Bedtime is mostly for rest. It’s a time to get some sound sleep that would lay off stress accumulated from the hustle and bustle of a busy day. It’s also a time to get your body and mind refreshed and invigorated for the next day. But not all persons get to rest well during bedtime because they fail to do some essential things, such as unwinding and clearing the mind before bed.

The benefits of relaxing your mind and body before going to sleep can’t be overemphasized. It helps you get a sound sleep, which boosts your health and vitality, helps fight off depression, decreases the likelihood of you getting a heart attack, etc. These numerous benefits will elude anyone who fails to relax before going to bed.

Wondering how you unwind before going to bed? In this article, I will show you the best nighttime routines you need to practice for you to have a refreshing and sound sleep.

1. Spend quality time with your loved ones or pets

Spending some quality time with your loved ones before going to bed is sure to give you a good night’s sleep. A good storytime with your kid, a deep heart-to-heart with your spouse, or dinner with your parents or friends while catching up on old times can leave you happy and douse whatever tensions you might have.

When your loved ones aren’t around, a pet will do. Cuddling your pet or playing games with them can leave you happy and refreshed. The fluffiness of your kitten or the smooth skin of your puppy can leave you with the warmth you need to have a good night’s rest.

If you have a partner, there are other things you might want to do before bedtime, which is, of course, helpful in getting you sound rest.

2. Set a time to put your phone on  “Do not disturb” or “Flight mode.”

Your phone can hinder you from having a good night’s rest. Many people are addicted to their phones, which can stop them from unwinding before bedtime. It can even jam the free flow of communication between you and your family when you guys are chilling out.

Set a time to put your phone on “do not disturb” or “flight mode.” With these, you can’t receive calls from the office, surf the internet, or chat on social media. Many life coaches would recommend shutting off the phone totally if you can’t put your phone on any of these. The perfect time to put off your phone is between 9 – 10 pm.

3. Practice deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques

These techniques are beneficial, especially if you are overburdened with work in the office or sit in a particular posture all day. Both cases can leave you with lots of tension and uneasiness.

To do these, get home to a comfortable space, lie flat on your back and place your feet together. Then ensure that your knees are bent upward, and your hands placed upwards as these will open up your chest. With your eyes shut, breathe in slowly and count to five, then breathe out and count back to one. Do this for about 7 – 10 minutes or for as long as it takes to make you relaxed.

Related Post: 70 Inspiring Good Night Quotes and Messages

4. Create a to-do list for the next day

Taking the day’s worries to bed would get your mind troubled, thereby denying you sleep and adding the next day’s worries to it can even be worse.

Instead of getting worried about tomorrow, wouldn’t it be nice to create a to-do list of the things you want to do tomorrow? This can help you sleep better knowing that you’ve made some efforts planning the next day.

It’s essential to differentiate between what you can control and what you can’t. Don’t be up all night worrying about things that you can’t control or change about tomorrow. Thinking about it all night won’t save any problem. Instead, create a plan for the next day with ease of mind.

5. Take a warm bath or shower

A warm soaking bath can help soothe the body and the soul, thus preparing you for a better bedtime. A good time in the bathtub can release you of any anxiety built up during the day and give you a nice night.

Please note that staying too long or taking too much bath is not good for your vaginal health. Instead, you can alternate with a warm shower. When it comes to bathing or showering to improve sleep, the temperature of the water matters. Experts recommend lukewarm shower or bath 60 to 90 min before bed. It helps regulate your body temperature and facilitates earlier sleep onset. (1)

6. Take some time to think about the positive things in your life

Life is full of ups and downs, and everyone has experienced it at one time or another but how you manage these things is what matters. If you take the negative thoughts with you to bed, you are sure to have a bad night.

Reminisce on the good moments. Think about the time you had those fun moments with family, friends, and other loved ones. Think about the things you are grateful for, the people who have put smiles on your face, and the things you have achieved so far. These will keep your mind in excellent condition to have a nice sleep.

7. Sip warm, calming drinks

A warm drink can go a long way in setting you up for some good sleep. Try to get a warm cup of tea, milk, or any beverage before bed and sip it while thinking about the good things of the day. This will make you relaxed.

8. Dim the light in the evening

Dimming the lights during late evenings can help you relax. Having bright lights around would make you energetic because your brain would be on high alert. This can deprive you of good sleep or take you some time before you sleep. Now you know why people switch off their lights before bedtime.

9. Make your bedroom your sanctuary

Your bedroom should be a place for relaxation and not a place to continue the daily hustle and bustle. Since your bedroom is a sanctuary, all the fittings in there should make the place serene and peaceful.

Your beddings should be soft and comfy; your sheets shouldn’t be too thick, your lights should be welcoming, your bedroom’s scent should exhume an aura of peace and comfort. These will help you relax before bedtime.

10. Don’t eat late in the evening

The type and quantity of food we eat at night can affect our sleep. Research suggests that high-carb meals shorten the sleep onset, especially when consumed 4 hours before bedtime. Therefore, you should avoid eating late at night, as it can delay the release of serotonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. (2)

11. Use bedtime affirmations

Sleep affirmations or bedtime affirmations are quotes, brief expressions, or words you can use to put yourself in a positive mental state. These affirmations will help eliminate any negative thoughts and worries in your mind. This will contribute to a healthy body and mind, which will allow you to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Related Post: 25 positive sleep affirmations for a peaceful night

12. Write in your journal

Apart from your to-do list, you should set some time aside (about 10-15 min) to write in your journal and empty your mind. Writing down your day’s thoughts and feelings before bed can give you useful closure to the day and enhance your sleep quality. It will also improve your mood, help you to fall asleep faster, and sleep longer.
If you are new to journaling and worried, you may not know what to write about; here are few prompts you can use daily.

  •  What are you grateful for today?
  •  What did you do today to make yourself proud?
  • What do you need to vent about tonight?
  • What have you learned today?
  • What would you like to achieve tomorrow?

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Final thoughts

A night of good sleep is essential for every human, yet it eludes many people because they fail to do what is necessary. The tips I gave you in this article can help you relax, clear your mind and set you up for a good night’s time in bed.


  1. Effects of bathing and hot footbath on sleep in winter – PubMed (
  2. High-glycemic-index carbohydrate meals shorten sleep onset – PubMed (
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About the Author

Hermione M.

My name is Hermione. I am the founder of WomenH and I write about women's health, wellness, mental health, and personal growth. I created this platform to inspire women to take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to become their best selves. Thank you for stopping by.

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