Happy Thursday! As you know, “balance” is my word of the year. I’ve been incorporating the word in everything that I do this year, and I feel like it’s working out well for me so far. I know I’m only one month in, but I definitely feel like I’m becoming more aware of when I’m overworking myself. One way I’ve been able to “turn off” and stop overworking is by creating a bedtime routine. Even though there are days where I go to sleep later than I wanted to, I have been able to make a bedtime routine my new normal, and those off days are the outliers.
Today, I’m sharing a few things to incorporate in a bedtime routine that will help you relax. This is simply a starting point, so feel free to edit and adjust as needed! The main takeaway from today’s post is to form a habit. Creating a routine will help program your body, so it will begin to naturally adjust and feel ready for bed at a certain time each day.
3 Steps to Add to Your Bedtime Routine
1. Use the Bedtime App
Android-users, I’m sure there are several app alternatives out there that you’re able to use. iPhone-users, the feature I’m referring to is in the clock app that comes pre-installed on your phone. The bedtime feature lets you pick a time you want to go to sleep each day, and you can specify how soon before it’s time to go to sleep that you want a reminder.
It will also, if you choose, put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ during the bedtime hours so notifications are muted. For me, the do not disturb function is such a game-changer. Nothing disrupts my attempt to go to sleep like the ping of a text message and an illuminated screen.
As for the rest of the bedtime settings, I have mine turned on Monday thru Thursday with a bedtime of 10 pm and wake up time of 5 am. I also have the reminder set for 60 mins so that even if I get wrapped up in working on projects, a reminder will go off at 9 pm letting me know it’s time to start winding down for the day. This reminder has been a major reason why I no longer overwork well into the night. It’s so easy to lose track of time while you’re plugging away at your to-do list, so having an audible stopping point is extremely valuable.
2. Make your Skincare Routine a Habit
I hope most of us know by now how important it is to have a consistent skincare routine. I shared mine in a previous post, so definitely check it out if you still need help building your own routine. Once you have that down, it’s time to incorporate it into your bedtime routine.
For me, I leave a block of time from 7 pm – 9 pm to finish my skincare routine. It certainly doesn’t take 2 hours, but I keep the window open because I need a little flexibility. When I can actually take my makeup off for the day truly depends on what I have planned. Thanks to the bedtime app kicking off my reminder at 9 pm, I know that at the latest, that’s my reminder to wash off all of my makeup.
When you get in the habit of completing your skincare routine every day, you’ll no longer be able to fall asleep without it. I will be dog tired some nights and have zero energy to wipe off my makeup but knowing that’s the first step towards getting a good night’s sleep gets me to actually do it.
Even on those exhausting days where I tell myself to just take off my makeup and not do the full 3-4 step routine, I end up completing it all. It’s similar to going to the gym–the hardest part is actually getting up and going.
3. Leave the Final Hour of the Day for Yourself.
I unintentionally started doing this due to the bedtime app sending a reminder an hour before I need to sleep, but it’s something I truly feel like has made a difference. It’s so difficult to go from having your mind work in overdrive to all of a sudden falling sound asleep. (Has anyone noticed that guys seem to have an easier time doing this? Meanwhile, my mind will mentally fill out a planner of to-do items for a solid hour while I’m laying in bed, trying hard to shut off my brain.)
Because my mind always seems to think of things to do, I need time to wind down and do things that don’t require a lot of brain power. My hat truly goes off to parents because even as a single woman, I often feel like I don’t have time for myself. It’s significantly worse when I’m dating someone, so I can only imagine what balancing self-care is like as a parent. That being said, if you can spare even 15-30 minutes before going to sleep, I strongly encourage you to take that time for yourself.
Since I currently can spare an hour each day, I will pick one thing on my self-care list and do that for the full hour. On Thursdays, it’s typically filled with me watching an episode of How to Get Away with Murder. Monday thru Wednesday, I’ll do something like read a book, color in my coloring book, watch YouTube (in dark mode with night shift on), or do a little yoga. I haven’t quite delved into meditation and traditional journaling yet, but those are two other tasks I would like to try out and add to the list.
Essentially, this downtime is the space where you can do what you enjoy and not think about any tasks you wanted to check off your to-do list. With the exception of yoga, I’m always laying down in my bed for these tasks. It puts me in the “bedtime” element and my body naturally gets tired by the time the clock strikes 10.
Those are just a few tips and habits I’ve picked up along the way! What habits do you like to include in your bedtime routine?
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