As I mentioned yesterday, my evening routine is much simpler than the morning. In fact, the only real goal for my nights is to end my day. Devote five minutes to Googling the value of sleep, and you will quickly find more good links than time to read them. In fact, look no further than Brain Pickings.

Regardless, we all know sleep is important, and most of us don’t get enough of it. While I always seek eight hours of sleep, I take what I can get and try to maximize the quality of my rest. I have discovered, though trial and error, that I need to place a distinct barrier between waking and sleeping. I find that if I am churning away on a problem before bed, my sleep is fitful and I wake up cranky. This happens irrespective of the amount of time I sleep, because the issue is the quality of my rest.

Fortunately, I have found that I can erect this barrier very easily by just reading a little fiction before bed. I first tried reading anything long-form, but the results were hit-or-miss. Non-fiction books or articles, it seems, tend to redirect my thoughts rather than winding them down.

So, my nightly routine is in the end, very simple. A half an hour before I want to be asleep, I turn off the bedroom lights (I think darkness is important but haven’t bothered with the science), increase size of the font on my front-lit Kindle and read. I don’t sweat the amount of time I spend reading or try to limit it to a half hour. I just read until I notice I’m dozing, set aside the book, and sleep the sleep of the just.

Now, if you’re not already reading something, I suggest Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. If you don’t like Reacher, leave this blog and never come back. He is a national treasure.