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If it’s something you should take seriously, it’s your sleep. Sleep is so crucial for your mental and physical well-being so learning how to create a relaxing nighttime routine for better sleep is important.
Creating a nighttime routine can prepare your body and mind for better sleep and actually, the process can be pretty enjoyable!
Why is sleep so important?
Without enough sleep, we’re a mess. I think everyone reading this has had at least one night where they didn’t get enough sleep and felt awful the next day. Here are some of the benefits of getting enough sleep.
- Boosts immune system: fewer sick days!
- Strengthens your heart
- Increased productivity and motivation
- Improved memory
- Healthy weight
You can read more about the health benefits here.
How much sleep do I need?
The general recommendation for adults is 7-9 hours a night.
But here’s the thing, we are all different. Some people can thrive off of 5 hours a night while others need 9 hours of sleep. Oversleeping is also possible and can mess with your day just like lack of sleep.
You’ll have to figure out what works with your body. Try getting 7 hours of sleep and if you feel like it wasn’t enough, try adding an hour the next night.
It might sound complex at first, but your body will thank you once it gets into the routine.
Create a Comfy Space
Let’s start with your sleep oasis, is it comfy? Your bedroom should be calm, clean, and comfy for better sleep. Here are a few things that can help improve the atmosphere in your bedroom.
Scents & Lighting
When it comes to making your bedroom calming, I recommend focusing on scents and lighting.
Light a candle or run a diffuser with these calming scents/oils:
Lighting in your bedroom also plays an important factor when winding down and preparing your body for sleep.
When getting ready for bed, dim your lights. This will tell your body it’s time to wind down. If you like using LED lights in your room, stay away from blue and use red instead. Studies show that blue lights can suppress melatonin while red lights don’t.
Unless you are someone who thrives in messy environments (as some people actually do) you might need to spend some time rearranging and decluttering your bedroom.
A messy room can cause us stress and anxiety which ultimately affects our sleep at night.
- Go through clothes and items throughout your room. Donate what you don’t need.
- Revision your room and change up the theme/layout.
- Buy organizers for any messy areas (extra blankets, makeup space, closet, etc)
It is so important that your bed is comfortable. I mean, have you ever slept on an uncomfortable bed? You probably got only a few hours of sleep and woke up with an achy body. A comfortable bed is an absolute must!
Here are a few things you can do to improve the comfort of your bed:
- Satin Pillow Case – Helps tame frizz and prevents hair breakage! My fave is from Kitsch ♡
- Invest in quality pillows.
- Mattress Topper – Make your mattress even comfier by investing in a cooling gel mattress topper like this one that helps improves your comfort and keeps you cool.
- Blankets – you can never have enough!
I believe that pampering yourself as part of your nighttime routine helps prepare for a good night of rest. When our body feels good and relaxed, it’s easier to fall asleep. Here are a few things I love to do before bed and they’re actually beneficial!
Something I’ve discovered lately that is amazing for our health and skin is dry brushing! Using a dry brush on dry skin in an upwards motion is proven to:
- Detox the skin by increasing blood circulation
- Unclog pores
- Stimulating the lymphatic system
- Exfoliates gentler than some body-scrubs
- Helps break down cellulite
Baths before bed are amazing to help destress our bodies. They have also been proven to help improve sleep. From relief of muscle pain to increasing your metabolism, taking even a 25-minute bath can help improve your sleep at night.
Make it more enjoyable:
- Play soothing music
- Use Epsom salts
- Bubbles and bath bombs are always fun
- Use relaxing essential oils like lavender, rose, and ylang-ylang (with a carrier oil)
Focusing on skincare is simply self-care. Yes, even if you’re a guy. Whether it’s having a whole skincare routine or just simply applying a face mask, the act of taking care of your skin is uplifting and you can go to bed feeling good about yourself.
Journal / Plan
Journaling and planning for the next day before bed can actually be anxiety-reducing and helps you be motivated for the next day resulting in better sleep.
I suggest having a separate journal and planner to stay organized but you could really do this all in one notebook.
Journaling before bed helps you reflect on your day, your feelings, and your goals. It’s where you can redirect anything negative that happened and turn it into something more positive.
Here are a few guidelines you can use when journaling every night:
- List 5 things you’re grateful for
- List at least one good thing that happened today
- What can be improved tomorrow?
I would personally be lost without planning out my days. Planning out your day, week, and month can improve productivity and decrease stress.
Before your head hits the pillow, you’ll know that there’s a game plan for the next day. When you wake up the next morning, you’ll already have an idea of what you need to accomplish.
Related post: 5 Life-Changing Habits That Will Improve Your Future
I recommend buying a planner especially if you’re a busy person as it will help you be more organized.
Limit Social Media An Hour Before Bed
Are you guilty of scrolling through Instagram before falling asleep too? Trust me, a lot of us are. But it can actually be the reason a lot of us have trouble falling asleep.
Did you know that according to the Sleep Foundation, a study found that 70% of people use their phones while in bed?
As I mentioned above, blue light that comes off of our electronics suppresses melatonin which affects our sleep.
Staring at our screen before bed can actually cause us not to be as tired! If there’s ever a reason you need to be on your electronics before bed, it’s recommended to be using blue-light blocking glasses.
Besides blue light though, social media can cause FOMO or fear of missing out. We feel the need to constantly stay connected to everybody else and know what everyone else is doing when truly, we need to disconnect.
A couple of things you can do to help resist the urge to reach for your phone:
- Turn off your notifications. You can go through and silence specific social media notifications so you don’t feel the need to check when your friend posts a new status or photo.
- Charge your phone in a different room. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, you could always buy an actual alarm clock instead. There are some pretty cool ones out there now!
If you’re not a fan of just laying in bed counting sheep to make you sleepy, you should have a relaxing activity in your nighttime routine that isn’t scrolling through social media.
- Listen to relaxing music/podcast
- Have a cup of tea and a light snack
It’s important to remember that we shouldn’t be doing much of anything in bed other than sleeping. We need our bodies to recognize that once we lay in bed, it’s time to actually fall asleep.
So when partaking in your relaxing activities, do so in a place that isn’t in bed but still comfy. Whether that’s another comfy spot in your room or the couch.
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Remember that a good nighttime routine can consist of creating a comfy space, having a pamper session, journaling, remembering to limit social media an hour before bed, and doing a relaxing activity.
These are all good tips for better sleep but you can use them as a guide to creating your own nighttime routine!
Sleep well, my friend.
Amanda Burnett is a 25-year-old content creator. Growing up with a disability, she wanted to prove to herself that she was capable of accomplishing her dream life. Today she is helping her audience realize their potential as well! Her goal is to motivate as many people as she can through her lifestyle, beauty, and self-improvement content.