The Ultimate Nighttime Routine to Help You Sleep

Groggy mornings, afternoon slumps, and loads of coffee to keep you going...sound familiar? Sleep is essential, but most of us aren’t getting enough, or don't know how to stay asleep all night. Adults need around seven or more hours of sleep per night to maintain health and well-being. Getting less than this can lead to some pretty nasty side effects, including weight gain.¹

If you don’t have enough time to relax at night, it can make falling asleep a challenge, cheating you of those precious Z’s. A pre-sleep routine can help calm your mind, relax your body, and get you ready for some shut-eye. To give you some ideas, we’re sharing what we consider to be the ultimate nighttime routine to help you get the sleep you need! Keep reading to discover how to sleep better.

woman drinking green tea

Sleep Like a Baby

There’s something about drinking hot tea in the evening that’s truly calming — especially when it’s in your favorite mug, and it's one of our top ways to improve sleep! It can warm you up, slow you down, and create a moment of serenity. Of course, you should nix the caffeine before bed and opt for a caffeine-free herbal tea that can help you nod off. Chamomile is a popular choice, but if that just isn’t your cup of tea, consider peppermint, rooibos, lemon balm, or tulsi for your wind-down ritual. Just steep and sip your way to dreamland!

woman sitting meditating

Exhale the B.S.

Is your phone the first and last thing you see every day? While it’s pretty common to check your phone right before going to sleep, it’s not the best way to get a good night's rest. A better choice? Breathing exercises. A recent study from the Journal of Clinical medicine looked at the effects of slow-paced breathing for 15 minutes in the evening compared to social media use. The results showed that slow-paced breathing improved self-reported sleep quality compared to social media use.²

When you’re ready for bed, try a basic breathing exercise where you take six to ten slow, deep breaths per minute for a total of ten minutes. This will promote feelings of calm and relaxation just in time to fall asleep!

couple in bed reading

Bedtime Stories

Bedtime stories aren’t just a nightly routine for kids! Digging your nose into a book is a great way to wind down in the evening. The stillness experienced while reading helps your body relax so that you can prepare for sleep. If you really aren’t into reading, try listening to an audiobook while laying down instead.

woman listening to music in bed

The Sound of Music

Extreme stress can get in the way of your sleep. Since stress isn’t completely avoidable, the key is to have healthy coping strategies to help you deal with it. Music has long been recognized as a non-medical treatment for occasional stress and other health concerns.³ It’s been shown to improve stress management to help your mood, and encourage relaxation.³ Turning on some soothing tunes before bed is one of the best calming things to do before bed.  

woman writing in journal

To-Do or Not To-Do

It’s hard to drift off when you have all of tomorrow’s tasks swirling around your mind. To fall asleep, make a to-do list for the next day. Putting thought to paper helps give you peace of mind that you won’t forget something, making it that much easier to fall (and stay) asleep!


Having an intentional nighttime routine can help you wind down before bed so that you can easily slip into sleep. What are your top tips for sleeping through the night? Share them in the comments below!




¹Jerath, R. et al. (2019). Front Psychiatry. 9: 780.
² Laborde, S. et al. (2019). J. Clin. Med. 8(2), 193.
³ Ogba, F.N. et al. (2019). Medicine. 98(15): e15107.

1 comment

Hot shower in evening and blue blocking glasses is best advice

George Vee July 03, 2019

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