These are the things I do every night before bed. They might not work 100% for you, but they might just give you a few ideas for what you want to try out to make your bedtime routine as solid and sleep-giving as possible.
Once my bedtime reminder notification goes off, I get after this list. Some of the things I have on my list are in preparation for an efficient and productive morning, which is really important to me. I’ve noticed when I don’t do these 10 things, my morning routine isn’t as strong because I didn’t set myself up for success.
And yes, some days, all ten of these don’t happen, and that’s life. But for the most part, these have become a habit that I honor daily. If you want to start owning your bedtime routine so you can get the best sleep possible and own your morning routine, read on, mama.
1. Put your phone away one hour before bed
This is huge for me. And the hardest one for me to stick to because it’s SO easy not to do it. I’m going to go ahead and say that regardless of who you are, it should be huge for you too.
Blue light isn’t all bad — it can boost your mood and alertness — but too much of it is threatening to our daily and long term health. And when it comes to your nighttime routine, blue light from your phone and other devices causes your brain to stay active, which is not what you want when you’re trying to shut your eyes for the night. Plus putting your blue light devices away early eliminates the slippery slope of scrolling through Instagram or binging on Netflix by default.
Try putting your phone away an hour before you go to bed, I was surprised how much of a difference it made for my bedtime routine.
2. Prep coffee for the next morning
(Bulletproof) coffee is one of things I look forward to most in the morning. It’s not just the caffeine, although that is nice. I love the ritual of drinking a hot cup of coffee when the day is still dark and fresh.
Jeff and I use to be coffee snobs and make pour over coffee every morning. But that wasn’t high enough on the priority list once we had Hayes. Those 10 minutes in the morning can be put to better use. Now we use this Black Stainless Steel Cuisinart Coffee Maker (highly recommend, it’s been great!) and prep our coffee the night before so we walk into the kitchen to freshly brewed coffee.
I still think pour over tastes better, but the time-savings, the smell, and the no-fuss morning make this cup of joe a close second. We always brew our local favorites Kalamazoo Coffee Company flavored coffee (hazelnut is Jeff’s favorite, and butter pecan is mine) or Water Street Coffee’s Mocha Java.
3. Fill up your water bottle
Hydration is so incredibly important. I fill my water bottle up before I head to bed and leave it next to my bed. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night wanting a little something to drink, but mostly because I want to start drinking water asap in the morning. As much as I love my coffee, I won’t have any coffee until I have finished a whole bottle of water first.
To me, this just feels like a really easy way to prepare myself for hydration success. It’s much easier to start the day with hydration when you sleep with a water bottle ready to drink next to your bed. Try it out!
4. Lay out your workout clothes
I’m not above laying out your clothes out for work the next day either, but at least lay your workout clothes out! Working out in the morning is one of my keys to success. I work out in the morning so I don’t have to deal with it after work when my will power is significantly lower than it is at 5am and when I would rather be spending time with my daughter and my husband.
It might sound silly, but sometimes the hardest part of working out is getting your clothes on so you can get started. Take this step and make it that much easier to start.
5. Brush your teeth
I don’t think we need to go over why this is on my list of things to do every night before, you are all fully capable adults. But if anyone has tried an electric toothbrush or water pick let me know, Jeff and I are thinking about getting them, thanks 😉
6. Wash + moisturize your face
I love the feeling after I wash my face and put on my moisturizer. It is so incredibly refreshing. Washing your face feels like new cars smell.
Nerdy habit moment? Washing your face is a great things to incorporate into the things you do every night before bed because it nicely follows the action (washing your face), reward (feeling extremely refreshed) pattern that keeps your brain coming back for more.
If you’re interested, use this for 20% off of your order on their site. I am a huge advocate for the brand.
7. Kiss your people and tell them you love them
Even if you don’t like them that day, kiss them and tell them you love them. Life is too dang short, y’all!
8. Journal or brain dump
I have always wanted to journal, but I never stick with it. I think I overcomplicate it because I’m not sure exactly what to write and I never think I write enough, but if you’re a journal kind of girl this is the time. If you’re like me, you might try a brain dump instead, which is essentially writing down all of the things that are floating around in your brain.
Whatever you decide — journal or brain dump — it’s a great exercise to incorporate into you bedtime routine because it gets the clutter out of your head so you can relax. I keep a notebook by my bed and write. it. out. before I start to read.
Reading has always helped me get my mind and body ready to sleep. At this point in my life I usually only read for about 10 minutes, because I am ready to go to bed and I can’t stay up. Seriously. So I stick to reading a devotional or keep a book that I can read over a long period of time next to my bed. But you can read for as long as you have time for.
p.s. I am a huge fan of Audible and I love my Kindle, but I really think having a physical book is nice for bedtime routine. Keep things simple, distraction-free, and it gives your brain a break from all of the light and the noise.
10. Gratitude + prayer
This has become one of my favorite practices. Before I go to bed I reflect on everything that I am grateful for that day. The key here is to not judge yourself, just let it all flow out. Somedays I literally say that I am thankful for Nutella. And I mean it. Some days you are going to be grateful for life-changing heart-melting things. And other days, it’s going to be Nutella and both are valid and worthy of thanks.
Occasionally I go to bed earlier than Jeff, but when our bedtimes align we like to tell each other what we were thankful for that day. I’ve really enjoyed sharing that little moment with him. I consider what I’m thankful for to be the start of my prayer. After I’m done with gratitude I move onto the rest of my prayers and then I’m off to bed until my alarm goes off at 4:50am.