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11 Bedtime Routines for Adults

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Update: April 24, 2023
7 min read

Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Bedtime Routines

Snoozing off to deep sleep soon after hitting the bed can be a cakewalk for many people. 

However, for others, it can be an arduous task. Imagine you hitting the bed and closing your eyes to get a peaceful night’s sleep. The next moment, you are invaded with the thoughts of the next day’s presentation, your child’s school meeting, the breakfast to prepare for the following day, and the pending bills to get paid! And in a jiff, you are wide awake, feeling stressed and worried about getting up on time the next day.

If this is you, you might be looking for a bedtime routine for adults to help you sleep as soon as you hit the bed. As per study, 57.2%reported poor sleep quality and 30.7% stated they had trouble falling asleep. 

To get a peaceful sleep keep reading to learn how to create your bedtime routine.

What Is a Bedtime Routine?

The bedtime routine is a ritual followed by specific activities performed every night at a fixed time. The rituals may include meditation, journaling, making a to-do list, going into nature for a walk, or listening to soothing music. Carrying out these activities 30-45 minutes before heading to bed is essential. 

Why Are Bedtime Routines Important? 

A daily nighttime routine helps the brain to get accustomed to the habit of sleeping on time. However, sleep can be disturbed for many reasons, such as stress and anxiety due to a hectic lifestyle. 

Sleep disruption can lead to short- and long-term consequences such as increased sympathetic nervous system activity, circadian rhythm changes, emotional and mood disorders, and low life quality reducing productivity. Due to the night routine, our brain starts getting signals to focus on sleep by feeling relaxed and calm. Following a particular ritual for at least three to four weeks is advised to get into the habit. 

There are many sleep routine rituals for adults to enhance sleep quality. However, to find what routine suits you best and effortlessly puts you in sleeping mode, below are some rituals you must try to improve your sleep quality. 

Set the alarm to Signal Preparing for Bed

Due to a hectic lifestyle, your sleeping schedule may get messed up. Hence, setting the alarm on your phone will help you prepare for a bedtime ritual. The brain prepares itself to doze off by releasing sleeping hormones. Therefore, the ideal time to set up an alarm can be included in your evening routine that aligns with your pending tasks for the day. Ensure your sleep routine is not interrupted by unnecessary tasks. 

Eat Light and Healthy Before Bed

Study shows stress and anxiety can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Moreover, coffee acts as an “adenosine receptor antagonist, ” meaning caffeine blocks adenosine that promotes sleep. Try to eat light but healthy foods and fibre-rich food such as fruits and nuts. Ensure eating at least 2 hours prior sleep to aid better digestion. This will boost your melatonin level and give you undisturbed sleep. Thus, eating light can be a healthy thing to do before bed.

Create a Pre-Bedtime Playlist

Listening to music that aids in relaxing and soothing sounds, such as nature, water, and ocean waves, can induce sleep. Water has healing properties and is therapeutic. Listening to a spatter of rain or running water from a waterfall will take away your worries leading you into a tranquil state.

A new study has found that listening to music can help older adults sleep better and have a healthy night routine.

  • Adults above 60 should listen to music for at least 30 minutes before sleeping.
  • One should listen to calm music instead of rhythmic music.
  • Follow this routine for at least a month for better results.
  • Calm music lowers heart rate, breathing and blood pressure and aligns with a heartbeat rhythm.

Lower the Lights and Set Bedroom Temperature

It is believed that the thermostat should be between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit for better sleep in adults. Melatonin hormone regulates our body’s sleep. Red light therapy is effective as it is least sensitive to photoreceptors and thus, reduces stress and calms the mind. It also combats depressing thoughts that lead to a sleep disorder. Try to install the red light that comes with soothing music. You can try pink light as an alternative or keep your room completely dark for a healthier sleep routine.

Wash off Stress in the Shower

The best thing to do before bed is to take a warm water bath. The numerous tasks performed by the body during the day make muscles stiff and tired. By taking a warm water bath, body temperature drops to a certain level and adjusts to the circadian rhythm, inducing sleep. Thus taking a warm bath 1 or 2 hours before sleep helps in blood circulation and relaxes the body by making it an ideal bedtime routine for adults.

Moreover, adding sea salt in bath water is therapeutic and aids in healing the body and mind. Sea salt contains minerals beneficial for the human body. Therefore, adding sea salt to bathing water will relax and rejuvenate your stiff and sore muscles. 

Turn off Electronic Devices

Using social media late at night can hamper your sleep. Moreover, prolonged use of electronic devices can have adverse effects on health.

Smartphones and TV emit blue light that hampers circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are changes in physical, mental, and behavioural levels in a 24-hour cycle. In the human brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, SCN controls melatonin production, a hormone that makes you feel drowsy.

Thus, it is vital to shut down mobiles 30-45 min before sleep. Having mobile free time in your bedtime ritual will add value to your quality sleep.

Reduce Anxiety With a To-Do List

Maintaining a work-life balance can be difficult and stressful. Anxiety starts to creep in and crawl with you on the bed while you try to sleep. Thus, making a to-do list as a nighttime ritual will help ease your worries. Writing down the next day’s activities will assist you in being organized and focused on priorities. However, ensure to be flexible in your to-do list for unseen emergencies. Being flexible helps the mind to focus on the present moment.

Jot Down Your Thoughts in a Journal

Journaling is the best way to get your messed-up thoughts cleared. Whatever is troubling your mind, bring those emotions on paper. It helps you recognise your problem’s root cause, providing a crystal clear solution. 

Journaling is best for your mental health as it helps you to be in control of your emotions and grateful for your blessings. It can help you to change your perspective of looking at things. Journaling for at least 5 minutes daily will work wonders for your body, mind, and soul. 

Relax Muscles With SMR or Yoga

Sore muscles and stiffness can be the reason for your disturbed sleep. The best solution is foam rolling, also known as the self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. This technique relaxes the muscles, releases stress, and enhances sleep quality. 

Study shows nearly 55 per cent of people experienced improved sleep due to yoga practice. To help muscles relax, practising the asanas of yoga will be beneficial. Legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karani), Restorative Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Wide-knee Child’s Pose(Balasana), and Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana) are some of the yoga poses that should be practised consistently for better sleep quality. 

Drink Something Warm

Chamomile tea is used in herbal medication and is known for reducing sleep disorders, insomnia, digestive problems, and immunity booster. Having a warm cup of chamomile tea at night while listening to soothing music can help you to snooze in a relaxed manner. 

Another warm drink to help you sleep better is turmeric milk, now popularly known as ‘the golden milk’ due to its massive benefits. It is an ayurvedic herb. Turmeric is well known to reduce inflammation and pain relief. 

Try Aromatherapy

The body and mind need rejuvenation regularly as routine life can lead to stress. If you think about what to do before bed, add aromatherapy to your sleep routine.

Aromatherapy is an alternative healing therapy. The oil is extracted from plants containing herbal properties, and its concentrated form is known as an essential oil. For example, lavender essential oil aids in a peaceful sleep. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser and allow the fragrance to spread its magical healing power across the room. 

How Can a Bedtime Routine Help Me Sleep?

If you follow the nighttime routine consistently for at least 30 days, you will realise the following benefits that will help you to sleep.

  • It will calm down your overthinking mind.
  • You will be in the present moment and more alert about your thoughts.
  • Your brain and body will get accustomed to daily activities if done religiously.
  • You can plan your day’s activities by keeping in mind the specific time for your bed ritual.

How Long Should My Bedtime Routine Last?

Your bedtime routine can last up to 30-45 minutes. If you face any major sleep disorder, you may need more time. However, the time will gradually reduce once you try to follow the routine that suits you the most. Try different methods and see what helps you to boost your sleep. Then adhere to that method consistently for a month, and eventually, you will get into the habit of your night routine followed by a peaceful sleep. 


Whatever the root cause of your sleep problem, you can mitigate it with your nighttime routine. Follow the ritual that suits your needs. For example, if you are sensitive to noise, use a noise machine; for stiff muscles, try yoga; if sensitive to dark light, try red light therapy. Once you know the root cause, you will confidently combat your sleeplessness. All you need to do is follow a bedtime routine for adults consistently.


What is the ideal bedtime for adults?

The optimal time for heart health is between 10 and 11 p.m., according to researchers. They assert that the best time to go to bed coincides with circadian rhythms and exposure to light.

How do you establish a good bedtime routine for adults?

30 to 60 minutes should be allotted for your bedtime routine. You’ll have plenty of time to relax throughout this period without feeling rushed. Building consistency will train your body to go to sleep and promote productivity the following day.

Why is a bedtime routine important for adults?

Bedtime routines aid in the transition from day to night, relieve stress from the body and mind and promote relaxation for sleep.


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Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Bachelor's in English Literature and Health Sciences Previously wrote blog articles for various Doctors for their websites Familiarity with various content management systems and SEO best practices

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