Having a great nighttime routine is an important part of many people’s days and allows them to relax, reset and feel prepared for the coming day. Your evening routine should centre around the habits and activities that make you feel calmer and set you up for a good night’s sleep, as well as a productive morning.

Here are some tips and things to focus on when building an evening routine in order to get the most from the last hours of your day.

Invest in the Right Tools

First of all, it’s important that you have everything that you personally need in order to make the magic happen. This list will be different for everyone and you need to consider what you need to feel sleepy, relaxed and comfortable.

For example, sound machines can help filter out sonic irritations to your sleep which might be helpful if you’re a restless sleeper. You might want to use a diffuser with calming essential oils to help you relax before bed. This might even be as simple as a comfortable pillow.

The point is to make sure that you have everything you need for a good night’s rest.

Start Your Evening Routine Early

Working until late in the evening is a surefire way to ruin your relaxation. If you’re working right up until you go to bed, you’ll still feel wired and stressed and probably struggle to fall asleep.

Try to have a set time at which you stop working for the day, leave the office, close your laptop and begin to switch out of work mode. It’s a good idea to have a specific activity that helps you transition and lets your brain and body know that work time is over and that it’s time to relax. This could be something like 30 minutes of reading with a hot cup of coffee, or taking your dog for a walk to end off the day.

Work With Your Energy

When you finish work, assess how you feel and be kind to your body by treating it accordingly. If you’ve spent all day seated at your desk and feel desperate to move, include some exercise or even just a quick evening walk in your nighttime routine to help you get some movement in for the day. Some people prefer to work out in the evenings, and a gym session after work is a great way to burn some calories and feel refreshed.

On the other hand, if your day has left you feeling mentally and physically drained, fatigued and just plain exhausted, you might opt for a gentle yoga session and ten minutes of meditation instead.

Include Some Preparation For the Next Day

To set yourself up for a great and successful day, you need a good morning routine. However, a good morning routine starts the night before. The things you do before bed will ultimately set you up for a productive tomorrow.

Make sure to include some productive habits in your evening routine. These could include tidying up your space for the next day, packing a healthy lunch to take to work, setting your workout clothes or your outfit for the next morning or writing in your planner. Doing these activities will help you feel calmer and more prepared, and also make your morning a little easier to handle.

Spend Time Doing Something You Love

Work-life balance is crucial, and after work you should always allow yourself some time to do the things you love.

This might be a hobby like painting or reading. You might want to watch a few episodes of your favourite show or play video games for a while. This could include socialising or even working on your side hustle. Whichever it may be, make sure you allow yourself some “me time” in the evening that will leave you feeling fulfilled and relaxed.

Try to Be Consistent

A consistent sleep schedule is pretty important for both your physical and mental health. When you go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, it becomes easier to do so (making early mornings more manageable) and you can train your body to wind down and wake up at the appropriate times.

If you need to be up pretty early for work, try to start winding down for bed at around 9 or 10 PM every evening. When you have a routine in place, your body will recognise the cues and start to relax and prepare for sleep.

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I've been writing since 2008 about a wide range of topics. I also love making furniture in my spare time, and birdwatching with my wife near our home in southern England.

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