Night Time Routine For Adults – 10 Methods To Unwind At Night

Night time routine for adults.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you are doing late at night?

Do you find yourself working, watching tv, or surfing the web all the way up until your bedtime?

A night time routine for adults is just important as a night time routine is for children.

Responsibilities such as taking care of a family can make it feel as though you do not have much time for yourself to unwind at night. However, if you have sleeping problems on regular basis there are ways to establish a night time routine for adults.

Schedule 30 to 60 minutes to slow down at the end of a busy day and performing these 10 methods which will help calm your mind down. By establishing these good habits everyday over time these habits will become second nature and you will do them without thinking about it.

You have a choice on how you spend your quiet time. These are suggestions that will help you unwind after a long day. In addition, you will also find some activities that you should avoid.

Does having a night time routine help me sleep at night?

The answer to that question is yes.

These are four reasons why having a night time routine is beneficial:

  1. By performing the same actions everyday this will condition your mind to know when it is time to slow down from your daily activities.
  2. Planning what you need to do the next day can be done during this quiet time. Since you have your thoughts recorded down. Doing this will help eliminate any racing thoughts that will you keep awake at night.
  3. This routine will help calm an overactive mind that cannot settle down.
  4. Many of the activities that people do at night time are overstimulating. This will trick your brain to believe that it is not time to slow down and that we should continue. Having a night time routine set in place will eliminate these overstimulating activities and replace them with activities that will promote relaxation.

How long should this night time routine be?

There is no set time for how long a night time routine should be. You can set your routine for the amount of time that it takes for you to relax.

Factors in your life affect how long your routine will be as well. For example, if you have a family to take care of and spent some time cleaning your home, then 30 minutes is sufficient.

Night time routine clock.

If you have sleep problems and have a few free hours at night. In this case, one hour is a better time frame.

If you are one of those people who uses electronic devices and watches television in the evening (very common). I advise that you take the last hour of the day to avoid using any electronic devices.

Things to do for your night time routine

The thing to keep in mind is that this is a time of the day that should be peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. The routine is different for everybody depending on what you choose.

These are 10 methods that will help you unwind at night:

1. Schedule some time with your partner, family, or your friends

This is one method that is often overlooked. If you live with other people you should spend some time before going to bed playing a quiet game or conversing. Avoid using your phone or any electronic device when you are in the room with the other person.

This will help keep your mind away from and any distracting thoughts that are interrupting your quiet time.

I recommend playing board games or cards during this time as they are relaxing and do not stimulate your mind nearly as much as electronic devices would.

My family and I sometimes gather together to play board games or cards. We always end up having a blast regardless of who wins or loses.

The trick here is to not be overly competitive (some healthy competition is good), feel upset or feel any strong emotions. The activity is more far more important than the outcome of the game. You should feel relaxed and have a good time.

Play fair and show good sportsmanship. You will reap the benefits if you do so.

Chess board.

2. Relaxation Exercises: Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Mindfulness and Guided Meditation

If you have a difficult time sleeping at night because of stress, anxiety, or because you have an overactive mind.

Performing some these relaxation techniques will help out immensely.

Explore the different relaxation techniques for sleep here.

3. Spiritual Practices: Meditation, Yoga and Praying

Spiritual activity can bring clarity and peace of mind to those who feel tension. The best time to do these are before going to bed.

Meditating, praying, light yoga and reading up on spiritual literature are all excellent activities that can be included in your night time routine.

4. Record any thoughts, reminders and worries

Have you ever lied in your bed thinking about what you have to do the next day?

Thoughts such as these can race around in your mind and make it difficult for you to relax. Before you know it other reminders and worries join in and add to the mental checklist in your mind.

Write your thoughts down.

An effective trick that works really well is to record all thoughts, reminders, and worries into a “to do list” before you go to sleep.

As a bonus, you will not forget what important thing you have to complete the next day. I have done this many times before and this is an excellent method to keep track of important tasks.

5. Drink a relaxing beverage or eat a light snack

I do not recommend drinking any beverage that contains sugar, caffeine, or alcohol.

I can tell you this from my own experience because I have made this mistake before. There were times when I drank coffee right before going to sleep. That was a bad choice because it took me a few hours before I could relax enough to fall asleep.

A better alternative is to drink herbal tea. This can be combined along with listening to some relaxing music or reading a book.

Avoid any fatty, fried or spicy foods.

What I have learned over time is that these types of foods are difficult for your body to process at night time and sometimes can cause unusual dreams or nightmares. This is something you should avoid doing because eating these types of foods can disrupt your sleep patterns.

Save these types of foods for earlier in the day.

If you are hungry in the evening, it is completely fine to eat a light snack before your scheduled bedtime. Foods such as low fat yogurt, granola, and bananas are much better choices over fried, fatty and spicy foods.

Bowl of oatmeal.

6. Turn off all electronic devices

There is no doubt that electronic devices are a large part of our modern lives. Most people use them all the way up until their scheduled bedtime.

Devices such as cellphones, televisions, tablets, computers, laptops, and video game consoles can consume a lot of time.

These are the following reasons why you should turn off all electronic devices one hour prior to your bedtime:

  • Examining email or other types of news can cause unnecessary stress and worrying thoughts.
  • These types of devices are very addicting. Using them can cause you lose out on vital sleep time.
  • Your brain is constantly stimulated and this stimulation makes it difficult to calm down.
  • The light emitted from these devices tricks your biological clock into thinking that is still daytime and that you should be active instead of relaxing.

It is even better if you remove all electronic devices from your bedroom and place them in a separate room. The temptation to use these devices will be greatly reduced.

7. Listen to relaxing music

Although, it is in your best interest to avoid using electronic devices before going to sleep.

Listening to some relaxing music is an excellent idea.

I have done this and relaxing music helps me calm down.

This is what I recommend that you do:

  1. Make sure that there is nothing that can bother you.
  2. Dedicate this time only for listening to music.
  3. Select your relaxing music.
  4. Turn your volume down to a comfortable level.
  5. Turn off the display of your device so that it is not emitting any light.
  6. Do not look at the screen of your device.
  7. Do not respond to any other messages or notifications. (It is best to turn these off)

The key here is to not listen to any music that will cause excitement or stir up any emotions.

How often do you listen to music while just relaxing at the same time?

Relaxing music.

8. Read a book or a magazine

This is a much better alternative to the using electronic devices at night time. It is completely fine to read a book or magazine while lying down in bed.

Many people I have spoken to find reading a book or a magazine while lying down in their beds to be a relaxing activity. In turn, this helps them sleep better.

The secret to this method is to read by a lamp that has a soft yellow light that is of moderate brightness. Avoid any lamps that emit a bright white light as this type of light will keep you awake.

9. Lower the temperature in your bedroom

The temperature in your bedroom is one factor of sleeping that is often overseen.

It is important to control the temperature in your bedroom.


These two facts will help you out:

  1. The body is conditioned to know if the temperature is lowering, it is a signal to go to sleep.
  2. The best temperature for sleeping ranges from 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 to 22.2 degrees Celsius. Sleeping in a very warm or hot room is possible and can be done.

This is usually not an issue during the winter months. However, if the temperature in your bedroom is greater than the temperature range listed above.

There are ways to lower the temperature of your body and your bedroom by taking into account the following options:

  1. Take a short walk outside and breathe some fresh air.
  2. Take a shower 15 to 30 minutes prior to sleep. (Ideally a cool shower and not a hot one)
  3. If you prefer to take hot baths instead of showers. Take your bath one to two hours before going to sleep. It will take some time before your body to fully cool down after a hot bath session.
  4. Open your bedroom door and windows to release any hot, stuffy air that is not circulating.
  5. Adjust the thermostat in your bedroom to be within the best temperature range listed above in fact #2.
  6. If you live a hot climate, a cooling mattress or bed fan will help you out nicely.

10. Do not lie in bed for hours on end

This method is a very important one. On average, it should take you between 15 to 20 minutes to fall asleep.

If you find that you are still awake after lying in bed for 20 minutes. That is an indicator that your mind and body and not ready to sleep.

The trick here is to get out of bed, enter another room in your home, use a soft yellow light that is not too bright, and repeat any of the methods that you choose from this list.

After this 15 to 30 minute period, go back to your bed and try to go to sleep once more.

The worst possible thing that can happen is that you toss and turn throughout the night while getting little to no sleep.

If you are still wide awake during this time, it is better for you to stay up for as long as you can until you feel sleepy.

Final Thoughts

Having a night time routine set in place will help you create and maintain a consistent pattern in your life. This way you do not have to feel like you always have to be constantly moving here and there.

It is a positive thing to be able to come home in the evening and take a load off from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

Time to relax and unwind at night is a part of your sleep routine that you should place a great deal of value on.

What is your night time routine?

Do you do anything different from these 10 methods?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash

18 Comments on “Night Time Routine For Adults – 10 Methods To Unwind At Night”

  1. Hello Brad,

    Your welcome and it is great to know that you found the article helpful. Preparing a to do list is an excellent part of a night time routine and one that I engage in everyday. Recording your thoughts on a hard copy removes the thoughts from your mind. It indeed does help give one peace of mind. The benefit of this technique is that when you refer to your to do list. The idea will come back and you will remember that which needs to be completed. There have been a few times when I forgot to write down what I had to do the next day. This suggestion is one that I enjoy sharing because it has helped me out and will do the very same for others.  

    You have the right mindset and I am glad that there is someone else who thinks the same way that I do when it comes to using electronics at night time. I agree the blue light emitted from these devices tricks our brains into thinking it is still daytime. This causes our brain to produce less melatonin. That is needed in order to help us feel relaxed/drowsy and helps prepare us to go to sleep. That is great that you do eat anything 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep. Digestion can occasionally disrupt our sleep patterns. 

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  2. Hello Veronica,

    Reading and playing boards games are two activities that I enjoy very much too. Some healthy competition is completely fine. That happens with my family and I as well from time to time hahaha. I recommend any activity that is not physically or mentally demanding such as reading, listening to relaxing music, sewing and writing is really good. 

    Think of activities that you do not have to focus on too much technically, but will put your mind in a relaxed state.I have written an article on relaxation techniques for sleep that you will find useful.

    5 Relaxation Techniques For Sleep: Quieting Your Overactive Mind

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  3. Hello Suzanne,

    Your welcome and I glad that I was able to help you. Everybody makes their own choice in regards to using electronic devices at night. They are so commonplace now and I do not judge others. I agree electronics today grant us access to so much information that it is somewhat of a challenge to unplug. These suggestions are just to help others consider alternative activities at night that do not stimulate the mind nearly as much. Yes, half an hour to 1 hour a day of not using electronic is completely reasonable and can be done without much difficulty.

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  4. Hello Dale,

    Your welcome and I am glad to know that you enjoyed the post. You make a very good point many people do have a hard time going to sleep at night. I was part of that group as well. We live in such a fast paced world that it seems as though that we have to be doing something all of the time. That is not true, we all need to schedule some time to relax at the end of the day. Listening to the relaxing music is great and helps calm down an overactive mind. This is something that I have done before and it helps out a lot. 

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  5. Hello GinaO,

    Anytime. I appreciate your suggestion about keeping our electronics devices away from our bedrooms so that the temptation will not be there. That is excellent advice. I agree engaging with others does indeed help take some stress of the day off. 

    This also helps you catch up with those important people and see what is happening in their lives.This allows our mind to relax from everything that has happened. Scheduling time to unwind is beneficial at the end of everyday. Just as we get ready to go for the day, we also need to time to power down as well.

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  6. Hello Rob,

    Your comment is much appreciated. You are making a much better choice by reading book instead of using an iPad. This will help you sleep better at night because by not using any devices, our brains will be able to produce its own melatonin. This is needed to induce a feeling of relaxation at night time. You are on the right track, having a properly darkened room is essential to getting a good night’s sleep. I agree light leaking into rooms is a nuisance. This can be controlled in our homes, hotel rooms not so much.

    I am glad that you mention having a hard time going to sleep when traveling and being a shift worker. I have some suggestions in my article about circadian rhythms and jet lag for those travel across different time zones that you will find useful.

    What Is Your Circadian Rhythm? – The Function Of Your Internal Clock

    How To Reduce Jet Lag – Methods To Adjusting Your Internal Clock In Different Time Zones

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  7. Wow Kenny! 

    This is an awesomely written piece on guidelines for preparing and managing sleep time. I definitely got a lot out of reading this. Some of these I have done, but need to put more emphasis on. Some of these I have not. One pointer you made was to plan out what your going to do with a “to do list” for the next day. Very beneficial I would say because of the peace of mind you will have when you turn in. Not to mention, you will not be as pressed and flustered first thing in the morning having to sort all that out then.  

    It certainly would not hurt to shut off electronic devices at night. At least put your phone in the another room at night (15 feet away at least from what I have heard) if you need to have it on in case of an emergency. I have also read and blogged about the importance of avoiding blue spectrum light especially. Our devices and computers and TV’s emit that spectrum frequently. I would suggest that it would be wise to refrain from those at least an hour before bedtime.

    I myself do not eat any solid food at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. I have read much about that and from my experience I tend to do better than when I do not.

    My problem is that I work 2 nights a week and it kind of throws my circadian rhythm out of balance because have to try and readjust my sleep cycle those two nights and readjust again thereafter.

    At any rate, great article! 

    I am going to bookmark this, maybe print it out and start applying your routine. Thank you. 


  8. My favorite is reading and also playing board games with my husband. We have to be careful because we get a bit competitive 🙂 What would you suggest for those who are still unable to sleep after about 30 minutes of going back to bed after the initial time of getting up? I have found that writing in general helps me go to sleep. I also keep a pen and notebook near my bed in case I wake up and have something to write down. This helps me write it down and go back to sleep quickly.

  9. Hi Kenny, 

    I really enjoyed this article. I have to admit that I either watch movies, tv or play video games right up until I go to bed. I do not suffer from insomnia. However, I do find it difficult to shut my mind off and fall asleep. I will definitely try these suggestions. I will try to think of it as a reward for having a productive day some “me time” to unwind and pamper myself a little. Our days are so filled with stress and constant stimulation from electronics, it seems like getting away from it for at least a half hour is the least we can do. Thank you again for a great article and all of those recommendations.

  10. Wow! This is a great article. I do not think you even realize how many people you can help with this article. There are so many people that have a hard time sleeping at night and they turn to very addictive pills and so forth. I am so happy you took the time to do the research and then put it online for us. I am going to use this as a simple blue print to help me get better sleep at night. I think my overall favorite is the relaxing music. Once again thank you for a great article.


  11. Hi Kenny,

    Thank you for sharing these helpful tips for managing insomnia. This will come handy. Your post highlighted the importance of keeping our devices away for awhile before bedtime. I will suggest keeping it away from our bedroom as well so that we are not tempted to grab it if we find it hard to fall asleep. Having face to face conversation with other family members or friends and engage in heartwarming conversations or relaxing games will help forgo some of the worries of our busy day. I noticed that sometimes when I keep unnecessarily busy up to my bedtime, it affects the kind of dreams I have. So taking a break before bedtime is very important. Thanks for sharing.

  12. A very good article. I usually try to read a few pages of a book before getting off to sleep, but sometimes fall short of not looking at my iPad. Even with night time mode on, it is not helpful. I also find it helpful for the room to be properly darkened. An annoyance in some hotel rooms is that although they have heavy curtains. There can be light leaking from the corridor around the door of the room or some electronic device that has a bright LED that remains on.

    Any tips for travelers and shift workers? I am both at various times and it is never easy trying to get to sleep at a time that feels unnatural to your body.

  13. Hello Shy,

    I agree lying in bed for hours on end, not getting any sleep and then trying to function the next day can make anybody feel cranky. It is a vicious cycle and I wanted to show others how to overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from sleeping. This is something that I have experienced many times so I can relate very well. 

    If your partner neighbors or their dogs are making a lot of noise. The best thing to do is to go over to their residence and tell them to lower the volume because you need to get some sleep. Other devices such as earplugs, noise cancelling earphones and white noise machines can help block out any external noise as well. 

    It is great that you listen to relaxing music when you go to sleep. This is one method that I highly recommend to those who have a difficult time slowing down. 

    What type of relaxing music do you listen to?

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  14. Hello Kenny,

    Your welcome and I feel satisfied knowing that I can help others with their sleeping issues. Sleep problems and having a hard time going to sleep is very common today. You are not alone, it is very easy to get caught up with everyday obligations so much so that we sometimes forget to breathe. Everything from anxiety to childcare places a huge demand on our systems. Even adults need time to relax and unwind.

    Please respond with the methods that you have tried. I would like to know which of these methods have worked for you.

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang 

  15. Hello Sujandar,

    Your welcome and I am glad that you found the information helpful. The methods here will help you slow down and unwind after a busy day. If you need help fixing your sleep cycle, I have also written an article on how to adjust your sleep schedule. That post has information about the techniques that are used to help reset your sleep patterns. 

    Please let me know which methods you have tried and which ones worked the best for you.

    Best regards,
    Kenny Tang

  16. I like to listen to relaxing music when I go to sleep, sometimes I will read an e-book.

    It is very difficult when you find yourself lying in bed all night, but you just cannot get any sleep.  The next day you are irritable and cranky cause you did not get enough sleep that night.

    In some cases, it may be others that keep you awake at night like noisy neighbours and barking dogs. This is very annoying.

  17. Hi, this is a really cool article that can benefit so many website visitors. I know that I will be bookmarking your website and trying out some of these tips myself. I really do struggle to sleep at times. Perhaps a combination of work stress and looking after the kids is affecting me more than I realized.


  18. For the past 4 weeks my sleep cycle has been messed up. I have been trying to fix it, but I had a difficult time. After reading this, I cannot wait to try these and see how it goes.

    I am really happy that I found your website. Thank you so much!

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