Say Hello to a Night Routine that REALLY Works!
If you’re anything like me, the secrets behind getting a good night’s sleep just might seem like one of the world’s biggest unsolved mysteries.
I used to have so much trouble with sleeping. From simply falling asleep, to feeling like I even slept at all the night before when waking up in the morning. I used to wake up exhausted, sore, and completely unmotivated for the day.
Sleep IS one of the most important factors in feeling good, being productive, and even looking great. In order to live luxuriously like we want to here at My Luxury Loft, we all need to focus on the amount of sleep and the quality of sleep that we are getting.
It turns out, one of the most important steps in getting a good night’s sleep was completely changing my night routine. Having a healthy and consistent night routine will really help to keep your body on track. It will help you to fall asleep quicker, rest well throughout the night, and even feel better when waking up in the morning.
However, a night routine that works for me won’t work for everyone, of course. It’s up to you to try out different things to see what your body really likes.
Below, I outline my night routine from start to finish and include lots of other ideas that you can utilize when trying to figure out what works for you.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I am simply providing recommendations for creating and improving your night routine to help promote better sleep. If you are having trouble with sleeping that is related to a medical issue, please contact your doctor!
My Night Routine, From A to Z
My night routine generally begins about an hour after I finish eating dinner. I usually finish with my day later, so I eat dinner later than the average person. If you eat dinner earlier in the night, your routine might not begin for a while after eating dinner.
It is also worth noting that my night routine is generally very simple, but what makes it work for me is that I always keep it consistent.
Build your own night routine around what your body likes and needs, but keep the core of it consistent! Consistency in your routine will clue your body in when it’s time to go to sleep, and make falling asleep much easier at night.
Plan Out Tomorrow
The very first step in my night routine is planning out the following day.
After this step, you want to be mostly focused on relaxing, unwinding, and preparing your body for sleep, so it’s best to plan for tomorrow at this point in your night.
Set any alarms you might need for the next day, fill out your planner with any “To-Dos” that you may not have gotten to today, and get your bag packed and/or outfit prepared early!
This way, you won’t have to worry about anything you didn’t get to today for the rest of the night and you’ll remember where you left off tomorrow. Not only will this relieve your stress for today, but it will also make tomorrow morning much smoother for you!
Take a Long, Warm Shower
The second step on my list might be a bit controversial! I have always been a shower-at-night kind of girl, however I do find myself showering both morning and night most of the time.
Sometimes I’ll do this step before I cook dinner which would make it a step that I do before beginning my night routine, but I find that taking a warm shower to conclude my busy day always helps my body take the first step into relaxation. It’s like it knows it is going to bed soon because I’m washing off the day’s hard work!
Take your time in the shower to reflect on your busy day, finish mentally planning out your day tomorrow, and say “goodnight” to any stressors that may be trying to follow you into the night. After this step, there won’t be any room for any of the above, so take your time to think of them now!
If you know me, you know that skincare is always my FAVORITE step of all of my day. I look forward to doing my night time skincare routine all day long.
It’s so important to find a skincare routine that works for you and to create your own night and morning routines with the products you love.
I tend to use more products at night than in the morning. Any products you put on your face at night time are going to have the full amount of time you spend sleeping to sink into your skin. Also, while you are sleeping at night, your skin spends time rebuilding and repairing the damage done during the day. This is another reason that sleep is so important, and also another reason that a great night time skincare routine is so important!
If you don’t already have one, you may want to look into investing in a great night cream and serum. If you have acne, this would be an excellent time to apply an acne cream, as well.
Taking the time to prepare your skin for the hours you will spend sleeping is going to have a wonderful impact on how your skin looks when you wake up in the morning. Goodbye, dry, tired, and dull skin. Hello, supple, moisturized, and clear skin!
This is a step that I didn’t fully believe in (or follow) until about three years ago. Properly moisturizing after a shower is such a luxurious step in the night routine. Most people don’t give it enough credit. And for this step, I’m not referring to your face. I’m referring to your whole body.
Contrary to popular belief, moisturizer is not just for the winter when your skin is dry and flaky. Moisturizer is a necessity all year-round! When you find a moisturizer or lotion that feels great on your skin AND smells amazing, you’ll be looking forward to putting it on every single night after your shower.
For me, this step completes the shower process. At this point, I can’t imagine going to sleep after a shower without first applying moisturizer.
Put on Your Most Comfy Pajamas
The next step in my routine is to put on my favorite pajamas. I tend to feel the most comfortable in loose shorts and a t-shirt or tank top, so I’ve taken the time to drill down on my favorites.
Silk pajamas are a particular favorite of mine. There is nothing that feels quite as luxurious as sleeping in a silk set.
Whatever your favorites are, put them on and take a deep breath as the weight of the world instantly falls off of your shoulders!
Begin to Wind Down Immediately
After your shower, or after you finish planning the next day, you should immediately start to wind down. This means: put your phone down, stop checking your email, stop endlessly scrolling through social media, and stop stressing about your day.
By winding down, I mean both mentally AND physically. Thinking about your stressful day at work, or even worrying about the stressful day you’ll have tomorrow is not going to help prepare your body to relax.
Maybe start your night routine off by doing something you enjoy. My night routine usually begins by sitting on the couch and watching a great movie or TV show with my boyfriend. No phones, no social media, lights dimmed. At this point, we’ve already talked out and analyzed our day’s stressors with each other. This is a time where we get to spend quietly, discussing the show we’re watching here and there, and just relaxing.
It really depends what you’re into, but a good idea might be to pick up your favorite book, have a glass of wine, write, draw, watch TV, enjoy uninterrupted time with your loved ones, or play with your pet.
This step usually is the longest in my night routine. It can take anywhere from one to two hours. It’s important that you allow yourself some time to disconnect, unwind, and do something relaxing that you enjoy before you try to put yourself to bed. This will drastically change the kind of sleep you are getting.
As you get better at this process of unwinding, you’ll start to notice when this step is complete. You’ll get used to your body telling you that it’s relaxed and unplugged enough to go to sleep!
Brush Those Teeth!
Maybe an obvious piece of the daily night routine… but I am very serious about my dental routine!
I love going to sleep with perfectly clean teeth. Make sure to brush thoroughly, floss, and rinse with your favorite mouth wash! This would also be a great time in the routine to apply any teeth whitening products you are using.
Set Your Phone to “Do Not Disturb”
I personally like to sleep with my phone on the “Do Not Disturb” setting. This will silence any notifications that come in for the night, meaning you won’t be woken up or interrupted as you’re trying to unwind and relax.
If you’re worried about missing calls, there are settings on the iPhone that allow you to silence all calls EXCEPT calls from certain contacts. There is also a setting that will only silence the first call you receive from a person, but if they try to call again you will receive the notification.
Whatever setting works for you, it’s best to silence everything and prepare your phone for the night before you even get into bed. Many studies recommend that screen time ends at least an hour before going to sleep. I generally do follow this rule when it comes to phone and computer screen time.
Get In Bed
The next step I take is the best of all! Get in bed and get comfortable.
This step will be different for everyone. Can you just turn off the lights and relax until you fall asleep? Do you need to do something to help you fall asleep? What’s the best way for you to fall asleep?
If you’re anything like me, you might experience a wandering mind at night. The way I combat this is by watching a TV show as I fall asleep. This might not be the best advice, as I mentioned earlier that it’s best to cut out screen time an hour before going to sleep.
However, a good TV show will keep my mind engaged and will also keep it from wandering as I try to fall asleep. Usually I will be lulled to sleep within 20-30 minutes. An important factor for me is putting on a TV show rather than a movie–if I’m watching a shorter episode I’m way less likely to fight sleep and stay up to see the rest. I’ll usually put on a cooking show or interior decorating show as these are much easier to stay less engaged with.
Some other good ideas at this step may be to simply turn the lights off, read a few pages of a book, turn on white noise, or meditate. Find what works best for you when it comes to falling asleep!
The Most Important Part in Getting a Good Night’s Sleep!
So, the last step in my routine is getting in bed and relaxing. This is where the most important part of my routine comes into play.
Let me clue you in on my biggest secret to getting a good night’s sleep. Can you already guess?
It’s my bed. Seriously! That’s really the secret.
For years, I wondered why I wasn’t getting good sleep, but never blamed it on my mattress. I had an expensive memory foam mattress, after all, so how could it be my bed’s fault?
Well, I got a new mattress this year and it checks all the boxes. Comfortable, breathable, support, flexible.
My sleep has improved so much. I wake up feeling so refreshed and I even have more vivid dreams than I used to!
Let me tell you: your mattress matters SO much in the kind of sleep you get.
Day Time Activities That Make for a Better Night Routine
When it comes to having a great night routine and a good night’s sleep, there are a few steps that I absolutely must take during the day. Because your daytime activities can certainly affect the effectiveness of your night time routine, I thought I would outline some of the important factors for you.
It’s important that you give your body time to rest throughout the week, but a schedule of working out 3-5 days a week will significantly improve the quality of your sleep at night.
I try to do at least 20-30 minutes of a high intensity or strength training workout each day. Getting your body sweating during the day will help later on to prepare it for a good night’s sleep.
When I don’t workout (or even sometimes when I do), I like to go on walks that are at least three miles long. The distance your body needs will be different for everyone, but going for long walks during the day have been proven to naturally lead to a better night of sleep.
Walking is a low-intensity cardio activity that tires your body out without feeling too difficult to complete. If you have any trouble with falling asleep at night, I highly recommend trying out a daily walk for a few weeks. I’m willing to bet you’ll see a difference.
Cut Out Caffeine at Least 6 Hours Before Bed
Listen, I’m a HUGE coffee drinker. As I mentioned, I don’t finish with my day’s work until later at night. There are times when I want to reach for a cup of coffee at 6pm. RESIST this urge! You may not think it will make a difference, but caffeine may be playing a huge role in the lack of sleep you’re getting. Your body doesn’t want caffeine before bed. Cut it out!
Exposure to Light During the Day
Studies have shown that the more exposure to bright and natural light you have during the day, the better your sleep will be at night. Normal exposure to light throughout the day will keep your body’s sleep-wake cycle on track.
Before I got into the habit of letting natural light in during the day, I used to get extremely sluggish and even develop a headache by the afternoon. If you’re someone who keeps the house dark or prefers to work in the dark, I really recommend trying to kick that habit.
Try Adding Some of These to Your Night Routine!
As I mentioned, when curating your perfect night routine, you’ll have to take the time to figure out what works for your body. Almost all of the additional suggestions mentioned below are also things that I do as part of my night routine, just not every single night.
Try some of these out and watch your sleep improve… you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time!
Tea (Decaffeinated, or course!)
If you’re used to having coffee later at night, or as an after-dinner treat, try switching it out for tea. Even if you’re not normally a coffee drinker at night, a hot cup of tea is an amazing way to end your night. There are lots of nighttime teas to choose from: chamomile, lavender, valerian root, peppermint tea. No matter which tea you decide to make, double check that it is decaf!
Boost your skincare routine before bed by applying a face mask. Whether you opt for a sheet mask, clay mask, charcoal mask, or whatever else you’re feeling! No matter how many times I do them, I still feel so luxurious every time I put on a face mask. It gives your skin a boost while also putting your mind into relaxation mode.
Under Eye Masks
Under eye masks are something that I have been loving recently. You may already like using these in the morning because it feels great on puffy, tired eyes. However, I’ve started to find that adding them to my night routine makes my eyes look even less puffy and brighter when I wake up in the morning. Also, it just feels super luxurious to apply under eye masks while relaxing on the couch at night.
Instead of a shower, try a bath. Most of the time, a bath is even more relaxing than a shower. Grab your favorite book, candle, and bath bomb to get your bath started.
You may already know that meditation can do wonders for the mind, but did you know that it can also help you to fall asleep? Figuring out how to meditate correctly is pretty easy now thanks to the wide variety of apps available to help guide mediation. Download one of these apps and give it a try before bed!
A relaxing massage can really help to unwind and soften the stress your muscles have endured all day. If you don’t have anyone to give you a massage, you can massage yourself! Buy a massage bar or oil that smells great–a lot are infused with aromatherapy–and begin to loosen up!
Melatonin is a hormone that already exists within your body, with a primary function of regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Maybe another controversial step, but if you have any trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, talking over-the-counter melatonin tablets may significantly help.
Overnight Sleeping Mask
It may sound stupid, but if you’re having trouble sleeping–you may just need to make it darker! Now you may not be able to physically make your room darker, but covering your eyes before going to sleep at night could do the trick. When it comes to sleeping masks, I LOVE the ones that feel expensive and luxurious. I definitely recommend investing in a 100% silk eye mask. These are great for your skin and will actually help to decrease ender-eye puffiness and dark circles.
Any more tips?
Have any tips of your own that you can share with me?
Let me know in the comments below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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