We always hear people talking about morning routines for success. I’m going to argue that night routines are just as important.
How you start your day is nearly just as important as how you end your day. Often, we work right up until the end, or even fall asleep in our calculus books without having changed out of normal clothes. (I DEFINITELY haven’t done that before)
We talk a lot about how important it is to get enough sleep. In order to do that, and wake up and have a successfully productive morning routine, you need to go to bed early and be able to sleep when you go to bed.
So, in order to do that, I’ve put into place the following night routine.
NOTE: It doesn’t always go like this, but it’s something to strive for.
9:00 PM – STOP Working
Just as it’s important to have a start time for work, it’s important to have a stop time. It keeps you motivated and knowing there’s a light at the end of the focus-tunnel. For me, it reduces procrastination and increases focus. If I’m intentionally trying to stop at a certain time from the start, I’ll be able to manage my time so I’m wrapping up at that target time. I’ve found for many (including myself) that we will often deprioritize sleep in favor of getting work done. I’m here to tell you that that does not have to be the case. Some sacrifices will have to be made, but it doesn’t have to be sleep. Put a reminder on your phone for the time that you want/need to stop work, and try your best to stick to that stop time
NOTE: What do I do if I finish work BEFORE 9? This rarely happens, but if I do, I will go into email and deal with things there, or take some time to clear notifications on my phone and check social.
9:00-9:15 – Put away work and clean up + drink water
I take about fifteen minutes after stopping my work to put it all away, pack up my backpack, and tidy up my room before going to sleep. For me, I find that having a clean space makes me feel more at ease – which is great to have right before going to bed. I also make sure to drink remaining water in my bottle to ensure I’m hydrated.
9:15-9:40 – Take off makeup, shower, get dressed
I try to take my time at night to shower, lotion, and get dressed. Something as simple as taking time to moisturize or put on some fuzzy socks can improve mood and decrease stress so much.
9:40-9:50 – Make Tea
At night, I love to treat myself to a nice cup of herbal tea, or sometimes warm chocolate milk (if I’m feeling more decadent). This calms down the nervous system.
9:50-10:00 – Journal
I almost always take five-ten minutes every night to write down whatever thoughts and feelings are on my mind. I’ll usually sip my tea while I do this.
10:00-10:15 – Read
To end my night, I like to take my mind off of analyzing myself and my life, and I’ll take some time to read. If I’m not reading a fiction book, I’ll make sure that the book I’m reading isn’t too productivity-based. So, sometimes I’ll read a book on mindfulness, but right now I’m reading The Other Wes Moore.
As you can see, if I follow this routine in conjunction with my morning routine, I’ll be sleeping for just over 7 hours – which is pretty good comparatively. I can often make it to bed sooner with this routine, like, for instance, if I don’t need to wash my hair.
Side note: what do you NOT see in this night routine?? MY PHONE! Now, let’s be honest here, I’m probably going to be texting my friends some last-minute things and telling my boyfriend good night, but I’m working towards eliminating my phone from my routine by using those 15 minutes of tidying up to also wrap up any conversations and clearing any notifications.
This night routine takes just over an hour, but yours can take as much time as you think it should. We could easily shorten this to 40 minutes:
- 5 minutes – straighten up
- 15 minutes – shower/get dressed
- 5 minutes – tea
- 5 minutes – journal
- 10 minutes – read
These are all good things that you can add to your routine, but you can add whatever you want to! Maybe you want to add a stretching routine, or maybe you want to schedule a bit of mindful meditation. Tell me what you want to add in the comments and we can brainstorm!