Sometimes life gets the better of you.
Suddenly it’s 11pm, your kitchen is a mess, you’re still in your rumpled work clothes, and your to-do list is a mile long. Your “relaxing” evening has become a disorderly tumble towards bedtime, and you’ve definitely forgotten something important along the way.
Where did the time go?
(For me, it probably vanished into 4 straight hours of Netflix, and now I’m on the verge of passing out in my eye makeup.)
Friend, it sounds like we both need a little structure. Developing a nighttime routine is not only good for your stress and sanity, but it can also help you sleep better, reconnect with yourself, and have a smoother morning tomorrow.
So, where do you start? Master your evening with 15 ideas for your perfect and unique night routine!
1. Cut Off Caffeine at 4pm
Wow, starting with a serious one. If you have a coffee addiction, this is a big ask. But high levels of caffeine are not just bad for your complexion — they also increase your stress levels and can negatively affect your sleep quality, starting a snowball effect of exhaustion and mental burnout.
To start your evening off right, try to wean off caffeinated coffees, sodas, and energy drinks in the afternoon. This gives your body plenty of time to wind down and prepare to rest.
Instead, consider switching to water or herbal teas after 4pm. They’ll help you stay hydrated and keep your energy up without resorting to over-stimulating caffeine.
Bonus: many teas contain nutrients and antioxidants that are good for your skin!
2. Maintain Your Work/Life Balance
To all you workaholics out there: step away from the keyboard. You need some private time to relax and reset, or the stress is going to pile up and spell trouble for your mental, emotional, and physical health. (Including your skin!)
For a more recuperative evening routine, avoid consistent overtime, and don’t bring work home with you. That includes checking work emails at the dinner table or before you turn in for the night.
3. Disengage from Screens
One mindless scroller to another, I think we can all agree that constant screen time interferes with our rest. Not just because it keeps us awake and engaged when we’re supposed to be drifting off, but also because the blue light emitted by electronic screens messes with our circadian rhythm and lowers sleep quality.
And for me, browsing the news or my social media feed can actually put me in a negative headspace. Glimpsing the wrong post or article can spiral me into spasms of worry, anxiety, or jealousy that are not conducive to peaceful sleep. If you’re also susceptible to this, do yourself a favor and disconnect before bedtime.
Pro tip: To make your routine truly restful, experts recommend putting the kibosh on screens for at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
What is your circadian rhythm?
Your circadian rhythm is essentially your body clock. Every 24 hours or so, your body naturally follows a pattern of internal processes, including your sleep-wake cycle. This pattern is your circadian rhythm. Over time your circadian rhythm can adjust itself to your local environment and habits, and it’s especially affected by your exposure to light.
4. Try an Evening Yoga Routine
Many practitioners prefer to do their yoga first thing in the morning, but it can also be a fantastic tool for relaxation as part of your nighttime routine.
Incorporating a low-intensity yoga workout can be mentally meditative and allow you to stretch your muscles after a long day, both qualities that help get your body ready for bed.
Whether yoga’s already your thing or you’ve been wanting to start, this is a win-win opportunity for better fitness and better sleep. It’s not that often we can indulge in self-care that’s actually good for us!
5. Choose Your Outfit for Tomorrow
If your closet is a gorgeous, color-coded capsule wardrobe, then maybe you don’t need this advice as much. (Also, I am so jealous of you right now.) But if your outfits see a lot of variety from one day to the next, it can help to lay out an option or two the night before.
Choosing an outfit as part of your evening routine reduces decision fatigue first thing in the morning, letting your brain focus on booting up and preparing for its day.
Plus, selecting outfits in the evening gives you time to check the weather and think about your day’s needs without having to rush. (What will best suit the temperature, the precipitation, and your schedule...while still looking cute?)
6. Make Your Lunch for Tomorrow
When you’re tired, making tomorrow’s lunch can feel like sooo muuuch wooork. So you promise yourself to get up and make it in the morning. ...But be honest: how often do you actually keep that promise the next day?
Bite the bullet and make your lunch as part of your regular evening schedule. It will mean less stress and hassle for you in the morning, plus less temptation to cheat by eating fast food. That’s better for your health and your wallet!
Plus, packing your lunch gives you full authority over what goes into the meal. Use this chance to dodge sugary fillers and prioritize your favorite skin-friendly foods.
Some of your favorite clear skin foods are also incredible skincare ingredients! Don’t miss stars like turmeric, grapefruit, pumpkin seed, and avocado oil in our botanical-based Clear Skin Kit.
7. Do a 10 Minute Tidy
As my husband will attest, clutter makes me crazy. When our apartment is a mess, I get stressed, short-tempered, and totally unable to focus. Apparently, this is a known phenomenon that affects a lot of people.
If this sounds familiar, try adding a quick, 10 minute tidy to your night routine. Removing the clutter left behind by your busy day can help calm your mind for a more relaxing evening, and waking up to a tidy home can also help you feel more prepared and centered in the morning.
8. Make Tomorrow’s To-Do List
This tip may depend on whether you’re a natural list-maker.
For those of us who are comforted by the clarity of listmaking, settling down with an evening to-do list can give us a chance to set goals and get tomorrow’s plans in order. This feeling of control can quiet anxious anticipation and make it easier to relax.
But if you are not a lover of lists, do whatever feels right. If thinking about tomorrow’s schedule is just going to stress you out, leave this idea out of your routine.
9. Stick to Your Night Skincare Routine
No one loves lazily skipping their skincare regimen more than I. But over the years, I’ve realized that caring for my skin in the evening is absolutely essential.
During sleep, your skin works to repair itself. But if it’s clogged up with makeup and environmental impurities, that process won’t go well. Plus, you’ll end up getting eyeliner, dead skin, and other grossness all over your pillowcase, where it can come back to haunt you later.
It’s time to stop thinking of nightly skincare as a chore and use it as an opportunity to care for ourselves and practice a little mindfulness. Pay attention to the freshness of your post-cleanse skin, the lovely, silky texture of that serum, and how pleasant it feels to press your fingertips against your face. Skincare can be a soothing and meditative process.
Our favorite night skincare routine for radiant skin:
- Makeup remover. That dramatic eye look won’t translate into dreamland. We love the Completely Clear Gelee Makeup Remover as the first step of our nighttime regimen.
- Cleanser. Don’t bring oiliness, dead skin, and impurities to bed with you. Gently purify your face with our rinseless Radiant Cleansing Nectar to keep your skin (and your sheets) so fresh and so clean.
- Serum. Deposit nourishment and hydration to help your skin rejuvenate itself. Our Overnight Perfectionist Serum is infused with antioxidant-rich botanicals to supercharge your complexion.
- Eye cream. Extra-delicate skin needs extra-delicate care. Our Satin Eyes Night Mask is designed to smooth and brighten the skin under your eyes, so you can kiss morning puffiness goodbye.
- Night mask. Get literal with your beauty sleep. Our Clear Skin Elixir is an overnight mask that uses the power of French pink clay to deeply detoxify your skin while you rest (without drying you out or smearing on your pillow).
10. Set a Calming Environment
If the end goal of your routine is a good night’s sleep, you definitely want to make sure that you’re setting your bedroom up for success. The quality of your rest can be impacted by your sleep environment for better or for worse.
- Temperature: If your bedroom is too warm or too cold, your body won’t be able to fully relax and recuperate as you sleep. If you have a thermostat, experts recommend setting it around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, do what you can with box fans, weather-appropriate PJs, and extra blankets.
- Scent: Pleasant scents can calm your body and make it easier to drift off. Light a scented candle, burn your favorite incense, or freshen things up with an all-natural linen spray. (But avoid artificial fragrances, which can be bad for your health, hormones, and skin.)
- Light: Obviously, low light is better for sleeping. But you may not realize how much your rest is being disrupted by things like the glare from street lamps or blinking lights on electronics. Try removing these light sources from your environment, investing in light-blocking curtains, or getting yourself a comfy sleep mask.
11. Read a Book or Magazine
Reading before bed is the perfect quiet activity to help your body settle down for sleep — as long as you’re reading from an actual paper publication or a paper-mimicking e-reader. You don’t want to read using any device with a bright screen that could negatively impact your sleep quality.
Also, try limiting yourself to a certain number of chapters or articles ahead of time. “Just one more” can quickly turn into five or six more, until you end up reading into the wee hours and going to work on three hours of sleep.
Just could not put that book down? Soothe those sleep-deprived under-eye circles with the refreshing botanicals in our Ageless Eyes Day Cream.
12. Enjoy a Relaxing Hobby
Not a reader? Fair enough. Instead of forcing your way through a book, spend time enjoying whichever relaxing hobby speaks to you.
Whether your happy place is jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, knitting, coloring books, cross-stitch…do whatever helps you feel calm and content.
13. Listen to Restful Music, Audiobooks, or Podcasts
Listening to soothing music is a great way to wind down for the night. But listening to audiobooks or podcasts can also help, especially if you’re finding it hard to tear yourself away from your TV or social feeds. They provide your brain with the stimulation you’re craving without exposing it to sleep-disrupting blue light.
Plus, you can listen while you go through other steps of your night routine. Multitasking high-five!
Just be sure to pick content that is relaxing and won’t get you all riled up. Maybe save the tense action thriller for tomorrow’s commute.
14. Journal About Your Day
Journaling has all sorts of benefits for your mental and emotional health, and reflecting on your day can provide a sense of closure that puts you in a great headspace for bedtime. Try to include at least a few things that made you smile or left you feeling grateful.
15. Keep a Consistent Bedtime
The most important thing for your nighttime routine is consistency. Each and every one of these habits will prove more beneficial if you follow them faithfully. Bedtime is no exception!
Keeping a consistent bedtime trains your body to feel tired at the appropriate time, making it easier for you to get to sleep and start harvesting those precious ZZZs. Thanks, circadian rhythm!
I hope some of these 15 ideas resonated with you and your lifestyle. Remember, these steps aren’t mandatory, and you don’t have to include them all. (Unless you’re an incredible overachiever.)
Everyone’s perfect night routine will look a little different, so find the steps and practices that work for you! Better evenings are within your reach! xx