The Importance of a Night Routine

It’s 1 AM and you’re walking back from the library after burying your face in a textbook or staring at a computer screen for hours. Or maybe it’s 3 AM and you and your friends are returning after a long night out. The last thing you want to do is wash your face, tidy your room or pick out tomorrow’s outfit. Trust me, I FEEL this. Last year, I would come back, hastily brush my teeth and jump into bed. Night after night of doing this, I realized I wasn’t actually going to bed. I would sit on my phone for thirty minutes scrolling through social media (and most recently tik toks eek). 

This semester, I challenged myself to use some of that time on my phone and develop a nighttime routine instead. As one who has trouble falling asleep, I repeatedly heard for the last five years how a routine can increase one’s ability to fall asleep faster. I genuinely didn’t believe this but I figured I would give it a try for the sake of curiosity. I have maintained a consistent night routine for the past two months and do truly notice a difference in my nights as a whole. While the improvement of falling asleep is debatable, I found myself more relaxed and organized going to bed each night. A night routine creates a sense of discipline and consistency in my everyday life. While it is overly idealistic to expect yourself to follow a routine every night, it is something to try to incorporate at least a few times a week. Not to sound like a nerd or anything, but it can actually become fun and exciting to have a half-hour dedicated to simply you before bed. You will find improvement in the quality of your sleep, your organization, and overall stress levels. 

 

My night routine usually goes something like this: 

  1. Tidy my desk: This helps my dorm feel less cluttered and gives me a fresh start for the next day. I know where all my belongings are and can sleep around a clean area. 

  2. Pack my necessary textbooks or notebooks for the next day of classes and pick an outfit for the next day: While I don’t do this every day, it especially comes in handy during my early morning classes incase I am rushing out the door because I am not, and I mean am NOT a morning person.

  3. Brush my teeth and wash my face: I used to be very lazy when it came to washing my face. I would fall asleep with a full face of makeup, which led to immediate acne outbreaks and very weak eyelashes. Disciplining myself to wash my face every night keeps my face acne-free and fresher before bed. Splashing water against my fast is also a very calming feeling, which I now associate with going to bed. I have essentially conditioned myself to get sleepy after washing my face. 

  4. Moisturize my face and use lavender lotion for my hands and arms: As mentioned in a previous post, Lush’s lavender lotion carries a powerful lavender scent which is incredibly soothing on my arms and back. I also use American Eagle’s CBD Mood muscle balm on my back after sitting by a laptop for hours. 

  5. If I can, I will turn all my lights off except for my string lights, which creates a fairylike atmosphere to calm down. 

  6. Turn my fairy lights off and limit my phone usage to around fifteen minutes: We’ve all heard it before; blue light before bed can be a sleep inhibitor so I try to avoid too much exposure directly before bed. 

  7. Watch a TV show: I know this sounds counter-intuitive to avoiding blue-light, but I’ve found fifteen minutes of a small show that leaves me lighthearted before going to bed. This is a recent addition to my night routine and I’ve found continuing a show each night gives me something small to look forward to. It is my break from the chaos of the real world and distracts my mind from everyday stress. This is usually the last thing I do before going to bed and I find my brain essentially “turned off,” after doing so.