Episode #7: Developing Great Nighttime Routines

Today’s episode is the conclusion of our two-part series on routines, focusing on the routines that we follow before we go to bed at night.  In today’s episode, we are following up on our previous episode about morning routines and sharing some of the routines that we follow every night before we go to bed....

In today’s episode, we are following up on our previous episode about morning routines and sharing some of the routines that we follow every night before we go to bed.

You’ll hear the specific routines that each of us follows, as well as practical tips about how these routines can really help you get ready for the regenerative process of sleep, and help set you up for success on the following day.

In this episode, you will learn:

• How a good nighttime routine can help you have a successful day the next day.
• What Russ’ evening routine looks like.
• How Mika developed her nighttime routine.
• Why routines are ultimately about discipline.

Mentioned in this episode:
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
The Russ Perry Show
My Skincare Routine by Mika Perry
My Self Tanning Routine by Mika Perry
Yogi DeTox Tea


Russ Perry: Hey everyone, welcome again to another episode of Good to Be Home. We are back and we are gonna be closing the loop on the episode we released a bit ago, and that is on routines. So, if you didn’t catch it we spent a good amount of time talking about our morning routines in a previous episode. Mika, for everyone who didn’t catch that one, real quick why are routines important?

Mika Perry: Routines are important to free up your brain space, so it’s automatic movements and steps in your day you TMd, a term called breadcrumbs, so leaving breadcrumbs for getting your day started that you can follow so that you have a successful morning and rest of your day.

Russ Perry: Nice, so if you didn’t catch how we start our day, we spent some time talking about that, and also kind of observed that there is no perfect routine. It’s more-or-less a collection of things, and thoughts, and habits, and actions, but it definitely is something that once you’re through it, it allows you to have just a ton of momentum into the rest of the day, whatever your day has.
So, today is the second half of that conversation, which is nighttime routines. Just like a morning routine, a nighttime routine can really help with getting you ready for the regenerative process of sleep which, actually, I have no problem getting into and getting that flow.

Mika Perry: Russ falls asleep in like two seconds.

Russ Perry: Yeah, like … I told Mika before the episode, “I don’t really have a long nighttime routine.” We’ll do mine first here in a second. I do know, though, that a good nighttime routine can help set the next day up. If you don’t have a good nighttime routine then you’re up late, you’re not ready, you can miss whatever it is that’s going on first thing in the morning and then the next day is all in disarray. So, a good morning routine kicks the day off in a strong way. A good nighttime routine sets the next day up for success. Would you agree?

Mika Perry: Agreed.

Russ Perry: If you’re like Mika, to sleep, too. All right, so if you’re thinking about where to start, how did you come up with your nighttime routine? Did you have a plan, or copied it from other people, hearing what other people do?

Mika Perry: That’s a really good question. How did I come up with my nighttime routine? I think I … Half of it is things that I naturally just found myself doing at nighttime, and then the other half are a little bit more intentional.

Russ Perry: Maybe we start our routines as kids and our parents kind of like help like, “Got to brush your teeth. Got to take a shower.” Got to do these things, but then we build from there. I know a lot of my nighttime routine is more like how I close the day out mentally, so that when I do my head does hit the pillow I’m not thinking about a ton of other stuff, like I’ve closed the loops, I’ve shut the doors, and I’m feeling like when I wake up I’m not just gonna be hit by a bus and not know what’s going on. Depending on the night, I think my nighttime routine starts off with a very detailed oral hygienic care. So, I brush my teeth with a Sonicare for two minutes, the full-timer, and then I floss my teeth, and then I use mouthwash, and then I rinse my retainers out, clean those, and kind of refresh them and then I put them in my mouth. Yes, I’m 35 and I still wear retainers.

Mika Perry: And you should, because I didn’t wear my retainers and here we are back again with-

Russ Perry: Dental adult orthodontics. But, that kind of kicks it off. I also notice, too, this is like very subtle thing, that the earlier I start my teeth brushing routine the less likely I am to like munch on ice cream bars later at night because I just don’t want to do it again. I don’t want to brush my teeth again. It’s just a hassle. That’s where it goes. I kick that off and then at that point I actually make sure my phone is downstairs.

I do not keep my phone or any electronic, aside from my RCA single AA battery alarm clock, by my bed. I read somewhere, or have a phobia, that like radio waves, or cell phone waves into my brain, and WiFi waves into my brain is not what I want to be dealing with while I’m sleeping. So, I put my phone downstairs. That is a very symbolic thing for me to sort of close to stop the day. So, maybe I’ll check my email one more time, maybe I’ll see if I have any messages, but then at that point, I don’t touch it. It’s actually probably before I brush my teeth I do that. Then, I come up, do my teeth care, and then I have a sort of one I learned from you is I usually work out first thing in the morning, but if there’s like shoes, or socks, or a shirt, or something that I’m gonna use for working out, I set that out on our ottoman at the end of our bed.

Mika Perry: I have totally put those away thinking that was like dirty laundry. That was actually your workout clothes set out?

Russ Perry: Yes, if it’s on the ottoman.

Mika Perry: Now I know.

Russ Perry: Maybe I haven’t noticed or think I’m going crazy when I can’t find something. “I swear I put that out there.” Then, when I’m making a pass, I actually took an old iPhone and there’s no sim card in there. That’s actually by the bathroom, in the bathroom next to my sink, and I have no apps on that except for Google Calendar and then whatever apps are installed on the iPhone when you have it. I have a routine where I specifically check my calendar before I go into bed to see what’s up the next morning. Most of the time there’s nothing crazy, but there are times where I’ve had an early morning filming session or I have a meeting I need to make sure that I head straight towards instead of going to the office. That’s just a habit that I’ve had over the years with the crazy calendar making sure that I’m like on top of it.

So, the Google calendar I check that and then I get into bed and my final item for my routine is to set my alarm, which I explained last time isn’t a normal process. I actually set my alarm based on when I’m going to bed and the calculation around sleep cycles. The theory is, it takes about 10-15 minutes to fall asleep and then you have a 90-minute sleep cycle that you go through. If you wake up at the end of that sleep cycle it’s much easier to wake up than if you wake up in the middle of it. So, I’ll count out that deep sleep is like where your at during the sleep cycle, so if it’s only half an hour or an hour in you’re only one-thirds or two-thirds in you can be in that deep sleep, but if you’re trying to get woken up, or you wake yourself up, that’s when you’re super groggy. You don’t want to get out of bed. First is if you only sleep for a short amount of time or wake up actually at the end of the sleep cycle then it’s much easier to wake up.

So, I explained this actually much better, I feel like, in the previous episode of morning routines, because it’s talking about when I wake up, but I actually will count out on my hand 90 minutes from when I’m going to bed plus 15 minutes of when I would then want to wake up. So, I roughly go to bed between 9:30 and 10:30 every night and so roughly my wake-up time is between like 4 and 5-ish, counting all that out. Now, the easier thing to do would just to be get an app, which there are tons of apps for; however, I don’t keep a phone by my bed so I have a much more manual process.

Mika Perry: Now I get it. I was gonna say, “Wait, what about the whole calculation, but you actually do it on your hands?”

Russ Perry: So, every two sleep cycles is three hours, and so then I just count out in three-hour blocks and I can do like a 90 minute on top of that.

Mika Perry: You should get an app.

Russ Perry: An app on my RCA alarm clock, it’s called time, and I set that app and my $10 alarm clock on Amazon, I set that, it’s the one that like clicks super loud and goes like ennt, ennt, ennt, ennt when it goes off, but then I go bed and I’m asleep in about 80 seconds or less.
So, let’s hand it off to you to hear about your nighttime routine.

Mika Perry: Well, you pointed out that in my morning routine that I’m very sensory, and you actually have more tasks whereas I’m just trying to create an atmosphere. I think nighttime a little bit more task oriented. So in the morning, I’m creating an atmosphere of wakefulness, inspiration, motivation, happiness, gratitude, all that. But, at nighttime, I’m actually like getting things done. So, the first thing I do is I start in the kitchen. That’s kind of the hub of the home and so I feel like there’s a lot of things that need to be done to wrap up the day there. So, I will first set out, I’m a coffee drinker … I set out a coffee cup on the Nespresso machine and two pods in the Nespresso next to it. We organizationally in our kitchen have like a coffee station where everything is organized to be accessible. However, I’m taking it one step further, and less for me to think about in the morning, I already take out the Nespresso pods from our drawer and put it next to the coffee mug and the Nespresso machine, and make sure that water is in it, because it’s so frustrating when you make coffee and then it says-

Russ Perry: You come back and nothing’s happened.

Mika Perry: Nothing’s happened because the water is out. I mean like first-world problems, but those kinds of little things eat at your productivity and your mood. So, it’s setting the breadcrumbs for not being frustrated in the morning. Who wants to be frustrated about coffee. That’s the worst. So, I set it out and it’s done. I also pack the girl’s lunches, so my girls take their lunch. Maddie makes her own, but that’s because she’s 12, almost 13, and we think that’s something she can be responsible for. But, for my little ones, it would take them hours to make their own lunch. But, I pack their lunches, get that all set. I fill their water bottles. I put them in the fridge. I really feel like the mornings that I don’t make their lunch and their water bottle in advance it eats up a good chunk of my morning. As much as I can I try to prepare that in advance.

I also make my morning drinks. Like I did with the coffee, I’ll fill up a Starbucks Venti plastic cup with ice and a tea bag. I love mint tea, so I’ll put tea in that or I’ll make like my lemon juice that I like to drink. I’ll make that the night before. There’s a whole water station going on when you open the fridge. It’s ready to grab and go. Clear counters. I love like a very uncluttered feel at the end of the day, so I unclutter the counter, pick everything up, put everything where it needs to go in the house, and then I spray all the counters in our kitchen and our dining table, like our breakfast nook, like the feeling of like clean counters just get me excited.

So, why it’s like a big ritual for me. Someone told me a long time ago that if you feel like you’re house is dirty, or someone’s coming over and you need to clean the house fast, or something like that, sweep the kitchen floors and clean the kitchen and clear out the sink. If you do that your house automatically feels cleaner. It is so true. If you’ve tried it I feel like you know what I’m talking about, so that’s what I try to achieve so that in the morning your house is nice and fresh. I think by this point I’m going upstairs.

So, then, I go upstairs. I have like two sets of essential oils upstairs and downstairs. So, in the morning when I’m doing my morning routine downstairs for essential oils and creating that mood all the stuff is down there. Like, I keep my lemon and eucalyptus and like super … Russ is laughing at me. Do I sound so neurotic?

Russ Perry: Kind of, but I’m also like, I had no idea all this goes on. I’m learning.

Mika Perry: Everything is labeled in a little caddy. So, anyways. Then, upstairs I have my relaxing essential oils available. We have a diffuser by our bed. So once I go upstairs. Russ is already passed out for the past hour probably, then I put the like lavender. I get that going in the diffuser so it smells really good. Sometimes lately I’ve been trying to go up there even before that so that by the time I walk upstairs it’s already like lavendery and amazing in there. Then I do my skincare, and I have a post on my blog that is my skincare routine, and it’s very detailed so I’m not gonna go into that here. But, it’s another, I guess, very like atmospheric, tactile way of knowing that I’m like getting myself ready for sleep. I’m cleaning the day off of my face, my skin. I use ice, so like I ice my face-

Russ Perry: You love ice, too.

Mika Perry: I love ice. We all love ice. It’s so weird. I just like it on my face. So, I do that and I get in my PJs. We have a setting, you set this up, with our home automation that we have a setting upstairs where it like plays spa music. All the lights in our master bath and our shower, and that hallway, everything like gets turned down so it’s very like spa dark, like really nice. Then, I have a self-tanning schedule where Tuesdays and Thursday nights I self-tan, also available on my blog if you want to check that out. My favorite self-tanning product and what I do. I just decided to like put in on my Google calendar for Tuesdays and Thursdays because, I don’t know, otherwise I’ll forget. Oh I forgot downstairs I also make detox tea, and I’ll bring that up with me, so Yogi detox tea. My supplements I take at nighttime are magnesium, vitamin E, Omega-3, multivitamin, and that’s about it. I take that. Then I’m ready to head towards the bed and-

Russ Perry: Do you pick out clothes or plan an outfit?

Mika Perry: Good question. I used to when I would work I would set it out like every day, but because my schedule is so varied now, my days are every single day is different, so I don’t have like a set place I’m gonna be every morning. Sometimes it’s a workout. Sometimes I don’t even know, like a kid will wake up sick, so it’s like, “Oh, well, you know.” I just kind of wing that in the morning. I try not to bring my phone, but I totally do. I’m very, very, very guilty of that pretty much every night. It drives Russ crazy. I do have it on the setting where it’s like orange light versus blue light, so that nighttime setting, so it’s fine. I can just be on there for hours. It’s orange light. It’s fine.

But, I check CNN. I don’t know why. I check CNN, get really annoyed at news, check my emails, scroll through Instagram, sometimes get lost in the abyss of Social Media. So, this is a habit I’m trying to get out of. I’m guilty of that 100%. I’m trying to be better, maybe moving my charger away from next to my bed would be nice, but- The last thing I do is make sure my alarm is set. So, I’m just the auto every day wake up at 5 a.m. and then I try to go to bed and fall asleep. I think a lot of the wellness practices I’ve put into my life the past couple of years, meditation during the day, the aromatherapy, not drinking anymore, healthier lifestyle has helped me fall asleep and stay asleep much, much, much, much better. Before I would have a lot of anxiety going to bed. I would wake up throughout the night. Not really, now I kind of close my eyes and wait for the morning.

Russ Perry: And it begins again.

Mika Perry: And it begins again.

Russ Perry: Two things I want to point out, and one is the … There might be not good things in your routine, so I actually acknowledge, probably since last time we recorded the morning routine that I had been kind of in like a rut with routinely checking Social Media and not really feeling like I am engaging in those things correctly, because there’s really … With mail marketing, we do online and groups I’m in and things that we’re doing I can’t not be on it, but I was pretty much being a mindless consumer of Instagram and Social Media and news. So, acknowledging what is not working and then just trying to curb, or add, or subtract things, not all at once. Like if you hear this podcast and you’re doing nothing, you have no routine, just add one thing. Maybe it’s the tea before you go to bed. When you have a routine yet there’s something kind of off, maybe you got to adjust or edit, and that can then be part of your routines, too, as identifying what’s not working.

Drinking was a terrible part of your nighttime routine in the past with thinking that’s … For those of you who are drinking, no doubt alcohol can help you fall asleep but it doesn’t allow your body to rest, because your body’s effectively processing that alcohol through the night. Your blood sugar spikes, you have a harder time getting to that deep sleep, that 90-minute deep sleep cycle we were talking about you never get into. So, you’re effectively when you wake up you’re exhausted. You’ve been like working out all night in your sleep and your body hasn’t regenerated. There’s been no restorative process that have been able to really take- [crosstalk]

Mika Perry: That happened to me, as I would wake up at 2 a.m. all the time and that’s what was happening.

Russ Perry: So, the other thing that I want to acknowledge is like the neurosis of routines. Like there’s a bigger thing I think people should listen to when we’re hearing this, and why we do the routines. I think a lot of this comes down to discipline, like developing discipline in your life. Actually I thought of this and I wrote it down when I was joking about like our parents being the first persons to kind of set a routine in our life, because they’re teaching us good habits and discipline, of what is required to grow in life, to succeed in life, to get after your dreams and to do things you want to do. You have to have discipline. You have to say “no” to certain stuff. You have to say “yes” to certain stuff. You have to be committed to things that are hard, like brushing your teeth and flossing them and mouthwash. For a 12-year-old, or a 5-year-old, that’s not easy.

Mika Perry: Or it’s not something that’s fun. Like Reece always says, “This is so boring. Why do I have to do this?” Things that feel in the moment like it may be not worth it, or it’s the last thing you want to do, but it adds to your overall well being and makes you a better person.

Russ Perry: So, if you’ve heard both episodes, nighttime routines and previously the morning routines, anchor these in ways to develop discipline as well. Maybe you won’t have the 89 step process that you do, like Mika with all the things, but it allows you to create the discipline that you can apply in your marriage, in your business, with your kids and, ultimately, in those roles of a parent where we’re teaching that back down the way to where we’re hoping, at least I’m hoping, that they’re gonna see the way you behave, the things that you do, and want to emulate that as they get older.

Mika Perry: Like, for parenting, nighttime routines and bedtime routines for kids, whenever you talk about babies, and then toddlers, and sleep, and how important a routine is so that the kids know what to expect, because that gives them comfort and security, and also just a physical pattern to follow every night. That’s helpful for kids and it’s continually helpful for adults to have that, too. Again, freeing up your brain space of what to do and think about. It’s less to think about. Our kids love it. Like if we skip a part of the routine they call us out on it.

Russ Perry: They do.

Mika Perry: They’re very ingrained in it.

Russ Perry: All right, well this wraps up our conversations on routine. Hopefully, you think we’re too crazy, and you understand kind of why we do it, but I’d love to hear what your guy’s routines are, so if you want to share your routines, send me or Mika a message on Instagram. You can find us both on there, Russ Perry or Mika Perry, and we will see you next time on the next episode of Good to Be Home. Thanks again.

Mika Perry: See you guys later.

Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good to Be Home.

Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.

Russ Perry: See you next time.