Here's the Nighttime Routine I Swear By

Listen: we all know sleep is super important. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get around 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleeping well, and doing so regularly, can drastically impact your mood, as well as the quality of your work. 

But, I’ve actually found that having a chill and fun nighttime routine can be just as important as sleep itself. Your nighttime routine should obviously be customized to your needs and preferences, but I’m going to give you a few of my best tips to make sure you have a relaxing night and a great sleep! 

1. Set the mood

cat lying in bed Bed Photo by Gaelle Marcel from Unsplash

Before you even get in bed, there are a few things I’d recommend doing to make sure you create a soothing, zen environment for yourself. I personally like to first lower the shades in my room (I live in a big city, so all the bright lights coming in from outside can be very distracting). I also like to dim the lights in my room, because I feel that it helps me feel calmer and more prepared to sleep. If you have LED lights that change color, try switching them to the red setting – it'll not only make your room look super cool and vibey, but it actually might help you sleep better, too!

2. Turn off your electronics

Person listening to music on laptop Photo by Steinar Engeland from Stocksnap

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you should stop using electronic devices about 30 minutes prior to bedtime. I know it’s super tempting to scroll through Instagram or text your friends at night (heck, I’m guilty of doing this from time to time, too), but I've been trying to take some time before going to sleep to just unwind and give myself a much-needed digital detox.

3. Try meditation and yoga

person stretching and exercising Photo by Logan Weaver from Unsplash

Feeling bored without your phone? Well, I’ve got a solution for that! As I said, I, too, am often tempted to fall asleep with the newest Netflix original playing in the background. But, I’ve found that doing something grounding and calming – like meditation or yoga – before sleeping helps me sleep way better. 

New to yoga and meditation? That’s alright! There’s no need to push yourself to become the next great yogi. But even learning a few simple poses and practicing them for bed will help your body feel calm and centered. 

Much like yoga, meditation isn’t something that’s intimidating or complex. It’s basically the practice of focusing on your breath and bringing awareness to your surroundings. Ask yourself this: when’s the last time you just sat back and lived in the present moment? When’s the last time you really paid attention to your breath?

If it’s been a while, sit down and start by taking deep breaths. Try to clear your mind and just focus on the sensations you’re feeling in the current moment. Try not to move around too much or succumb to distracting stimuli. Just breathe, and appreciate the moment you’re in. After all, there’s no time like the present.

4. Don’t forget skincare – and body care, too!

Sora Shimazaki via Pexels

After doing my yoga and meditation, I like to take some time to really take care of my skin at the end of a long, hard day. Cleansing and moisturizing really helps make me feel cared for and soothed. Also, I don’t like to feel rushed or stressed out when I’m completing these steps in my routine. So, I make sure to allocate around 20 minutes to skin/body care before I plan to sleep. 

I, personally, enjoy showering a little earlier in the evening, so I normally don't do it right before I head to bed. But, I know that some people do swear by taking a nice hot shower and then getting cozy in bed immediately afterward. If that’s what floats your boat, then go for it!  

5. Brush those pearly whites

set of natural toiletries Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

I couldn’t write about my nighttime routine without mentioning this! Brushing my teeth right before bed makes me feel super clean and fresh. And, for me, it signifies the final step of my nighttime self-care routine. I think the most important aspect of this routine is that nothing is rushed. Everything I do is intentional and meant to further soothe and prepare me for a nice, long sleep. And this helps me wake up ready to conquer the day!