Being an adult can be complicated in terms of sleeping at night. You might have more hours to sleep, but when it comes to the actual quality of sleep you get, it is way below average. The primary reason behind this is stress, anxiety, and depression.
Stress is undeniably what leads to sleep anxiety whether it is from a busy day at work or a busy day at home. In either case, it will significantly affect your quality of sleep. As a result, you will be waking up all grumpy with low energy levels and you would simply want to stay in bed all day long. But, that is not possible in most cases since we all have different goals and tasks planned for the day.
So, what could you possibly do to deal with sleep anxiety and make up for the poor quality of sleep that you’re getting? For starters, a nighttime routine can be your savior and lower your sleep anxiety.
If you’re wondering how you can get a night routine, stop worrying. You have come to the right place and we have got you covered. But, before we get into some night routine ideas, allow us to explain what it actually means and why you need to have a good night routine.
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What Is A Nighttime Routine?
A nighttime routine is a simple lifestyle change that you can adapt to calm yourself and feel relaxed before you go to sleep. It is a set of actions or tasks that you do 30 – 60 minutes prior to going to bed. A night-time routine checklist is meant to be repeated in the same order every single night.
But, don’t worry. It is not a chore in any way whatsoever. In fact, creating a nighttime routine involves evaluating a list of relaxing and fun activities that will take your mind off of things that stress you and bring you anxiety. So, in a way, night routines are your getaway from the harsh realities of the world.
Wondering what fun activities are we are talking about? It can comprise of any number of activities including:
- Warm bath
- Listening to music
- Disconnecting electronics (Notifications can be disturbing, and I’m pretty sure you can relate to them)
But that’s not all, the best part of night routines is that you can make it completely your own. The best night routines are the ones that can make your mind and body feel at peace and in a state of relaxation.
Let’s be realistic here, following someone elses’ nighttime routine might not be ideal because there is a possibility that you might not like reading at night, which may be the number one activity in someone else’s routine.
Now that you have covered the basics, let’s dig in a little further and find out why is it important to have a nighttime routine.
Why Is A Nighttime Routine Important?
Insomnia is a serious health concern and it will take a toll on your health. No one likes the thought of not being able to sleep. But, how do you make your sleep problems go away and keep insomnia away from you? Having a nighttime routine is your answer to helping you enjoy a more restful nights sleep.
A nighttime routine or an evening routine is one of the best lifestyle changes that you’ll ever make. But, to help you understand this better, let’s look at it this way. Following the same set of activities every single night, in the same order is essentially considered a pattern. A pattern that leads to making you feel relaxed and making your brain understand when it’s time to sleep. This is precisely why a nighttime routine is important and why you should have one.
Having an evening routine will prove effective in terms of improving the quality of your sleep because honestly speaking, sleep anxiety and stress are what keeps us up at night, which can be avoided simply by following a relaxing routine.
These routines work by keeping your brain from dwelling on negative thoughts. Having a evening routine helps you to focus more on the relaxing tasks that you love to do. As a result, not only will you be falling asleep quicker, but you will also wake up less frequently during sleep which will allow you to wake up rested and have raised energy levels.
What Should I Do During My Nighttime Routine?
There are plenty of activities that you can incorporate into your nighttime routine. In fact, making your own routine will work better because it will be tailored to your needs. Being realistic here, my nighttime routine will be tailored to my needs and there is a possibility that you not liking what’s on the list.
But don’t worry, we will not leave you stranded. Here are some evening routine ideas to get you started.
In case you didn’t know, a skincare routine would lead to better results when followed at night. This is due to the fact that at night, your skin will be able to interact with the nutrients in your skincare product better. Whereas during the daytime, your skin might be exposed to radiation from the sun which may affect the working of such products.
You can start by using a makeup remover (if you’re wearing any makeup), followed by a gentle cleanser to work through the pores, then applying toner and any treatment product like a hydrating serum. You can also use eye creams or a mask, as long as it serves the purpose of relaxing your body and mind.
What better than journaling to take your mind off of your daytime stress buildup and have something to look forward to reading in the future? Consider it as if you’re writing a letter to a friend and just sharing what you have been through the day.
To make it even more fun and relaxing, you can think of it as a logbook, that you can use to share with the children in the latter part of your life. The best part about journaling is that it will allow you to stay motivated and stick to your nighttime routine. In fact, you might even be compelled to extend the time you spend journaling. But, hey, you should have some time for other activities as well.
3. Take a warm bath
The sensation of warm water can be significantly relaxing and it will put your body in a sleep mode. It essentially works by adjusting the temperature of your body to trigger melatonin production. It might make you feel tired but it will eventually become the reason for a good night’s sleep. Consider taking a warm bath about 30 or 60 minutes before you go to bed for ideal results.
4. Listening to music
Everyone likes listening to music and it can be significantly beneficial for you. Music is proven to improve sleep quality and encourage sleep as well. The genre isn’t important and as long as the music that you listen to relaxes you.
Just close your eyes, put on your headphones and listen to your favorite music, be it classical music, jazz, R&B, or bossa nova. Music allows you to distract yourself from the worries of the day and live in the moment while it makes you fall asleep.
Meditating after a busy day at work, or after a busy day tidying up the house can be significantly rewarding. It will allow you to feel calmer, and relaxed both physically and mentally by releasing your day’s stress build-up. As a result, it will allow you to go to bed with a much-relaxed state of mind and you will have a much clearer mind. –Fun fact, the clearer mind will help you fight off the mind-racing thoughts that keep you up at night.
So, while you meditate and lower your rate of breathing, you’re essentially giving your body a means of getting rid of the stress, anxiety, and depression.
6. Turning off electronics
You might feel tempted to watch your favorite tv series when you hop in your bed. While it might feel relaxing, at the same time, it is blocking your sleep if you continue doing this for long hours. This is due to the blue light emitting from your device’s screen which tricks your brain into thinking it is daytime.
As a result, it will disrupt your normal sleep cycle and you will have trouble sleeping. Additionally, if you’re not much of a video person, you might feel tempted to scroll through your newsfeed or text with your friends. It will have the same result on your brain and force it to stay active instead of calming it down. To avoid this, you need to avoid using electronics, and instead, you can resort to other activities like reading or doing puzzles.
When Should I Start My Evening Routine?
Your evening routine should start an hour before your bedtime to have ample time to evaporate the stress from your body. It should last somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes. The goal here is to build a pattern that you can repeat every single night to encourage your body to relax before going to bed.
Not only will it lead to an improvement in the overall mood, but it will also aid in promoting better mental and emotional health. Once your body acknowledges this pattern, it will automatically put your brain and body in a relaxed state which will allow you to sleep better, and avoid waking up at night.
All you need to do is, follow your daily evening routine checklist before bedtime and once you’re done, hop on to your bed, get comfy and doze off.
Sample Nighttime Routines
There are plenty of evening routine ideas that you can add to your nighttime routine. But, the greater number of activities may make things difficult for you when it comes to making a new nighttime routine.
If you’re having trouble figuring out your nighttime routine, look at our sample nighttime routine. Before you get into your nighttime routine, make sure you set your bedtime and then train your body to wind down around that time every single day by following your routine.
- Set an alarm for bedtime to remind your body it is time to relax.
- Have a light and healthy meal before bed.
- Create a nighttime playlist comprising of relaxing music to take your mind off of the daytime stress build-up.
- Take a warm bath to wash away your stress.
- Read a book, or start writing your journal to keep track of all the good and bad experiences of your day.
- Turn off electronics and let your body doze off.
Additional Tips for Better Sleep
A nighttime routine can significantly help with your sleep issues and ensure you get a good 8-hour sleep every night, without any disturbances. But, to further improve the quality of your sleep here are some tips that you can use:
- Reduce blue light exposure or use a warm light filter in your electronic devices around the evening.
- Avoid consuming caffeine after the evening.
- Avoid long hours of naps or irregular nap routines.
- Set precise times for waking up and going to bed each day and make sure you stick to it.
- Make melatonin supplements a part of your diet to boost the melatonin in your body.
- Dim the lights of your rooms.
- Lower the thermostat of your house to around 65 degrees for a good night’s sleep.
- Relax your muscles by using foam rolling.
- Drink warm liquids such as a cup of chamomile tea.
- Make sure your bed, mattress, and pillow are comfortable.
- Incorporate exercise into your daily routines. But make sure it isn’t before going to bed.
- Avoid fixating on troublesome thoughts when you go to bed.
- Try aromatherapy by using calming fragrances. You can either use lavender or cedarwood since both of them can promote a good night’s sleep.