Night Routine – Sleep Better & Live Healthier

The terms morning routine and bedtime or night routine have been on everyone's lips for a few years now. Establishing routines for your daily life can optimize various aspects of your life, as well as your health. CARE will tell you all about the perfect night routine in this article, and we'll take a look at the scientific evidence behind routines and how bedtime rituals can improve your health and quality of life. Are you ready? Then get your pajamas ready, and let's get going!

Blog Author Jris Health Coach at CARE
Jris Bernet

Health Coach EN

Published in Mental Health
8 min read · Jan 03, 2024

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What Is a Night Routine?

A bedtime or night routine is a set of actions, rituals, and habits that you regularly perform before going to bed.

These habits and routines are designed to end your day purposefully and prepare you for a restful night's sleep.

What a night routine entails varies depending on your individual needs and preferences, but its purpose remains the same – to promote your relaxation, well-being, and health before going to bed. [1] [2]

But how can a night routine do that, and is it really useful? Can it really affect your health, or is it just a new “trend” getting hyped up by social media?

We will clarify.

Why Is an Evening Routine Important?

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The importance of a well-designed evening routine should not be underestimated. It can provide you with numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, as well as your productivity. [1] [2]

Better Sleep Quality – The Circadian Rhythm

An evening routine can help you relieve stress and calm your mind, which can lead to a more restful night's sleep. But how exactly does this work?

A well-designed night routine can improve sleep quality by regulating your circadian rhythm (the biological sleep-wake cycle), which in turn regulates and balances your sleep patterns.

This is done since the routines prepare your body for sleep. This increases the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and reduces stress hormones. [2]

Stress Management & Mental Health

Consciously creating your night routine can help reduce the stress of the day and improve your mental health. [1]

A bedtime routine helps manage stress by reducing stress hormones, especially cortisol. This is done through activities like relaxation exercises, which increase parasympathetic activity and promote your self-care, which in turn increases your sense of well-being.

By regulating stress levels, a night routine helps support your mental health by reducing anxiety and sleep disturbances, and it may even reduce the risk of mental health problems in the long run. [3]

Efficiency and Productivity – Routines Are Good For You

By preparing for the day ahead, you can save time and energy by setting clear goals and priorities for yourself.

A night routine, and other types of routines as well, can boost your efficiency and productivity by taking some planning and preparation off your plate for the following day. This allows you to have a clear focus for the day ahead and minimizes the morning rush, saving you nerves and time.

In addition, evening routines create mental clarity and positive habits that can support your productivity throughout the day. [1]

Self-Care – Quality Time With Yourself

An evening routine allows you to make time for yourself and incorporate self-care into your daily routine to nourish your soul.

By creating time for intentional activities to maintain your physical and mental health through activities that bring you joy and relaxation, an evening routine can enhance your well-being.

On a biological level, self-care supports the regeneration of your body and mind, which can lead to the release of feel-good hormones like endorphins.

Thus, a night routine can contribute to your mental and physical health. [4]

Developing Routines and Habits – Positivity

Evening routines encourage the formation of other positive habits that can have a positive impact on your life in the long run. Creating habits and routines can increase our quality of life and our health – studies have confirmed this. [1]

Routines increase our performance, productivity, and even our mental health. [1]

8 Habits For Your Perfect Evening Routine

We've curated some habits and rituals that you can take as inspiration for your bedtime routine. There are numerous examples of night routines.

However, we at CARE find these night routine tips particularly effective and like to practise them ourselves:

Digital Detox – Turn Off Your Cell Phone

Before you go to bed, turn off your digital devices. That means no emails, no social media notifications, and no endless scrolling through your feeds.

The blue light from screens can inhibit the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupt your sleep. By avoiding these distractions, you're preparing your brain for rest and relaxation. Studies have shown that scrolling through social media can lead to anxiety. Therefore, implement a digital detox in the evening and consume social media consciously and for limited amounts of time. [5]

Take A Hot Shower

A hot shower in the evening can work wonders and make us feel like we are literally washing away worries, tension, and the stress of the day.

Hot showers relax your muscles, promote circulation, and signal your body that it's time to relax. You can use essential oils or soothing shower gels to make the experience even more pleasant. Lavender oil, for instance, is calming and relaxing. [1] [2]

Incorporate To-do Lists for the Next Day

How many times have you laid in bed thinking and worrying about the day ahead before it even started?

Write a list of tasks and goals for your next day. This will help put your mind at ease, knowing that you won't forget anything important and have already gone over the tasks for the next day in your head.

Not only will this allow you to use your time and resources efficiently, but it will also allow you to avoid a restless mind and rather relax and unwind in the evening. [6]

Yoga & Meditation

A gentle evening yoga practice can help relieve tension and calm your mind. [7]

Various yoga exercises, especially those that focus on deep breathing and breathing exercises, can help you relax and restfully prepare your body for sleep. [7]

Skin Care Routine – It Really Works

This is probably a routine most of us associate with night routines because we get bombarded with quite a few examples of “skincare routines” from social media.

Celebrities from all over the world have already shown us how they incorporate their evening skincare as an integral part of their bedtime routine.

In fact, taking care of your skin can be beneficial not only for your physical appearance and skin health but also for your well-being and mental health.

So, cleanse, hydrate, and nourish your skin in the evening to feel fresh and relaxed the following day. [8]

Evening Walk – Forest Bathing

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An evening walk in the fresh air can do wonders for us – especially if we take a walk in nature. Walks help many people clear their minds, organize their thoughts, reduce stress, and promote good sleep. A walk can also help improve your sleep quality. [9]

The Japanese even have a separate medical term, "shinrin-yoku," for taking a walk in nature.

Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” has been shown to have a calming and healing effect on our bodies. It is considered a psychological and physiological exercise that can even activate anti-cancer proteins in our bodies, thus contributing to cancer prevention. [9]

So if you have a forest near you or lush nature, incorporate nature walks into your evening, and – et voilà – you've created a good evening routine.

Reading & Audiobooks – Calming the Mind

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Reading a book or listening to an audiobook at bedtime can be a calming night routine. Compare how you feel when you watch Netflix before bed and how you feel the following day when you read a book instead.

Reading distracts the mind from everyday worries, lowers blood pressure, and promotes relaxation. It doesn't overstimulate your brain like watching TV or scrolling through a feed in social media. [10]

Be sure to choose a printed book for reading, as screens that emit blue light can cause sleep problems or promote difficulty falling asleep.

Reflect & Journal – Bring Your Thoughts to Paper

Make time in the evening to reflect on your day by journaling or simply writing down your thoughts. Reflect on your experiences, successes, and challenges and bring them to paper.

This can help you practice gratitude and reduce stress. Keeping a diary or “journal” can be a valuable form of reflection and mindfulness for some people and promote restful sleep and other health benefits. [11]

Why CARE Believes in Routines

In our regular Health Check-ups and during consultations with our fellow members, our healthcare specialists and doctors regularly note how much a routine can improve overall quality of life.

Better sleep, increased efficiency, and a healthier, stress-free lifestyle are just a few of the many benefits our members report after implementing an evening routine or morning routine.

We would be happy to join and guide you on your health journey. Our in-depth blood analysis and Health Check-ups can give you a profound insight into your health, allowing you to identify changes in your biomarkers early and optimize your overall health and wellbeing.

We hope we were able to inspire you a little bit in regard to your bedtime routine, and we wish you a good night!

List of References

Blog Author Jris Health Coach at CARE

Jris Bernet

Health Coach EN at CARE Zurich

About the author

Jris is a health coach (nerd) and blog author at CARE. She has many years of experience as a coach for classic lifestyle conditions such as diabetes and women's health. She enjoys facilitating health challenges and courses. Fasting, keto, sleep, women's health and biohacking - Jris feels at home in these topics. When she's not working for CARE, she loves to listen to health podcasts and try out new (health) gadgets. Her credo: "It's never too late to start living a new lifestyle."