What should be my night routine?
Nighttime is a difficult time of day.
It’s been a long day at work or with the kids. You’re exhausted. Willpower is low. And it’s almost impossible to stick to anything healthy or good for you.
Or is it?
This is why an intentional night routine is so important. With the right repetitive habits, you can still take care of yourself even when you least feel like it. Which in turn, gives you a huge advantage in your everyday health, happiness, and productivity.
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”Mike Murdock
So, today we’re looking at key ways to make your night routine work better for you.
In this article you’ll find:
- 10 Tips for Night Routine Success (and plenty of great rituals to try!)
- My Ideal Night Routine
- The Bedtime Routines of Three Impactful Women
Now, let’s get to it!
10 Critical Tips for an Amazing Night Routine
1. Decide What You Need – Night Routine Ideas
First, we must decide what actions to try in a new beautiful evening routine. So, take a look at the list below, and jot down three items that you think would be most helpful to you at night. All are meant to calm you down for the evening or set you up for tomorrow’s success.
The Night Routine List
- Read a good book
- Journal (gratitude, celebrate small wins, and/or check-in with habits)
- Listen to soothing music or nature sounds
- Take a bath
- Drink a cup of tea (an hour or two before bed)
- Connect with your partner or kids
- Make your priority list for tomorrow
- Set things out for tomorrow
- Tidy a space that needs it
- Do a brain dump (write down anything you are thinking about to get it out of your head)
- Practice gratitude
- Do bedtime yoga or stretching
- Do something creative
- Take a light walk
- Watch a show that helps you shut down (no feeling guilty)
2. Try the Golden Ten
Carl Pullein (productivity couch and author) spends ten minutes each day reviewing how he’s doing on his goals and objectives and what he can do to improve on them for the future. This practice is an effective and straightforward way to see if you’re making progress on what you want out of life.
So, if you need more direction or purpose to your days, consider adding this to your night routine list as well.
3. Curb Bad Habits
Mm, but where do we find the time for the tremendous actions above?
Next, you must take a look at what is currently filling your time. Which night time activities are not helping you wind down or progress forward?
Possibilities may include:
- Scrolling your social media feed
- Binge-watching shows or YouTube
- Worrying about everything (the day, other people’s opinions, things that could go wrong)
- Video games
- Finishing a book you don’t enjoy
- Checking email
- Online shopping
- Eating late at night
- Drinking caffeine and large amounts of alcohol
In today’s time, the biggest hindrance to a life-changing night routine is our screens. There are so many ways to get sucked into our devices, and hours can pass before we notice.
But, by intentionally keeping track of your technology, you’ll be eliminating most of the destructive habits on this list. So, set a time limit for your screens. Perhaps you scroll your social media for a thirty-minute allotment only, or you turn your phone on airplane mode at 9:00 pm every night.
Set firm rules that limit your self-sabotage. Then, stick to them!
4. Create Rituals That Promote Sleep
Next, we can improve our night routine by focusing on getting the best sleep possible.
Experts suggest building a hygiene ritual that signals to your brain that you’re preparing for sleep. Not only do these actions tell your mind it’s time to sleep, but they make sleeping easier as well.
So, make a short sleep ritual of turning down the lights, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, cooling off your room, and starting the white noise or fan. It will only take a few minutes, but it will be the trigger your brain needs to relax.
5. Utilize a Weekend Night Routine
Now, we all know that weekends can mess up your routine faster than a toddler swipes a brownie. (Trust me, this is fast!)
But they can also set you up for a fantastic week ahead. So, go ahead and utilize that extra time.
Channel the self-care Sunday vibe and add to your weekend night routine. Perhaps you deep condition your hair, take a bubble bath, or enjoy a long walk in the evening. Whatever you do, nurture yourself before bed, so that you’re ready to conquer the week ahead.
Additionally, be flexible on the weekends, but don’t abandon your routine completely. Taking a one day break is fine, but overall consistency is key to keeping the routine (and benefits) alive.
Related Post: A Sunday Checklist to Prep for an Amazing Week
How to Stick to Your New Night Routine
Sticking with anything new isn’t easy, but these tricks help make the road ahead a smoother path.
6. Slowly Build a Strong Foundation
Now that we’ve separated the good from the bad, the key is to dip your toes in the water, instead of a headfirst plunge.
What is one habit you can do for the next week?
Commit and dedicate your time to this one habit every night. You should have plenty of free time for it now that you’re limiting the things that hold you back. Try this habit for two or three weeks, then add a second ritual to your night routine.
By slowly building, you’ll be setting a strong foundation for this night routine that lasts. Not a stack of cards that falls as soon as the table begins to shake.
7. Create Reminders
Next, make it easy to remember your new night routine! Most of us need help when the going gets tough.
So, set an alarm for your phone each night telling you when to get off your screens and start your routine. Often, it’s harder to get started than to keep the ball rolling.
A checklist works well too! Sign up below for extensive self-care ideas and a daily checklist to keep track of your rituals!
8. Plan for Your Obstacles
We all have challenges to our ideal routines Remember those awful habits above?!
No matter how devoted you are to a better night routine, there will always be obstacles. So, plan ahead for this!
Here are a few common problems and possible solutions:
Problem #1: Just when you settle down to journal, one of your kids (that’s supposed to be asleep) enters the room.
Solution: Tell your child that if they enter your room after a certain time there is a consequence (lights out, early bedtime tomorrow, etc.) Then, follow through.
Problem #2: Or you don’t get to journaling at all because Netflix won’t stop playing the next show.
Solution: Decide beforehand that your partner will turn off the tv after two episodes of your show. No matter what!
Now that we’ve explored a few, what are your most common obstacles? And possible solutions?
You won’t be able to take care of all challenges in your day, but by adjusting and planning for your obstacles, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding.
Finally, text a friend or family member your nightly routine for a few weeks. No matter what the obstacles, knowing that you have to send a picture will get you to follow through.
9. Make it Easy to Look Forward to
Importantly, be sure that the actions you pick are those that you truly benefit from.
After a few weeks, if journaling doesn’t make you happy, then don’t force it. Likewise, if drinking tea before bed makes you pee at midnight, opt for a different wind-down ritual. It’s essential that you love these bedtime routine actions and look forward to bookmarking the end of your day. So, listen to your body and mind.
Otherwise, what’s the point?
10. Set Work Boundaries
Finally, this is crucial. So many of us still have to-do items that need to get done at night. While it feels good to “get things done” when the kids are in bed, the truth is that we slowly destroy our mental health and make our following day less productive. As a result, burnout is now officially a syndrome!
If you’re a night owl and tend to be ridiculously productive at night, then take this advice with a grain of salt. But for the majority of us, it’s difficult to be effective at night and still wind down for a rewarding day tomorrow.
So, decide on a time every night that you check out from work and your adult responsibilities. It will be one of the best things you ever do for yourself.
My Ideal Night Routine
As a mom of three littles, this is what my beneficial night routine looks like. Do I get there every night? Definitely not. But I do often, and it includes the rituals that make me happy.
Early afternoon: Cut off caffeine.
After dinner: A cup of herbal tea, take a walk with family
1 hour before bed: Turn off the phone/computer, stop drinking water, jammies, lay out tomorrow’s workout clothes, personal hygiene, journal check-in, read for 10-30 minutes
30 minutes before bed: Time with hubby
The biggest issue at bedtime is letting go of the day. If I follow the night routine, it’s no problem. If I deviate too often, my mind is like a hamster that escapes its cage. (Which does not result in a great night’s sleep)
What do Successful People do at Night?
Seeing what works for other people is a huge part of learning, so here are the night routine actions of incredibly impactful women.
Oprah Winfrey – The media mogul described her daily routine to Bazaar, and it includes a nightly bath before bed.
Arianna Huffington – After collapsing due to exhaustion, Arianna discovered the importance of unplugging and plenty of sleep. She “escorts” her screens out of the bedroom at night, takes an Epsom salt bath, and sleeps only in pajamas (Business Insider).
Jennifer Lopez – Here’s what Jenn told Instyle –
“The number one tip is to always get enough sleep. I can’t stress this enough. Beauty comes from within—you have to keep your mind, soul, body, and spirit in sync. I am a firm believer in meditating and when you are happy and feel joy and love, you radiate beauty.”
Something to Consider With Your Bedtime Routine
Now, it’s time to step into your intentions.
What are you doing at night that helps you? What are you doing that hurts you?
Each day is simply your life in miniature, so be careful with even the smallest of routines. In the end, they make up a large portion of your existence.
More Ideas About Building Strong Routines & Habits
- Proven Tips to Build Better Habits
- 10 Powerful Morning Routine Ideas
- How to Get Up at 5 am and Not Feel Tired