Health & Wellbeing Reviews

The Night-Time Routine That Actually Improved My Sleep

I’ve never been one for “routines”. Morning, night, work, whatever. Despite being an incredibly organised person, I always just tend to do things the quickest and most productive way. I’ve probably watched hundreds of night-time routines on YouTube and can help but think, “what… EVERY night?” I just couldn’t fathom someone doing the same things, in the same order, every single night and finding any joy in that. I just wanna get my make up off and get into bed, pronto.

Until something changed a month or so ago and I found myself as one of those people. UGH I WAS A PERSON WITH A ROUTINE (who else is thinking about The Routine from Friends right now?) What happened? How did I get here?

Well actually, I can tell you. Step by step, I found myself adopting a routine. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen all in one go but eventually I had all the pieces together and realised I had created a pretty effective night-time routine for myself which also happened…

…to improve my sleep.

I know, I can’t believe it either. For the last 15 years of my life, I haven’t slept through the night once. I wake up 4 or 5 times on average most nights either needing a wee or with bad hip pain (idk why, I have big hips okay?) and I’ve always known I didn’t get great quality sleep. It’s still not perfect of course but halfway through January, after doing this same routine more or less every night for a few weeks, I did begin to notice a difference. I wasn’t waking up as much, I was falling asleep quicker and I felt more awake in the mornings too! How did I do it? Well I’ll tell you.

Limiting screen time

In the latter part of last year, it really really REALLY hit me how much time I was spending on my phone (I mean, how could it not when that poxy screen time app was cropping up every day saying I had spent 13 hours on my phone?!) and quite frankly, I was disgusted. Since when did I turn into this person that spends more time looking at her phone than the world around her? What had I missed in all that time I was fixated on Twitter?

So I turned my screen limits back on using the iPhone screen time app. I set it to 3 hours of social media per day and all apps (apart from the necessities) are turned off at 9pm. So no social media, no blogging, no games, no surfing the internet after 9. It was difficult at first but eventually, I found myself actually not picking up my phone way before the 9pm cut off! And within the first week, my screen usage was down by 30%!

Gentle Yoga

The only exception to the screen time was YouTube because I started to introduce night-time Yoga into my routine from Yoga With Adriene. Yoga is one of my favourite things in the world and I’ve fallen it love with it even more (if that’s at all possible) this year. I feel healthier and I definitely feel stronger and I just want to be doing Yoga all the time!

So as well as a more high intensity practice in the morning, I started doing slower, stretchy practices in the evening. I do these in the living room, with the lights on low, in my pajamas and it’s just wonderful. Taking that time for myself each night has been a blessing. It helps me relax, switch off, show some gratitude and then go to bed refreshed, rather than frazzled.

Skincare

After my Yoga, I then started to pick up my skincare routine again. I’ve always struggled with a skincare routine. Partly because I never think anything actually works for me and makes my skin look or feel any better. But I know I shouldn’t neglect my skin for that reason. I still use most of my Superdrug Simply Pure range, which are cruelty-free and ideal for sensitive skin.

Reading before bed

Then after my skincare is finished, I’ll go and grab a drink and get into bed and read for a while. I’ve always loved reading – if you’ve been a reader of this blog for long enough then you’ll remember me in my book blogging days – but honestly, I have fallen out of love with it a bit recently. I basically didn’t read anything from September to December last year.

But thankfully, I did get back into reading in January and read some amazing books which I actually wanted to pick up. Finally! So settling into bed and reading a bit of my book was the perfect addition to my new night-time routine.

Of course this doesn’t happen every single night. If I’m away, ill or particularly busy then that might get in the way but that’s okay – I’m not strict on myself and I don’t punish myself for not doing it every single night. Which I think really helps as well. But knowing that I have this solid routine that I can delve into, if and when I can, is really beneficial.

Do you have a particular night-time routine? What have you found really helps you sleep or relax for the night? Let me know in the comments!

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

104 Comments

  1. […] this year, I wrote about a new night time routine I’d adopted for myself. Of course this routine has been broken and I don’t follow it religiously every single night […]

  2. I’m not much of a routine person myself. But i’m currently trying to create one to be more productive, more rested and fulfilled in my days. These are some great ideas. Thanks much

    1. Youโ€™re welcome ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  3. I’m also pretty rubbish at sticking to routine but I have certain things that I will do every night before bed inckuding skincare, watching a bit of netflix or youtube and then writing my gratitude list. It’s probably not the most efficient in terms of sleep as I’m still using screens late into the evening but I try and cut off from social media around 9:30pm

    Abi | https://whatabigailsays.co.uk/

    1. Iโ€™m the same – I like watching things before bed too ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  4. The screen time one is so hard! Although I have managed to limit it during the day.

    1. The limits app is so useful!

  5. Love that you mention skincare here because that’s always been a big part of my night time routine too x

    1. Iโ€™m hoping itโ€™ll be an even bigger part now My Clarins products are here!

  6. Oh my gosh I really wish I could limit the amount on my phone before bed but it’s tricky, as that’s when I usually post on instagram! But I’m trying to start reading before bedtime now and that has helped SO much.

    1. Why donโ€™t you schedule your Instagram posts? ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  7. The intro made me laugh because I think the exact same way. I wish my brain wasn’t wired in a way that I work better at night. It makes it so hard to switch off. I keep saying I’m going to limit my screen time but I’m failing. An evening skincare routine does really help though! x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    1. I mean limiting screen time doesnโ€™t always need to mean in the night? I have my social media apps set on for 3 hours a day. So as soon as I go over that, they turn off ๐Ÿ˜Œ if that happens at 2oclock in the afternoon then itโ€™s just shit luck haha!

  8. A good skincare routine makes the world of difference for me!

    Love, Amie โค

    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Iโ€™ve ordered some new skincare which is arriving tomorrow so I hope that makes a bigger difference!

  9. I always used to read before bed but haven’t done so in ages. It’s great though how we can get into a routine quite quickly and also benefit from it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sarah ๐ŸŒบ || Boxnip

    1. It really is ๐Ÿ˜Œ Iโ€™m loving reading before bed at the moment!

  10. i really need to limit my screen time! I think thats why i’m bot sleeping as well!

    Mollie | mollieclarke.co.uk

    1. Iโ€™d definitely recommend it! Itโ€™s difficult at first but once you realise that nothing on social media canโ€™t wait until the morning, it becomes easier ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  11. Having ADHD, I’ve always struggled with sleep but recently, I’ve found that Lush’s Sleepy lotion and good old Melatonin really helps me out. A routine doesn’t seem to work for me but I have found individual products that do ๐Ÿ™‚ at the end of the day, I say whatever works, do it! x

    Melanie || http://www.melaniewithanie.com

    1. Yep very true! But I guess getting into the routine of using the products that work every night IS a sort of routine ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  12. Great post – Ive started listening to audio books when I go to bed – mainly by Stephen Fry and find they help me fall asleep but I can only listen to books I’ve read or heard before!!! Otherwise Im too engaged

    1. I really want to start listening to audiobook!

  13. I want to start reading before bed xx

  14. That’s great you now have a routine that improves your sleep!
    For my nighttime routine I have the same skincare routine then I go to sleep around the same time. I haven’t had a problem with screen time affecting my sleep but I know that can be a problem for many people.

    1. Itโ€™s never been an actual problem for my sleep but I just thought it was disgusting how long I was spending on my phone ๐Ÿ˜‚

      1. Oh okay but yea 13 hours is a bit excessive haha

  15. Reblogged this on M J Mallon YA/Paranormal Author and commented:
    I’ve had terrible problems with insomnia most of my adult life until I discovered tai chi. I sleep pretty well now. But I know how horrendous it can be and how sleep deprivation often goes hand in hand with anxiety problems. So glad you found a routine that works for you Jenny. A great share ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I’ve had terrible problems with insomnia most of my adult life until I discovered tai chi. I sleep pretty well now. But I know how horrendous it can be and how sleep deprivation often goes hand in hand with anxiety problems. So glad you found a routine that works for you Jenny. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Marjorie! Sorry to hear youโ€™ve had insomnia, that canโ€™t be nice at all but glad you found a solution! ๐Ÿ˜Œ

      1. Yes it was pretty horrendous and I am so glad I found a remedy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Instead of reading I listen to an audio book. I love a particular narrator who’s voice is so calming that I fall asleep within 10 min.

    1. Iโ€™d love to get into audiobooks and I bet theyโ€™re a great way to relax at the end of the day!

  18. I really need to start reading again, it’s something I’ve fallen out of love with as well but I know I’ll really enjoy it once I get back into it. I don’t go on my phone in the evenings but I have a bad habit of having a quick scroll through just before I go to sleep so that’s something I need to get out of the habit of doing. Loved this post!x

    Elin | https://myblurredworld.com

    1. I think if you manage to get through the WHOLE evening without your phone then your will power is definitely strong enough to resist that last quick scroll ๐Ÿ˜Œ everything can wait until morning!

  19. lovemonicarose says:

    Mine’s kind of similar to yours, although I have to add the yoga thing too sometime. I drink my chamomile tea (knocks me out every. time.), brush teeth and skincare and then read before I go to bed! I have to make sure I read a physical book though or else I would just stay up until I finish it ๐Ÿ˜‚

    1. Haha itโ€™s easy to do! ๐Ÿ˜‚

  20. i love this!! reading before bed always makes me tired & i definitely sleep better after some yoga ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

    1. Reading makes me super tired too!

  21. Lauren says:

    I always try to read before bed, itโ€™s the only thing that relaxes me! I really need to be stricter with my screen time too I think.

    Lauren x
    http://www.laurenyloves.co.uk

    1. The screen time app is amazing for that!

  22. I kinda wish I had more of a routine, especially at night. But I guess I kind of do, I get home from work around 6pm and then I cook dinner and eat it, do blog stuff until 9pm and then I stop and actually give myself an hour to totally chill out and not use my brain too much! I have often struggled with sleeping but I tend to use a meditation app some evenings to help relax me before going to sleep!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

    1. A meditation app sounds amazing. I have this sounds app where you can play nice sounds and itโ€™s really relaxing ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  23. I have always been a good sleeper. I always slept right through the night, but for me the night did not last long and most of the days I would burn my energy very fast. That was until I implemented a before bed routine similar to yours. Yoga, skin care and reading before sleep. Now I am more active and my energy dosent burn out so quickly. Great post Jenny.

    1. Thatโ€™s amazing to hear! Iโ€™m also super jealous that you sleep through the night ๐Ÿ˜‚

  24. Jenny your tips are amazing and so useful, because I’ve been needing this post for a long time! My issue isn’t actually the quality of sleep itself, I sleep the whole way through and I have the best sleep ever! However I over-sleep and I tend to sleep late. I haven’t had a routine for a while and I really need to have one!

    With screen time, mine tends to be random, I haven’t thought about limiting it, I get worried because my work is social media but at the same time, there’s no difference in restricting it to certain hours!

    I do yoga at my class in the gym, and my friend introduced me to Adrienne, she’s really good! I really could do with it before bed. In fact I’m going to do it tonight!

    I need to stop watching silly Facebook videos and get into a good book.

    Thank you so much for these tips!

    Monica @ http://www.thewongblog.com

    1. I work for myself too so I need to be online but you also need to be strict with yourself when it comes to screen time. If you had a โ€œregularโ€ job, you wouldnโ€™t spend all night in the office? ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  25. Simply Chloe says:

    Like you Iโ€™m also someone who wakes up constantly in the night- my bladder is tiny! Iโ€™ve found that reading definitely helps as well but it can also keep me up if itโ€™s a really good book ๐Ÿ™ˆ Iโ€™ve tried yoga before and found it really calming and relaxing but Iโ€™ve never thought of doing it at home before bed, Iโ€™d happily give it a go if it helps. Glad to hear youโ€™ve found a routine thatโ€™s improved your sleeping habits, thanks for the tips! ๐Ÿ˜Š x

    1. It definitely helps. You donโ€™t even really need a mat either, just a nice blanket to get cosy ๐Ÿ˜Œ

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