Gentler Days: Tips for a Gentler Evening & Night

This post is part of a three-part series from one of my favorite bloggers – J of Sparklingly! Just started reading the series? Check out part 1: Tips for a Gentler Morning and part 2: Tips for a Gentler Work Day.

tips for a gentler evening 2

For a gentler evening:

– Put your phone down: Especially if you live with others. There’s so much we miss by being tethered to our phones—I’m especially awful at following this, but I’m getting better! I do one last check of my phone when I walk into my building and then try very, very hard to not look at it again until dinner’s over. And, I also try to make the last time I check any electronic device as far away from my bedtime as possible—those flickering lights immediately jolt your system out of its wind-down process and make falling asleep when you get into bed even harder.

– Try to keep track of your groceries: I don’t plan out my meals every day, but when I realized we were letting too much of our produce go bad, I started making an effort to figure out how we could use what’s in the fridge to make good dinners towards the end of our grocery cycles. When I do do this, I pop the “menu” on my Google Calendar—this helps us not to waste food AND it’s something nice to look forward to (which makes my workdays go by faster!).

– Double your cooking: Before I was married I hardly ever cooked for one—I’d always throw enough in the pot to make my own dinner, plus fill a few tupperware containers. One always went into the fridge for lunch sometime in the next few days, while any others went into the freezer so I’d always have something for lunch, even if I hadn’t cooked the night before. When I married my Sicilian, the concept of leftovers was completely foreign to him, so after (many) gentle reminders on the nights he cooked to please make more, I’m finally back to always having lunch ready. Bringing your own lunch not only saves money, but it’s so nice to know exactly what you’re eating. The key to making this work is to of course make enough to have leftovers, but also getting nice containers and lunch bags. No one wants to tote a sad, misshapen container, right? I started using Pyrex ones, which are heavy, but I’d prefer to not eat from plastic, and wrapping my containers in matching linens before putting them in my bag. Then I have my lunch and a placemat/lap napkin all in one!

Homemade Soup
For a gentler night:

– Drink a big glass of water before bed: I never used to wake up during the night, but now that I’m getting older (sob!), I find myself waking up hours before my alarm to reach for some water. To combat that, I drink a big, fizzy glass before bed, with a teaspoon of magnesium.


– Create a ritual: After I wash my face with coconut oil, I dab on some tamanu oil mixed in my palm with lemon essential oil. Technically lemon does the opposite of what you want to do before you go to bed, as it’s meant to help you be alert, but I can’t stand the scent of lavender, which is known to be relaxing. Regardless, that whiff of lemon automatically signals “nighty night” to me and helps me fall asleep.

– Float away on your dreams, not on a wave of electromagnetic frequency: The biggest (and easiest!) change I made to my quality of sleep was charging our cell phones outside of our bedroom. You will sleep so much better without radiation pulsing near your head the entire night, not to mention you’ll be doing wonders for your endocrine and nervous systems by removing that extra truckload of exposure to electromagnetic frequencies. Our bodies repair themselves at night, and we have our own internal electrical system, so constant exposure to an additional source of electrical impulses seriously impedes our regenerative processes. Plus, without blinking lights, the bright screen that confuses our bodies into thinking it’s not nighttime, and the “let me just check onnnne last thing” siren call of your phone, the chance of you actually falling asleep when you want to is so much easier.

I so hope my lists inspired you to make a few of your own tweaks—I’d love to hear any of your new ones, or the ones that already work for you, so please share below. And, thank you so much to Amanda for inviting me over!



Leave a Comment

  1. Rhona says

    Wow, great tips. I have to admit that I am the worst when it comes to my phone and bed. For someone who jumped on the upgraded phones late (I kicked and screamed to update my flip phone…b/c I just didn’t care enough), I am now a certified addict. While in bed I am on that thing late into the night. I now have a love/hate relationship with twitter and YouTube…the devil to me. 🙂 I will have to try your tip of recharging the phone outside of my bedroom but that makes me nervous. lol.
    Also the thought of developing a nightly routine is great. My current routine is no routine. I do not enjoy watching TV much so I usually just peel myself off the couch when my eyes start to droop with my phone in my hands and brush teeth, wash face, slip into bed. And, reach for my phone. Again. As a result I am constantly tired but overstimulated. Or, I am on my Kindle. I am the one with puffy red eyes lying in bed in a dark room with my kindle lighted up saying to herself, “one more page”. Hm, I will start tonight with preparing and commensing a relaxing routine (sans galaxy or kindle) so I can sleep better. Exciting but slightly scary…I kid you not.

    1. How’d it go, Rhona? It definitely took me more than a few tries before I completely broke myself of the habit. I used to read in bed off an electronic device, too, because I’d go to sleep much later than my husband and the “night” feature made it so that we could at least get into bed together, but I’ve finally given it up! Only real books in bed now, and when lights out, lights are OUT!

  2. Im really bad with phones-makes my boyfriend so mad 🙁 I am working on it though. I think I will start my charging phone away from me. Drinking water or hot tea before going to bed is always a great idea. I try to read book or listen to relaxing music before going to bed.

  3. Carrie says

    I LOVE your idea of including a pretty cloth napkin in my lunch bag! This, I will start doing today!

    Thank you for your lovely blog!

    1. Yay! You’ll love it, Carrie!

  4. Alla says

    Hmm, I never thought about using glass containers! I hate plastic ones. Also I always feel the need to be “surprised” for lunch, but going out for lunch is so much money it’s crazy. I will try to surprise myself with the cloth napkin choice instead 🙂

    1. I’ll be honest–the extra weight is not so nice to lug around the subway, but, it’s much more pleasant to eat out of something with some heft (and Pyrex is way more sturdy than just regular glass).

      Enjoy the mini tablecloth! You’ll feel ever so much more posh and refined ;).

  5. Loving this post!! I have been waking up thirsty too, but I think it has more to do with me not using my large water bottle anymore so I think the amount I drink is lower ):

    Is there any specific reason you drink fizzy water with the magnesium and not flat? Where do you get powder magnesium?

    1. Hi there, Brittany!

      Fizzy water is just more fun to me! It won’t make any difference either way for the magnesium, though. I get mine from and here’s the brand I use and some more info on it:

      I actually just switched to a less expensive one, and it’s not NEARLY as good as my old standby of Natural Calm (which has a much more citrusy flavor, probably thanks to the amount of citric acid it was combined with, and dissolved better in liquid).

      Let us know if you notice any difference in how you sleep once you add magnesium (and up your water intake 😉 )!

      – J.

  6. I love to end my day with a good ole fashioned book!

    I also keep a glass of water next to my bed on the nightstand. I actually was just sent a huge box full of Natural Calm, I will have to try them out!

    Thanks for this series J!

  7. Ooo, lucky you, Anna! Natural Calm is so worth the added cost over the next best offering from NOW Foods, which retails for about a third the price! I love Natural Calm, especially as a digestion aid—an added benefit beyond its relaxing properties.


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