Adults who have a consistent bedtime routine are few and far between, but the benefits of a consistent routine before hitting the hay are indisputable. From helping regulate your circadian rhythm to relaxing your body and mind, sticking to a bedtime routine can help you unwind after a long day.
One of the biggest benefits of a consistent bedtime routine is that you can customize it to whatever fits best for you. There is no one solution for the ideal bedtime routine—your best routine is one that helps you feel calm and ready for lights out. To help inspire you, we’ve put together a list of our favorite bedtime routines for adults.
1. Eat healthy before bed
When you eat a snack or meal too close to when you go to bed, it can cause weight gain and create unhealthy habits. Try setting a time window for yourself to eat your three meals, and stick to that to prevent any late-night cravings from getting the best of you.
Although it can be tempting to reach for that bag of chips, if you really want a late-night snack try opting for healthier food options such as nuts, yogurt, or oatmeal—these can fill you up without making you feel sluggish the next day.
2. Have a warm drink
Drinking a nice cup of tea or glass of milk is a great way to get you in the mood for a relaxing night of sleep. Whether you’re sipping on calming chamomile or some classic warm milk, drinking something warm to relax is a centuries-old bedtime tradition.
If you’re opting for milk, try adding some turmeric (a superfood known for aiding with sleep) to help combat inflammation and provide pain relief. Since some people find turmeric to be a bit bitter, making turmeric golden milk is a great way to sweeten the drink while still getting the benefits of the superfood.
3. Turn down your lights and thermostat
Try lowering your thermostat to 65 degrees for an optimal temperature for sleep. This will help you begin to feel drowsy and make getting under your covers all the more cozy and comfortable.
Additionally, turn down any bright lights in your room to help aid your body in the process of feeling ready for bed. As screen time can have such a significant impact on your quality of sleep, try using a blue light filter or going screen-free completely while getting ready to hit the hay. This helps regulate your circadian rhythm, signaling to your body that it’s time for bed, and can even make waking up in the morning feel easier.
4. Take a shower or bath
Taking a shower or bath at night can help lower your internal body temperature and signal to your body to start winding down. Not only will taking a nightly shower or bath encourage healthy sleep, but it also feels great to wash off the day before hopping onto your mattress. Nighttime showers also give you the opportunity to take your time, as opposed to a rushed morning shower before the day.
5. Have a nighttime yoga session
Doing nightly yoga or foam rolling is a great way to relax before bed. Not only does it physically benefit your body, but yoga can also help clear your mind and improve overall sleep quality.
Whether you are doing a whole yoga flow or spending a few minutes in Savasana, yoga is a fantastic grounding practice that can loosen muscles you didn’t even realize were tense. Try spending 5-10 minutes before bed doing yoga for a week, you might be surprised at how much better you feel in such a short amount of time.
An alternative to yoga that has similar benefits is foam rolling, which can soothe sore muscles and minimize stiffness. Foam rolling has similar benefits to getting a massage and can increase your blood flow so you feel relaxed and ready for bed in no time.
Having a journal to write in daily can help reduce stress and give you an outlet to express yourself. Aside from the mental health benefits, nightly journaling can also signal to your body that it’s time to go to bed.
One of the greatest parts about journaling is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you want to summarize your day, create a to-do list for tomorrow, or write down your accomplishments and goals, journals offer a creative outlet for you to explore and chronicle your daily life.
7. Go screen-free
As mentioned above, using electronics before bed can emit blue light which tricks your body into feeling awake and alert. While blue light is naturally occurring, it makes your brain wake up—which is the opposite of what you want right before bed. If refraining from using technology before bed isn’t for you, try using a blue light filter or blue light glasses to mitigate the negative effects of screen time before bed.
While the ideal bedtime routine lasts around 30-60 minutes, the best routine is whatever works best for you. Pick a routine that you are able to stay consistent with, and try following it for a few weeks—you might be surprised at how much better you feel already. For a complete guide to bedtime routines for adults, check out the infographic below.
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