Want to get better sleep? Or maybe just end your day with some wind-down time? A gentle night routine is the best way to set your next day up for success.
My goal is to start my night routine around 8:30 – and be asleep by 10. It doesn’t always happen, but when I follow these 8 steps, I have such a good start to my next day.
Here are the rules for a gentle night routine, so you can feel your best.
1. Drink tea instead of alcohol (or late-night snacking)
I wanted to stop snacking before bed, and tea has been the perfect, cozy addition to signal the start of bedtime! I love drinking tea as I’m watching a show and then after I finish my tea, it’s time for the closing shift!
2. Do your “closing shift” tasks (aka 10-minute clean-up)
One of my favorite things to do to feel good in the morning is to start my bedtime routine with a 10-minute pickup. I’ve seen people on TikTok refer to this as a closing shift.
It reminds me of working retail when you’d get the store ready for the next day. It’s the same thing for you.
My closing shift tasks look like this:
A little vacuuming
Cleaning the dishes
Wiping the counters
Putting everything back in its place
3. Shower or take a bath and moisturize
A warm shower for me signals it’s time to wind down and completely “clock off” to continue the closing shift vibes. I will sometimes still take showers in the morning, but I love a hot evening shower especially when you have freshly washed sheets!
There are studies that show that hot showers an hour or two before bedtime help you sleep better.
4. Start reducing screen time
Once I’m done with my tea and start my “closing shift”, I’m starting to dial back the screen time. I’ll still check my phone for text messages, but for the last 30 minutes, I make sure to keep it out of my bedroom!
I’ll move from television time to listening to music or a light podcast. Something that feels a little more gentle for the night routine.
5. Lay out your clothes for the next day
Especially your workout clothes if you work out in the morning!
I find that at the end of the day, this task is low-energy and gentle. But in the morning, the fewer things you have to think about the better.
You could take this a step further and get more things ready for the night day. Think: “What can I do to help out my future self for tomorrow?”
5. Write a to-do list for the next day
Because I work for myself, I find it helpful to write a to-do list before the next day. You can write the top three items to keep it simple.
Visualization is such a powerful tool to allow your mind to picture the flow of the day before it happens. Whenever I visualize my morning routine flow before bed, it’s a lot easier to wake up and get in the zone for the day.
Picture yourself sipping your morning coffee while journaling, or whatever your dream morning habits are. Romanticize it, so that you can look forward to it when the morning comes!
8. Read for 30 minutes
After your phone is on DND or outside of your space, read a couple of chapters! It’s best if you can read a physical book, but a lot of times I’m reading with my Kindle. Instead of time, you could also make a goal to read a certain amount of pages. I always just try to give myself a minimum of 30 minutes before I desire to be asleep. For me, that’s about 10 pm!
That’s all the gentle night routine habits I have in place! What are yours? How do you like to wind down?