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The Most Important Elements of a Bedtime Routine

The Most Important Elements of a Bedtime Routine


Aoife O.
May 12, 2021

A bedtime routine is the basis of a great night’s sleep. If you suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia or sleep apnea, creating a healthy bedtime routine could be a positive step forward in feeling better and sleeping better.  

Create a Sleep Schedule

sleep schedule means going to bed and waking up at a set time every day. Most people have erratic bedtimes, staying up late to work, or watch TV. This creates a weekday sleep debt as you may not get an adequate 7-9 hours of sleep every night. To maintain a sleep schedule it must fit your work schedule and lifestyle. Sleep quality is linked to physical health and mental wellbeing, creating and sticking to a sleep schedule improves your sleep quality and quality of life.

Watch Your Diet

Your diet has a significant impact on sleep. A diet rich in protein, vegetables, fruit, and water fills your body with nutrients essential to maintaining your bodily processes. Consuming too much junk food, caffeine, and sugar could lead to sleep disorders and exacerbate ill health. A lack of good night sleep does not allow your body to rest and repair, this coupled with a poor diet is a recipe for ill-health and sleep disorders.  

Your Sleep Environment

Creating a bedtime routine is easier to stick to if your sleep space is inviting and comfortable. You do not need to redecorate your entire bedroom, some simple changes are enough. Start with a good quality pressure relieving mattress and cozy bedding with a good quality pillow. Install blackout drapes or a blackout blind to keep sunlight out as you sleep. This is especially important if you work night shifts and sleep during the day.

Use a bedside lamp instead of the main light for one hour before bed or light some candles to help you relax. Open your bedroom window every day for at least ten minutes to allow fresh air to flow through your bedroom. Watching tv in bed is an unhealthy habit as the blue light keeps you awake. If your sleep space does not promote sleep, you will not be excited to spend time there. Your bedroom is your sanctuary from the world, keep it clean, tidy, and relaxing.  

A Calming Routine

Good sleep routines start with a wind-down well routine. Winding down in the evening can lead to better sleep quality. Relaxing your mind and body before sleep ensures you are not laying in bed staring at the ceiling. A calming routine means you are not watching violent movies or tv shows before bed. Do things that make you feel relaxed and calm before bed.  

Read a Book or Keep a Gratitude Journal 

Reading a book in bed is a good wind-down well practice, much better than watching tv before sleep. Keeping a gratitude journal or documenting your thoughts before bed can help you relax and deal with any issues you have faced during the day. Writing your feelings down can give you greater insight into your emotions and help you solve problems. Keep a notebook and pen on your bedside table as it is better to use pen and paper than an app on your cell.  

Listen to Calming Music  

Music can stir our emotions and bring back memories long forgotten. Music is a great tool in your wind-down well routine. Create a playlist of calming melodies and listen as you enjoy a hot bath before bed. Calming music can help you to fall asleep faster as you focus on the music, intrusive thoughts are kept at bay. 


Add meditation to your wind-down well routine for some zen vibes before sleep. Meditation is a great way to prevent the middle of the night waking. Calming your mind with meditation relaxes your muscles too. Gratitude meditation can relieve stress and help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep all night. Follow a guided meditation or simply sit in a comfortable position for ten minutes and focus on your breathing. 

Plan Your Week 

Preparedness can help you gain control of your workweek. Create a schedule of the tasks you need to accomplish that week. Writing it down can help you visualize what needs to be done. Sleep problems often occur when feeling overwhelmed. Schedule as much as you can but be kind to yourself, even the best-laid plans can go awry. If you do not achieve everything on your list, no worries, you will get to it the following week.   

Exercise is one of the most important elements of restful sleep.

Manage Stress

Stress is something most of us deal with at some point. It can cause some nasty side effects such as sleep disorders and ill health. Managing stress is vital to gaining a good night sleep. Some people manage stress by exercising, others take a walk in the fresh air, others use talking therapies to manage stress. Relieving anxiety may be best achieved using a holistic approach. Stress medications could lead to sleep disorders so best used when holistic remedies are not suited to your case.


Exercise is one of the most important elements of restful sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia, exercising at least three times per week can have positive benefits. Exercise makes you strong, helps combat illness, strengthens your immune system, makes you less stressed, makes you feel happy and motivated, and helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Exercise is one of the best things you will ever do for yourself and ought to be on the top of your self-care list.   


What Should My Night Time Routine Be?

A good bedtime routine consists of a wind-down well routine. Enjoy a hot shower or bath, listen to calming music or read a book, do some meditation, or write in your journal before bed. Avoid watching tv or eating one hour before bed. A calming and consistent routine works best.

What’s the Average Bedtime for Adults?

Your bedtime depends on your work schedule and lifestyle but aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Staying up all night watching tv or playing video games can cause sleep problems. The best bedtime for you will allow up to an hour of wind-down well routine and 7-9 hours of sleep.  

When Should You Start a Bedtime Routine?

The beauty of bedtime routines is that they can begin at any time and are adaptable to your work schedule and lifestyle. Start your bedtime routine tonight by winding down well one hour before bed. Take a hot bath or shower, read a book, and listen to relaxing music. Avoid watching tv in bed, especially violent movies or shows. 


Your sleep habits are influenced by many factors but a bedtime routine is a great way to regain control of your sleep quality and can work for anyone. A bedtime yoga routine might work for you, others respond better to bedtime music, and others wind-down well by writing in their journal. However, you choose to wind-down in the evening before sleep, be consistent with your routine for maximum benefits, even on your days off.

Sleeping well can mean the difference between poor and good physical health. A night of quality sleep can also help you feel better emotionally as well as physically. Implementing a bedtime routine is easy and can begin at any time without the need to buy expensive equipment. All it takes is a hot shower, a good book, and a comfortable bed, bliss.  

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.

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