15 Night Routine Ideas to Send You Into a Slumber

Insomnia won’t stand a chance.

If you’re anything like us, you probably get an irritating jolt of energy right before bed. You know, the kind that makes you scour your entire camera roll for that one photo of your friend hopping a fence, which prompts you to text said friend for 2 hours, which somehow leads you to stalk your ex on Facebook. And suddenly it’s 4 a.m. and you have to work in four hours. This probably wouldn’t have happened if you had good night routines.

*Insert rewind sound effect*

To prevent nights like these, you need to implement night routines. Nighttime can quickly turn into party time if you don’t get a healthy dose of lavender oil and Melatonin bubble bath. After all, decision fatigue will have you making the opposite of good choices come evening. *Think late night orders from McDonald’s that keep you waiting awake until 2 AM.*
Night Routines - woman sleeping

15 Night Routines to Add to Your Own

Asking yourself, ‘what should my night routine be?’ Need some inspiration? Check out the list below to hop on the bus to REM. Sweet dreams!

1. Replace your bedroom light fixtures with red light bulbs.

Harsh, fluorescent lights are the antithesis of relaxation and can actually give you the false impression that it’s daytime. To cue your brain up for sleep, flick on a red light bulb at the start of your night routine. Will your room look like Zenon’s spaceship? Yes. Will you sleep like a baby? Also yes.
Night Routines - Red Light

2. Prepare your kitchen for the morning.

Do you make coffee every morning? Prep the coffee maker.

Do you bring lunch to work? Make your salad in a to-go container.

Do you blend a green smoothie with ashwagandha, protein powder, and collagen? Dump that into a cup for tomorrow (and make one for us).

Doing these activities at night can help you go to bed feeling relaxed knowing you won’t have to stress in the AM. Your morning routine will thank you.
Night Routines - Meal Prepping

3. Put on a cozy pajama set.

For many, athleisure has become the go-to bed time clothing. There’s nothing wrong with this, but there is something about putting on actual pajamas that signals to your brain it’s time to sleep.
Night Routines - put on pajamas

4. Take a spa-shower

If you’re a night-time shower routine kind of gal, this one’s for you hunny. Here’s what you need:

Eucalyptus shower spray (lavender is great too!)

A salt rock night light

A waterproof speaker

Turn your shower up as hot as you can tolerate and spritz your spray into the steam. Then turn off the lights, turn up your salt rock night light, and play some Tibetan bowl-inspired music through your speaker of choice. Welcome to paradise.
Night Routines - eucalyptus spray

5. Tidy up your space.

Just like it’s hard to focus in a messy space, it can also be hard to sleep in one. Put your clothes away, wipe down the counters from your HelloFresh mess, and fold those blankets on your couch.

Again, it’s really peaceful going to bed knowing you won’t wake up to a chaotic apartment. Or have to sleep next to a pile of clothes. Your sweaters are tired of being little spoon.
Night Routines - cleaning up

6. Lock your doors.

This isn’t necessarily relaxing, but you know what’s especially not relaxing? Being almost asleep and wondering if you locked up. Make it an intentional part of your daily routines.
Night Routines - lock your doors

7. Have a cup of tea.

Warm beverages are the bookends of a day. Steep yourself a cup of something yummy to aid with the rest of your night routine. We’re fans of a nice chamomile tea ourselves.
Night Routines - cup of tea

8. Diffuse lavender oils.

If you don’t already have a diffuser, here is your cue to get one. The bubbling sound of the diffuser will pair perfectly with your Calm bedtime stories (Matthew McConaughey, we meet again).

Lavender has several proven sleep benefits, including calming your central nervous system and promoting deep sleep. So on that note…
Night Routines - diffuse lavender oil

9. Use a lavender sleep balm.

Basically, the more lavender the better. Try using a sleep balm on your wrists and temples, and let the relaxing scent work it’s magic. Goodniiii…
Night Routines - lavender sleep balm

10. Complete your skin care routine.

Now is the time to apply copious amounts of anything you wouldn’t wear during the day… think pimple patches, facial serums, ungodly amounts of moisturizer. Load up your face with $15 worth of Sephora products and hop into bed (but be careful not to roll around too much before the products seep in).
Night Routines - night cream

11. Drain your lactic acid.

Did you know elevating your legs can help with muscle recovery? Not to mention, it feels good. Scoot your butt up against the wall and lift your legs straight to the sky. You could even multi-task and read while draining!
Night Routines - drain your lactic acid

12. Use a scalp massager.

Remember the way your Grandma used to massage your arm with her long, manicured fingernails, and it absolutely put you to sleep? You can actually replicate that feeling with one of these bad boys. Or just force your roommate to do it, your call.
Night Routines - scalp massager

13. Journal.

Dear Diary, I want to fall asleep.

Journaling is a great activity to do before bed. Especially because it allows you to dump your thoughts onto a page so they don’t live rent-free in your mind. Consider it a “panic job-hunting at 2 a.m.” repellent.
Night Routines - Journaling

14. Lay on a heating pad

Even if you don’t have a bad back, this feels so good. Beyond providing pain relief, heating pads can double as a makeshift heated blanket…which is perfect for those of us with terrible heat circulation in our apartments (but long-term, maybe you should hunt for a new apartment).
Night Routines - heated blanket

15. Read a fictional book.

Self-help is for mornings, fiction is for evenings. Get lost in your fictional novel of choice to help wind your eyes down from the parade of screens. Hot tip: if you use a Kindle, turn it to paperwhite mode to reduce additional blue light.
Night Routines - reading a book

Why You Need Night Routines

It’s likely you already have some semblance of a morning routine, whether it be drinking a cup of coffee, heading to the gym or listening to a podcast on your commute (might we recommend Adultescence podcast?). But night routines are just as important, especially since your morning routine kinda depends on how well the night routine goes.

Just like the goal of your morning routine is to wake you up, the intention of your night routine should be to slow you down (we’d like you to read the rest of this in Matthew McConaughey drawl). It should put you into a deep state of relaxation, one so deep that by the time you hit the pillow, it’s lights out, baby. Alright alright alright.
Night Routines - sleeping woman

If your current night routine is eating Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its and watching Real Housewives until you can’t keep your eyes open anymore, chances are you won’t have a solid sleep. Also, your teeth literally hate you. Brush them!

There’s nothing wrong with having a Cheez-Its night here and there. Nonetheless, we promise your whole life is going to change when you spend your evening doing activities that actually send you into a deep sleep. Because sleep is a form of self-care, and it fixes everything.

By Jess Lohr

Jess is a Cambridge-based, Syracuse-born twenty-something who loves coffee, dogs and stalking Zillow for her future home. Her favorite ways to kill time include strolling through Boston’s cobblestone streets, socializing over a glass of wine, and reading finance books (if only 22-year-old Jess were like this).

She has spent the past 4+ years working in Consumer Insights, and when she’s not working on her 9-5, you can find her pursuing her most recent side hustle as a dog sitter. Jess is co-founder of Adultescence, a podcast and lifestyle website with the mission of helping post-grads navigate adulthood.

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