The Importance of Evening and Morning Routines by Paluna Santamaria

This week while training a client the topic of my “pre-bed routine” came up. I’ve changed this routine throughout the years and morphed it into what it is now. It has helped tremendously, and I thought it would be a great idea to share with you! I should note I follow it exactly 98% of the time. The remaining 2% is when I fall asleep before I can get through the whole list.

So I present you, straight from the piece of paper stuck to my fridge:

Paluna’s Daily Bedtime Routine

  1. Put phone on airplane mode by 9pm
  2. Read one page minimum of a non-work related book
  3. Meditate five minutes minimum (after reading or in place of)


  • This one is really hard for me.
  • I always end up reading way more, but I commit to one page because it’s manageable and I know I will get through it no matter what.
  • I use one of the meditations for sleep offered by the app “Calm.” They are to be done in bed, which is a treat. I set it up for 20-40 minutes depending on the day. I don’t even remember falling asleep the next day. Win-win!

Paluna’s Daily Wake-up Routine

(Yes I do have a wake-up one too, what a nerd.)

  1. Keep phone on airplane mode until after coffee
  2. Meditate while coffee is being made
  3. Review past to-do lists
  4. Make to-do list of the day (PRIORITY)
  5. Read / write / listen to podcast / listen to music

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  • I work at this daily. The first thing I want to do is turn my phone on.
  • By default I practice Zen meditation, which is what I learnt as a child. The past few years I’m more into mindfulness so I’ve been using “Calm” pretty frequently. It also helps that it’s guided, so I only worry about selecting the length of my practice.
  • I enjoy doing this. I divide my to-do lists into sections. This helps me remember the things that really matter.
  • I borrowed this technique from Tim Ferriss. I choose the three things that are stressing me out the most – and from those three things I commit myself to taking care of the most stressful one first. I don’t add anything to my list of that day until that one thing gets done. It turns out, with this approach I always end up getting through more than I thought; if I don’t there’s no stress because I completed the one thing to which I committed . Win again!
  • This is my favorite part of the morning. It usually continues during my commute.

There you have it! Now I know it looks like I have a ton of free time. The reality is, I’ve identified the things I need to do to manage my stress and I MAKE time to get them done.

Supporting Routines

Here are a few things I do daily to support my routines:

  1. I prep my clothes and everything I’ll need for work the night before. I have been doing this since I was a child. It’s annoying some nights but when you have to wake-up as early as I do, you’d do anything to not have to stress or rush first thing in the morning.
  2. I wake up 30 minutes earlier than I need to get ready. Thirty minutes may sound excessive to some but when I say I don’t like rushing, I really mean it. This extra time allows me to finish my entire cup of coffee in peace, go through my entire wake-up routine and get dressed as slowly as possible. Who thought you could take ten minutes to put on some leggings and a tank top?
  3. I don’t snooze. I’ve come to realize snoozing makes me tired. It feels like running behind the ice cream truck knowing it’s empty. Five to ten minutes extra sleep doesn’t make a difference in my day – so as soon as the alarm goes off, I’m up. Sometimes I’m dragging my feet to the kitchen, but I’m up. By the time I get through my whole routine I’m more than awake and ready to go.
  4. I wake up to Adele, City and Colour or any sweet acoustic/cheesy/calm track I’m into at the moment. Slow enough to help me wake up relaxed but not so spa-like to put me to sleep again.

Do you have any routines you can’t live without? What are they like? Perhaps you are trying to develop one? Share in the comments. I’d love to know!

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