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I never understood the importance of a good bedtime routine until I started using one. Having everything ready to go the night before has made my mornings go so much smoother. No longer am I going to bed with a million things on my mind or waking up and scrambling around trying to put out a bunch of fires first thing. Well, at least most of the time!
Now, I’ll admit, my bedtime routine has gone out the window over the last couple of weeks because we are dealing with the dreaded 18 Month Sleep Regression! Little Miss decided to get a head start on it and has been angrily boycotting naps and bedtime and waking up in the night like a newborn. So, needless to say, we are tired around here and once we finally get her to sleep, The Mister and I crawl into bed to try to get some rest and all plans of a bedtime routine are forgotten. And I miss it!
So in an effort to get back on track I thought I would share my beloved bedtime routine with you all. Maybe you’re looking for a nice routine to get yourself calmed down before bed or maybe you already have a routine and are looking to change things up a bit. Regardless, I hope my routine will spark some ideas to make your nighttime peaceful and get your mornings off to a great start!
I’ve broken my routine down into four sections: the front of the house (living room and kitchen), my office, my bathroom and my bedroom. I can realistically get all of this done in under an hour if I don’t get sidetracked.
Front of the House Bedtime Routine
Get Little Miss’s milk ready for morning
I’ve started filling Little Miss’s milk cup in the evenings and keeping it in the fridge overnight. She is quite particular about wanting her milk as soon as we hit the living room in the mornings, so having it already ready saves me from scrambling to pour milk with a tiny, angry person yelling about it.
Clean up the kitchen
Usually The Mister does the dishes after dinner (which I appreciate soooo much!), but I’ll take a couple of minutes to gather stray glasses, clean up any trash and put things back where they should be. I also like to wipe the counters down with a Clorox wipe and make sure my sink is empty.
Run the dishwasher
I like running the dishwasher at night so I can unload it in the morning before breakfast. We don’t run the dishwasher every night, but usually every other will suffice. If you have a larger family this might be an every night thing for you.
Set out my medicine and Plexus for morning
Somehow I’ve turned into an old lady with a pill box. Between a couple of medications I have to take daily and my vitamins, it’s just easier to keep them all organized. I set my pill box out in the evenings (so I remember to take my medicine) as well as half of a glass of water and my Plexus Slim packet. For some reason the Plexus mixes better with room temperature water, so I let it sit on the counter overnight and then I can just add the powder and fill the rest of the glass with cold water and I’m good to go!
Straighten the living room
Next, I move to the living room and do a quick walkthrough to put Little Miss’s toys back in the correct baskets and straighten pillows and blankets on the couches. I also use this time to set my yoga mat, the book I’m reading and my journal out for my Miracle Morning the next day.
The “front of the house” portion of my bedtime routine usually takes 10-15 minutes, depending on how messy the kitchen and living room are.
My Office Bedtime Routine
Check bank account and budget
Now it’s time to move to the back of the house to my office and check our bank account. I try to do this every night, but I’ll admit, this is one of the items that gets knocked off the list when I’m in a hurry to get to bed. I like to take a couple of minutes of my bedtime routine to pull up our budget (we use Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar) and compare it to our bank account. I’ll add in any expenses or income from the day and make sure we’re still on track.
Look over tomorrow’s schedule
While I’m in my office I also grab my bullet journal and see what’s in store for the next day. This just helps me mentally prepare and if we have something going first thing the next morning, I can set out whatever I might need to make things easier. For example, we have swim class every Tuesday morning, so I make sure I have our towels and swim suits ready to go in the swim bag.
Check blog-related things
Before I head to my bedroom, I take a quick peek at a few blog-related items. I check to make sure there aren’t any comments that need to be approved on the blog. Then I do quick checks on social media (and try not to get sucked in) to make sure there aren’t any comments or questions that I’ve missed and I look at my email one more time before bed. I try to make this my last screen time of the night. It rarely works out that way because I have a slight problem/addiction when it comes to my phone. But I do try to keep it off before bed.
The “office” part of my routine takes 10 minutes, max. Unless I get sucked into Facebook. Then it takes a little longer.
My Bathroom Bedtime Routine
Unless I showered earlier in the day, I prefer night showers. As a curly haired woman, it’s actually easier to make my hair behave the next day when I sleep on it wet. Plus, a nice, hot shower helps me unwind and calms me down before bed.
Wash Face/Floss/Brush Teeth
These are all pretty self-explanatory. I will say, I absolutely love my Aveeno Ultra-Calming makeup removal wipes and Studio35 face wash. They are so refreshing and I don’t feel like I’m covered in a layer of oily makeup.
Set out tomorrow’s clothes
In like to make sure that I have clothes ready for the next morning set out the night before. This way I’m not having to dig through my dresser to find my clothes, which is especially important on The Mister’s day off because I don’t think he would appreciate me rummaging around looking for yoga pants at 6 AM on the day he gets to sleep in. I know that some people say that it’s important for stay at home moms to put on real clothes instead of sweats or yoga pants, but yoga is actually part of my morning routine, so I give myself a pass on that rule.
The “bathroom” portion of my bedtime routine takes the longest, especially if I’m washing my hair. Usually I’m in there for 30 minutes or so.
My Bedroom Bedtime Routine
I’m really trying to make it a habit to read more. Like, actual, paper books. There have been studies that say you should turn off all devices half an hour before you go to bed because the light from the screen messes with your brain and makes it harder to sleep. Obviously those studies said it in much more academic language, but you get the point. So, like I said earlier, I try to stay off of my phone and Facebook right before bed and read. My goal is to read some fiction before bed (because I still have 4 of the 7 Harry Potter books to read), but I’m currently in the middle of The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz and I’m loving it! I’ve noticed that reading really calms my mind down and makes it easier to fall asleep.
This is not something that I currently do as part of my bedtime routine, but I would really like to add it. I already have ridiculously tight neck and shoulder muscles, so add sitting at a computer for several hours a day and lugging around a toddler, and those muscles are crazy. I’ve seen some examples of bedtime yoga and stretches and I plan to try a few of them in the evenings.
I take 20-30 minutes for the “bedroom” part of my bedtime routine, but can be done quicker than that if I limit my reading time.
Now It’s Your Turn!
So there you have it- my bedtime routine! Now it’s your turn to create your own. Think about what you can do the night before to make your morning smoother. Are there things that would help you relax before bed so you sleep better? Do you already have a bedtime routine? Does it need some tweaking?
Let me know in the comments how you could use a bedtime routine to change your life!