Updated: Aug 10
Struggling to get to sleep and get good quality sleep? You need a nighttime routine. Here are 15 tips to help you get better sleep right now using bedtime rituals.
15 Night Routine Ideas For Better Sleep and Well-Being
Creating a strong bedtime routine is essential for your health. After a long day of mental and physical work, a healthy sleep routine can ensure you fall asleep faster and get a good night's sleep so that you can be your best self the next day.
Benefits of a Solid Nighttime Routine
Developing a strong nightly bedtime routine can help you:
Clear your mind
Limit difficulty falling asleep
Improve the symptoms of sleep disorders
Boost mental health
Improve sleep quality [*]
15 Best Night Routine Ideas
1. Set a Bedtime
Plan out when exactly you need to be asleep in order to get enough sleep. For adults, this should be 7 to 9 hours per night. Then, figure out how long your bedtime routine will take. If you need to, set an alarm for when you need to start winding down so you don't miss any critical steps during the evening hours.
2. Write a To-Do List
If you keep a running checklist in your mind of things that must be done, write it down. Ruminating on what you didn't finish today and what needs to be done tomorrow can keep you lying awake at night. To-do lists allow you to schedule your next day so that you can rest easy knowing there's a plan in place.
3. Prep for Your Morning Routine
You likely have a morning routine that you'll jump into once you're awake. Take a few minutes to lay out your workout clothes or set up your coffee machine so you wake up relaxed.
4. Make a Playlist
Having a set playlist full of relaxing music can help signify to your brain that it's time to wind down. In fact, classical music has been shown to aid with sleep. However, you can listen to any calming music that puts you in a good, peaceful mood. [*]
5. Drop the Blue Light
If you enjoy watching tv right before bed, it's time to drop the habit. Electronic devices emit blue light which throws off your circadian timing, making your body think it's time to stay awake. Studies back this up, showing that lots of blue light before bed lowers melatonin production levels, which makes it hard to fall asleep and delays your REM sleep. [*]
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6. Take a Warm Bath
Taking a warm bath (or warm shower) can actually help lower your body temperature, which encourages a good night's sleep. [*]
7. Keep a Cool, Dark Space
Part of good sleep hygiene (sleeping habits that help you get good sleep and stay asleep) is keeping your bedroom comfortable, dark, and cool. This helps keep your circadian rhythm on track, putting you into the mood to fall asleep. As part of your bedtime routine, turn the temperature down, turn on fans, and close the curtains.
8. Have a Nighttime Beverage
Enjoying a calming beverage is a helpful part of a night routine as it can put your brain into sleep mode. In particular, chamomile tea can help you sleep thanks to its flavonoid content, which binds with receptors in the brain to create a sedative effect. [*]
9. Use Aroma Therapy
Some fragrances have a calming effect that can help encourage a healthy sleep cycle. You can diffuse a few drops of essential oil and breathe it in, or add some to your warm bath.
10. Make a Connection
Touching base with your loved ones can boost feelings of safety, trust, happiness, and love. Experiencing those positive emotions before bed can help you sleep easier and get a deep sleep.
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Reading can be a great replacement for screen time if you're struggling to drop the habit. It can also be helpful if you're lying awake unable to fall asleep in the middle of the night.
12. Practice Bedtime Writing
Part of a good bedtime routine is letting go of your day's stress, which can be done through writing. You may also practice gratitude journaling as a way to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
13. Use a Mindfulness Meditation
Practicing relaxation techniques during your bedtime routine can help you with falling asleep and getting better sleep quality. Mindfulness meditation forces you to zero in on your awareness and helps you let go of anxious thoughts, which can allow you to get a good night's rest.
14. Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another way to relax during your nighttime routine is to practice progressive muscle relaxation. This technique involves tensing each individual muscle, from head to toe, and then slowly relaxing it. This helps ground you in your body, getting your out of your mind and helping you to sleep.
15. Use Breathing Exercises
You may also use breathing exercises in your bedtime routine to help yourself fall asleep. A simple option to try is to breathe in for seven seconds, then out for five. Repeat over and over, focusing on the breath.