What does your night routine include? If it looks a lot like you laying on your bed and scrolling through social media until the wee hours of the night, then I think it’s time for a change! Might I recommend a few fresh ideas to add into your nighttime ritual? All of these things will prepare and relax you for bed, and hopefully allow you to have a good night’s sleep.
1. Brush your teeth and wash your face.
My night routine typically begins in the bathroom, brushing my teeth (and sometimes flossing, maybe I’ll be better about that in 2021). I like to wash my face at night too, especially if I was wearing make-up during the day. It feels so nice to splash the cool water on my skin, and it starts to calm me for the night. It’s important to practice these easy forms of self-care on a regular basis, and by incorporating them into your nighttime routine you’ll never forget them.
2. Take any vitamins or medicine.
This step might be skipped by some, but if there’s any vitamins or medications you take at night, don’t forget to include those in your routine! Just keep in mind if your vitamins have to be taken with a meal or not. If they do, then the nighttime might not be best. I typically take a probiotic and my allergy medications at night, because they don’t need to be taken with food. Like washing my face, if I include them in my routine then I’m sure not to forget about them.
3. Set your alarm.
Many people are talking about having an alarm clock that is separate from your phone, and I’m all for that! It means you don’t have to use your phone any more than you already do, and when you first wake up you won’t be confronted by notifications. I like this idea a lot. Either way, remembering to set your alarm should be a crucial part of your night routine. I prefer to do it right away, so that I don’t forget to do it and wake up in a panic.
4. Put your phone away.
By now we all know that the blue light from our phone and computer screens can be harmful to our eyes. It definitely helps to have a pair of blue light shielding glasses, but even with those I’m a firm believer that your phone should not be a part of your night routine. It’s too distracting and minutes can pass by so fast when it’s sucking your attention. Plug your phone in to charge over night then forget about it until morning. The notifications can wait.
5. Journal the day away.
One key part of my nighttime routine over the years has been to journal. You don’t necessarily have to recount everything you did that day (though it can be therapeutic) but instead try focusing on anything that moved you emotionally. It could be a conversation you had, something to do with work or school, or a relationship that’s challenging you. I’ve found it very helpful to journal and get all of my feelings out, and usually by the end of the page I’ve solved all my problems on my own. It’s like talking to a good friend, but really you’re just talking to yourself.
6. Meditate or do a short yoga sequence.
Sometimes I like to incorporate yoga into my bedtime routine. There are some practices you can find online that are specifically made for unwinding before bed, and I swear they could put me right to sleep. If meditating is more your thing, I think right before bed is a great time to do it. Have a space designated specially for this, maybe a spot in your room where you can lay your yoga mat and a pillow or blanket. Cozy yoga or meditation is definitely key to winding down and relaxing after whatever kind of day you have.
7. Diffuse essential oils.
I have always loved to diffuse essential oils, even more so after my friend bought me a beautiful diffuser that lights up and has a few different mist settings. Mixing my own oils has become a cherished part of my routine before bed, and I love to choose whatever scents and benefits I need that day. If I have a headache or just need clarity, I choose peppermint oil. If I’m feeling a little stuffy or under the weather, then eucalyptus and rosemary are my go-to. If I had a big dinner and need help digesting, then I choose lemon. There’s so many benefits of diffusing oils, I love that I can enjoy them before bed.
8. Read in bed.
Reading is a good way to relax before bed, especially because it means avoiding any blue light coming from screens. Much better than watching a show before bed, which I’m guilty of sometimes. Reading is also nice because it takes my mind off the current state of things, and I get to escape into someone else’s life in another place. I think it sets me up well to have some good dreams that night, too.
9. Turn off the lights and turn on soothing music.
This might be obvious, but a big part of my routine at night is turning off my bright lights and just having one or two small lights on. My essential oil diffuser lights up, so typically I just have that on to create a calm space before bed. I’m excited to add some twinkle or string lights to my room, too. To make it even more zen, try turning on some soothing jazz or piano music, or nature sounds if that’s more your thing. The sounds will become a part of your routine and immediately help to calm you down.
10. Count sheep.
Just kidding! The last part of my night routine is crawling under my covers and, on a good day, thinking happy thoughts. Sometimes my mind drifts to less pleasant things, or parts of my life that are causing me anxiety. When that happens I like to instead think about a happy place or memory. I visualize it in my mind and it immediately calms me down. Once I’m calm, I can usually drift off into a peaceful sleep.
I hope this gave you some great ideas for your night routine! Share this article with friends who could use help winding down after a long day.
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Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.