Even someone readily mindful of our health and well-being, we deliberately break the rules when it comes to our nighttime routines. Staying up late at night, watching television late into the night, eating a late night snack, drinking caffeine or alcohol at night, going to bed with your phone – these are the bad nighttime habits we sometimes end up making all the time. 

A good nighttime routine is extremely important for not just a proper night’s sleep, but also for our health. Going to bed happy and content makes you wake up in a happy mood, and help you start alert the rest of the day. You can actually make sure you have a good day by going to bed the right way the night before. 

For people of all age, gender and profession, here is a list of everything that constitutes a good nighttime routine. 

  • Have a Fixed Time for Going to Bed 

Unless you have something special going on, or you have important work to finish, it is always better if you have a particular time that you head off to bed. It can be anytime of your choice (the earlier, the better, though), but it should be around the same time every day. When you have a fixed time of sleep, your body will automatically get tired around that time and give you subtle signals to call it a day. You might even find yourself yawning sometime around your bedtime even without glancing at the clock. 

When you have a fixed bedtime, it will also make it easier for you to get up at the same time every morning. Pretty soon, you will not even need the help of an alarm clock to wake up; your natural instincts will tell you when it is time and when your body has had enough rest. 

  • Leave All Gadgets Behind 

It is ideal to not use any kind of electronic gadgets at least two hours before your bedtime. If you use any kind of gadget immediately before sleep, your mind wouldn’t be calm enough for resting. For the best possible sleep, stop using your laptop, your tablets, your smart phone or your television at least two hours before sleep. 

If possible, these gadgets should be kept out of the bedroom; at least, they need to stay away from your bed. Keep all your gadgets in another room or far away from where you sleep, so that you are not tempted to take a glance at them. If your gadgets need charging, this is the time to charge them so they don’t have to stay near you during the night. 

  • Lay Out your Clothes for the Next Day 

If this is a weeknight and you have work the next day, chose the clothes you are going to wear before you go to bed. You can use this time to see if they are clean and ironed, and if you have everything you need for work the next day. Not just clothes, you can gather up everything you are going to need in the morning – your wallet, your cards, your car/house keys, your bag, your laptop, shoes, accessories and underwear, important files and other gadgets – and keep them prepared for morning. 

  • Take a Warm Bath 

A warm bath late at night can guarantee a good night’s sleep more than anything else. Taking a bath or a shower, especially one with warm water, can help relax your muscles and even induce sleepiness. This is one of the reasons babies are given a warm bath immediately before bedtime, so that they have a good night’s sleep. 

Even when you’ve already taken a shower in the morning or in the middle of the day, a bath before bedtime will be something extremely relaxing. If you’ve had a hard day at work, a warm and long bath or shower is exactly what you need to feel better. 

  • Establish a Familiar Routine 

There are usually a number of things we need to do every day before bed, including brushing our teeth, changing into comfortable clothes or PJs, flossing, washing our face or putting on a face mask, gurgling, maintaining a skin care routine. Make them into a habit, something you require around 15 to 20 minutes to complete every night. This way, your body will automatically assume it’s time to sleep and prepare itself accordingly; you can find yourself starting to yawn automatically when you start brushing your teeth. 

  • Read Something 

It is ideal not to use any electronic gadget late at night, but you can still read a book for a few hours. In fact, reading before sleep is advisable for everyone, adults and children. It is better if you read a physical book than anything on your phone or an e-Reader; staring at the bright screen in the dark will put a strain on your eyes, but reading a book when there’s ample light around isn’t going to hurt. 

Bedtime is perfect for reading a few chapters of your favorite book, something you’ve reread many times before. If this is a new and exciting book, you might not be able to put it down even when it is way past your bedtime. Reading storybooks to your children while tucking them in is also a great way to end your day, if you are not a reader yourself. 

  • Write in a Journal 

If you are not a reader, you can spend a few minutes writing in your daily journal. Maintaining a journal isn’t a very popular hobby these days, but it can give the owner a sense of serenity that few other things can. With a journal in hand, you can write anything: everything that has happened to you the whole day, your plans for the next day, good memories that you have made that day, something adorable that your kid has done, or something else entirely.  

Journals are also a great way to make a daily list of everything that you are grateful for; it can be the perfect way to end your day on a positive note. If not that, your journal can also be your To-do list for the next day, with separate sections for your important tasks and everything that can be kept for later. Waking up to a completed to-do list can make it easy to plan the day accordingly. 

  • Meditate 

Although the best time to meditate or practice mindfulness is early in the morning, you can do them before sleep. This can be the alternative of writing in a journal, but also a way to deal with the different happenings of your daily life. Especially if you have trouble falling asleep at night because of the hundreds of thoughts that gather in your head, meditation is a great way to deal with them. 

Deep breathing exercises, mindfulness exercises, guided meditation, positive visualization – these are all perfect ways to make sure your mind is calm before you try to sleep. 

  • Listen to Music 

If you are neither into reading or writing, music can be the medium to calm your restless mind. A few soundtracks before finally drifting off to sleep can be the perfect anecdote to a hectic day, or you can invest in a sound machine that will keep on soothing tracks throughout the night. A lot of people who have trouble sleeping have found comfort in using sound machines; the white noise and other natural tracks they come with can benefit all kinds of restless sleepers, adult or children. 

  • Turn off the Lights 

It is advisable that you go to bed at least half an hour before you actually plan to fall asleep, and dim all the lights in the room. Your bedroom should be engrossed in semidarkness even before you are settling down for a sleep, giving your body and your mind enough time to adjust to the change in the light. A bedside lamp or fairy lights can give your bedroom the perfect ambience to get ready for sleep. 

A good night’s sleep is crucial for your good health, and the right nighttime routine is just as important for sleeping properly. When you spend the hours before bedtime in a healthy and happy manner, it means that you will wake up the next day in a good mood.