun, electric lighting also produces blue light. Avoiding bright lights in the evening can help signal to your body that it should start preparing for sleep.

  • Switch off bright overhead lights and turn on dimmer table lamps an hour or two before bed.
  • Consider replacing lamp bulbs with ones that produce amber light.

Try aromatherapy

Calming fragrances, like lavender and cedarwood, can promote restful sleep.

To benefit from aromatherapy:

  • Scent your bath with a few drops of essential oil.
  • Place a diffuser containing essential oil in your bedroom.
  • Use a few drops of essential oil on your pillow before bed.

Check your bedding

Clean sheets and fluffed pillows can make bed seem more inviting, and a comfortable bed can help you get better sleep.

Use season-appropriate sheets and blankets. Flannel sheets in the summer can make you too warm, and you might wake up sweaty and itchy.

For year-round bedding, go for easily removable, light layers so you can make quick adjustments if you feel or cold during the night.

Shop our expert-verified products for achieving deeper sleep.

Update your pajamas

Changing into sleepwear can help your body feel more ready for bed, but choose your pajamas with care. How they feel on your body is more important than how they look.

Comfortable pajamas can make bedtime something to look forward to, while tight or uncomfortable sleepwear can keep you fidgeting under the covers.

Switch on a fan

A fan can play two important roles in your bedtime routine.

First, it cools off your bedroom. Keeping your room on the cooler side can help you stay comfortable despite normal body temperature changes that happen during sleep.

Fans also produce white noise, which can block out noises that might keep you up. Hearing that low hum can help increase your confidence that you’ll sleep well, even if your roommate ends up arguing with their partner in the middle of the night.

Now that you’ve wound down and hopped into bed, how to drift off to sleep?

Think peaceful thoughts

Fixating on worrisome thoughts can keep you awake and stressed. Instead, try focusing on positive things that happened that day or events you’re looking forward to.

Some people also find listing a few things they’re grateful for promotes positive feelings and inner calm.

It may also help to repeat a soothing mantra, such as “I feel relaxed” or “I’m drifting off to sleep.”

Try visualization

You can use visualization (guided imagery) to create restful scenes in your mind and distract yourself from any worries creeping into your thoughts.

You might imagine a quiet beach with waves brushing against the shore, a sunlit forest, or a hammock under the stars.

Picture this landscape in vivid detail, imagining how relaxed and calm you feel. You can even put yourself into the image, breathing slowly and peacefully as you relax in your chosen environment.

Relax your muscles

Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation often help improve sleep. Beyond its potential sleep benefits, progressive muscle relaxation can also help relieve pain.

Here’s how to give it a try:

  • Slowly tense one group of muscles.
  • Hold the tension for 5 seconds, releasing on a slow exhale.
  • Relax for 10 seconds.
  • Move to the next muscle group.

Find more detailed steps for muscle relaxation here.

Accept wakefulness instead of fighting it

Not getting enough sleep can make you miserable, but fretting over your exhaustion and the precious sleep you’re missing won’t do you any favors.

Instead, try to accept that it’s just one of those nights and focus on reframing your thoughts.

You might tell yourself, for example:

  • “I’m still awake now, but I’ll drift off eventually. I always do.”
  • “Maybe I’ll be a little tired in the morning, but I’ll probably fall asleep right away tomorrow night.”
  • “I’m going to need an extra pick-me-up tomorrow, so I’ll treat myself to a good lunch.”

There’s not really a right or wrong answer when it comes to building a nighttime routine, but there are a couple things you’ll want to avoid if you can.

Lying awake

If you feel wide awake after about 20 minutes — whether you’re trying to fall asleep or just woke up in the middle of the night — get up and do a quiet activity, like reading.

Avoid turning on bright lights or doing anything too stimulating. Once you start feeling sleepy again, go back to bed.

Sleeping too long

Too much sleep is a thing. Most people should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

You should stick to the same sleep routine, even on vacations and weekends, since sleeping late some days can throw off your internal clock.

Any adjustments should stay within an hour of your usual sleep and wake times.

Good sleep is a key factor in mind and body wellness, but it can be hard to come by. A personalized nighttime routine can help you get better sleep, allowing you to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

If a new nighttime routine doesn’t have much effect on sleep quality, talking to your healthcare provider is a good next step to make sure there isn’t an underlying health issue contributing to your sleep issues.

Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

routine that can be useful

Routine is what we call things that are constantly repeated. Moreover, the word itself has not very good associations, and this is despite the fact that routine can be useful and enjoyable. It is very important to understand that a positive attitude to any action, including constantly repeated ones, is the key to success.

The perfect morning routine starts in the evening

Planning in the evening is the key to a successful day.

Planning your day is a very useful habit. Understand what you will do in the morning (and not only in the morning), determine your goals and objectives for the day, the time frame for your actions. In a word, manage your time. In the evening, you can analyze what has been done from the planned, calculate what time is spent on, and, if necessary, cut off unnecessary chronophages the next day. nine0003

It is important to approach the planning of the next day and all subsequent actions without fanaticism. No need to calculate until late at night how long it will take brushing your teeth or exercising. Healthy sleep is more important. You don't have to suffer the life changes you want to achieve.

Mornings are never good

After getting enough sleep (successful people usually sleep at least 7-8 hours), you need to take care of your body a little. It is not necessary to go to the gym or do a full workout, just do light exercises or do yoga. It is important to understand what is closer to you personally, so it is better to try different options. A walk to work, near the house, maybe even a run can also become physical activity. nine0003

Chronophages are time wasters. Objects and processes that interfere and distract from the main activity. They can be mindless chatter, playing computer games, or aimlessly watching TV. Chronophages “eat up” a huge amount of time that could be put to good use.

When the body wakes up, you need to refresh yourself. Of course, it would be better if it's not just a coffee sandwich, but something more useful. But again, in no case should you immediately abandon your usual diet. Both sports and healthy nutrition need to be introduced wisely and gradually so that your body adapts. In addition, if the right habits are introduced gradually, you are more likely to stick to them. nine0003

More about chronophages

When you get a notification that you need to harvest on a farm in a computer game, think carefully about the need for this crop. Calculate how much time per day you spend on such games, watching cat videos, and decide if you need them. In extreme cases, all this can be left in the schedule for any strictly allotted time.

It is important to understand what you are doing is really necessary. Analyze your activity. To do this, you can use the Eisenhower matrix, which divides all your affairs into four categories:

urgent and important
not urgent and important
urgent and not important
not urgent and not important

Sort what you have done in the last week, including the little things, among these categories. Of course, the fewer non-urgent and unimportant cases, the better. Chronophages are hidden in this category.

Small deeds and eating an elephant

Gradually change a harmful and boring routine into a useful and pleasant one. You can not eat an elephant at once, but within a year - easily. The same goes for good habits. You will not be able to run 10 kilometers from the very first morning, but it is useful to have breakfast and give up your smartphone. And if you succeed with such a run, then you are unlikely to want to repeat it. nine0003

Start with the lightest things - do warm-ups in the morning to build the habit (usually takes three weeks), give up the gadget in the morning, and so on.

It is important to understand that you are doing this for yourself to become a better person. A positive attitude is half the battle. The second half is regularity.

Plan B

There are always emergencies that break our routine. And it's not very good when the routine is useful. If you understand that there is absolutely no time for charging, come up with some kind of replacement for such a case. Any physical activity that requires less time. For every important habit/routine, you can come up with a “Plan B”. nine0003

What to read?

Hal Elrod wrote the book “The Magic of the Morning. How the first hour of the day determines your success. Like most self-development books, it has a lot of "water". A third of this work is occupied by the rationale for why to read it, the second third is about why the method works, and only the last third contains something useful. The main advantage of the book is that it still contains a description of what you need to do in the morning to make your life better.

We also recommend reading our article on eco-habits. There it is written in more detail how to make your action become a habit and be performed automatically. nine0003

Why do we need a routine and ritualization - Monoclair

Headings : Latest articles, Psychology, Creativity and self-realization

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Routine - what blocks creativity or helps to streamline thoughts and find the right form for them? Cognitive psychologist and author of the now classic book The Psychology of Writing, Ronald Kellogg, believes that it all depends on how we organize this routine. We understand how everyday rituals can affect our performance, what is the optimal time for one working session, and why ritualization is a kind of “environment coding” for immersion in the desired state. nine0064

There is a fairly strong belief that creativity does not tolerate restrictions, and any routine can destroy the magic of the creative process and stop the flow of creative thinking. However, not everything is so clear.

According to cognitive psychologist Ronald T. Kellogg, daily routines and the ritualization of work can enhance our creativity. In his book The Psychology of Writing, he explores how work schedules, daily rituals, and the work environment affect the time of writing and the state that accompanies the work of the creator. nine0003

Kellogg writes:

“There is evidence that environment, daily routine, and ritual (habitual) activities can stimulate the work of the writer and increase his efficiency, increase concentration and reduce the level of attentional entropy. These factors can cause a state of flow, and not, as is commonly believed, boredom or anxiety. A room, time of day, or pre-work ritual can stimulate focus, increase motivation, or evoke a particular emotional state. In addition, each of these aspects of the method is able to awaken in your mind specific ideas, facts, plans that you associate with place, time, visual image and other things that are somehow related to your chosen topic and work. nine0003

Based on an impressive list of studies from various fields of knowledge, Kellogg formulated some very important conclusions about what can affect our productivity. For example, he found that background noise, paradoxically, can have a positive effect on creativity. For example, while high-intensity noise (above 95 decibels) is destructive to complex tasks, it helps keep you focused when performing monotonous work and boring, unimaginative tasks. This kind of noise usually increases the level of arousal, which can be useful for fading attention during mindless and monotonous activities, but detrimental to the state of flow and deep immersion in work that requires clear thinking. At the same time, Kellogg takes into account the individual characteristics of the psyche and recognizes that disturbing individuals will be embarrassed by a noisy environment. He notes that it is up to each individual to determine a comfortable level of background noise that contributes to maintaining the state of flow:

"For some, dripping water from a faucet can be more disruptive than the hustle and bustle of a downtown cafe."

Another factor that Kellogg drew attention to is the time of one working session. He points to a number of studies showing that 1 to 3 hours of work with few breaks improves productivity, not just for writers, but also for musicians, artists, and athletes. In addition, Kellogg says, studies of circadian rhythms (the cyclical fluctuations in the intensity of various biological processes associated with the change of day and night) confirm that working on complex, creative tasks is most effective in the morning hours. This is exactly what Hemingway did. In one interview at 1958 he noted:

“When I am working on a book or a story, I sit down at my desk as soon as the light begins to shine outside the window. I usually work from six in the morning until noon. At this time, no one will disturb you, and the cool air helps you get to work faster. In addition, I always end writing at the point where it is obvious to me what will happen next. In the morning I read this fragment and already easily join the action of the work.

Source: Wikimedia

Another factor, the importance of which is difficult to overestimate, is the environment. What should she be? For example, the famous musician Bob Dylan spoke about the need to “create conditions in which you can freely accept the results of the work of your subconscious,” and the famous American writer William Faulkner noted:

"The only thing a writer needs is solitude, and this is the little that will cost him little. "

nine0002 Loneliness as a guarantee of productive activity will not surprise anyone, but, according to Kellogg, the solitude of writers is not a superstitious ritualization performed in the hope of invoking the muse, but an unconscious use of the principle of specific coding, the use of an environment “which gives a signal about the desired behavior”:

“Abstract ideas, images, plans, concrete sentences, emotions, and other personal symbols, which represent the knowledge necessary for creativity, turn out to be related to the environment, namely, the time and place that the writer uses to work. These associations are reinforced if the writer uses the chosen medium for a particular activity. Entering this environment becomes a kind of search for symbols that are able to activate all the information stored in the subconscious. After he concentrates on the ideas coming from the subconscious, the workflow captures him completely. This is how the specific features of the situation can become certain clues for reflection, search and creativity. For example, a view from an office window or a picture on the wall may be deeply associated with the development of a piece of text or the emergence of an idea, and by looking at these objects, the contemplator calls out from the subconscious information related to the solution of such a problem. nine0003

The technique described above is also used in the treatment of sleep disorders. For example, the introduction of a sleep regimen (when going to bed is carried out at the same time) and the organization of a special space for washing set a person up for the upcoming rest. Sometimes starting this kind of ritualization takes a decent amount of time, but in the end the method begins to work. It is no coincidence that writers try to adhere to a special routine in order to optimize their vacation and the time they spend on it. nine0003

Describing environmental conditions, Kellogg relies on the program for the treatment of creative crises, developed by psychologist Bob Boyce for teachers and other professionals whose professional activities are somehow connected with writing:

“The key point of the Bob Boyce program is the redevelopment of the working environment. He recommends that you identify a regular place where you will work on serious things (novels, short stories, articles). It is better to move other small things (for example, correspondence) to another place. Boyce also insists that magazines, books and other non-essential sources of information for work should be removed from view, social contacts are minimized or completely excluded. By following these simple guidelines, the writer creates a special space dedicated only to thinking and writing. Thus, this place begins to be associated with all the "thought products" of the author and each time becomes the starting point for his further creative research. nine0003

Of course, there is a grain of truth in Boyce's recommendations, but if you are a "lord of chaos" and your work area is littered with various items, including the same distracting books and magazines not recommended by Boyce, you should not be upset. 2013 study published in Psychological Science ⓘKathleen D. Vohs, Joseph P. Redden, Ryan Rahinel. Physical Order Produces Healthy Choices, Generosity, and Conventionality, Whereas Disorder Produces Creativity/Psychological Science September 2013 vol. 24 no. nine1860-1867., confirms: slovenly furnishings contribute to the departure from classical preferences and canons and enhance creative thinking. However, today we have a more serious problem than clutter - our smartphones and social networks with their intrusive and distracting new message alerts, so it's best to turn them off when organizing a dedicated workspace.

As Kellogg himself notes, the variety of options for organizing work environments indicates the flexibility of human thinking and the fact that we can work in any conditions, the main thing is to find or create an environment that will allow us to concentrate on our tasks as much as possible and achieve high productivity. Add to this the mastery of the art of creative thinking and sincere love for your work - and the result will not be long in coming. Here are some descriptions of the routines in which outstanding texts were born. nine0003

Thomas Mann:

“Most of my creations were conceived while walking; I also find that being outdoors awakens my passion for writing and writing. When I work on large works, I always use the best practices from my literary practice, which are always at hand.”

Kurt Vonnegut:

“I wake up at 5:30 am and work until 8:00 am, have breakfast at home, work until 10:00 am, then walk a few blocks to the nearest swimming pool, where I completely submerge myself and swim for an hour, to return home at 11:45 am, read the mail and eat midday lunch. Then I’ll go to work at school and be back at about 5.30, cheer up with a glass of scotch and water, cook dinner, read, listen to jazz and go to bed at 10 o’clock.” nine0003

Haruki Murakami:

“When I am writing a novel, I wake up at 4 am and work until 6 am. During the day I run 10 kilometers and swim 1.5 kilometers, then I read and listen to music. I go to bed at 9 pm. I follow this routine without question. Its repetition becomes a form of hypnosis. To observe it for six months or a year requires great mental and physical stress. Therefore, a great novel always becomes a test. Strength is necessary for creativity." nine0003

Edgar Allan Poe:

"Most men of letters, especially poets, prefer to be thought of as composing in some high frenzy, under the influence of ecstatic intuition, and would shudder at the mere thought of letting the public peek behind the scenes and see how complicated and crude thought works, wandering to the touch; to see how the author himself comprehends his goal only at the last moment; how fully ripe fruits of fantasy are rejected with despair because of the impossibility of realizing them; how painstakingly they are selected and discarded; how painfully they make markings and insertions .

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