How to Create a Nighttime Routine
Having a good nighttime routine is much easier said than done. It took me forever to form a few habits, and I still constantly struggle with sticking to the same schedule before bed. Call me a night owl, but getting into 'sleep mode' has always been a problem for me...ever since I was little. This blog post is just as much for me as it is for you - I think most people struggle to find a good balance with their evening routine. From staring at a phone screen before bed to worrying about swirling tasks for the next day, relaxing and settling in for the night is not a simple task. I think it's a good idea to cultivate some routine things that you do, while also allowing for flexibility and not getting too 'rigid' with it (otherwise it could become more stressful than relaxing). Read on to learn my evening routine *goals*, tips, and nighttime skincare regime...
In a perfect world, this is my nightly wind down schedule.
Eat dinner before 7pm. Not only is this beneficial for maintaining or losing weight, but studies show that eating dinner earlier can help you sleep more soundly through the night. Sometimes I'll have a light snack before bed (nuts, fruit, Simple Mills chocolate chip cookies, etc.)
Shower. Taking a shower or bath at night is my favorite thing because it instantly calms me and helps me save time the next morning.
Have some vino. I'm not saying this should be a nightly occurrence, but having one glass of red wine every now and then to wind down is good for your heart (and your soul).
Prep for the next day. Nothing makes me feel more peaceful than knowing I'm prepared for what's to come. Getting prepped for your day (the night before) is a great way to get that weight off your shoulders and know that you can rest easy, so you won't be scrambling the next morning. Make the coffee the night before (these coldbrew coffee pods from Trader Joe's are a game-changer), pick out your outfit, pack a lunch, and review your to-do list for the next day. Make breakfast a simple task by getting some Perfect bars or Kodiak cups to keep in your fridge/pantry, so you can grab and go.
Put away your phone at least 1-2 hours before bed. Not gonna lie...I rarely follow this one. I have a bad habit of staring at my phone and scrolling through Instagram for at least 20 minutes before falling asleep. Call it FOMO, call it an addiction, but it's bad. I've tried to combat this by charging my phone outside of my room, so it's not right next to me on my bedside table.
Stretch it out. Whether you do some simple stretches or a few yoga flows, this is a good way to wind down after a long day and get your body ready to relax. Meditating is another great way settle your mind (you can use an app for guided meditation or just time yourself and sit in silence for 5-10 minutes).
Cultivate a skincare routine. Having a nighttime skincare routine is amazing not only for your skin (duh), but also for getting you into sleep mode. It can be relaxing, and something that you look forward to doing each night. Scroll down below to see my current nightly skincare routine.
Make it cold. Studies show that people sleep better in colder temperatures. I usually set my thermostat somewhere between 67-69 degrees before climbing under the sheets.
Drink tea. Herbal tea has become one of my favorite things about winding down at night. Not only is it a therapeutic process, but it helps me calm down. I have a few favorite teas depending on my needs or mood. Chamomile is my go-to for when I'm feeling more wound up and need to chill out, or ginger tea with lemon for settling my stomach and aiding digestion (I like the Yogi brand or Trader Joe's Ginger Tumeric).
Read a book, blog, journal, or watch a show. I know it's an unpopular opinion to watch tv before bed, but one 30min - 1 hour show can't hurt, right?! As long as you don't end up binge-watching a series til 2 am...it seems harmless. Lately I've been loving The Handmaid's Tail, Younger, and Very Cavallari (The Hills / Laguna Beach throwback anyone?!). I also find that my mind is more active at night, so I like to write lyrics and get my thoughts out on paper before going to sleep. Figure out how you wind down best!
Ask yourself what good you did that day. I recently started doing this after reading about it somewhere, and I love this idea. It helps you end the day on a high note and focus more outward vs. inward. It's also made me more aware throughout the day to do good things and help others.
Nightly Skincare Routine
I often experiment with different products, but this is my nighttime skincare regime (for now).
Use a makeup remover. Before even using a face cleanser, I take off my makeup. I've noticed a big difference in my skin and have had fewer breakouts since I started adding this step. I've been using the Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Wipes, but I also love this Cleansing Water.
Use a clarifying cleanser. I have combination skin, so I've found that a clarifying cleanser works best. Lately I've been loving this deep cleansing wash from Kiehl's, Tula's purifying face cleanser, and Peter Thomas Roth's Anti-Aging cleansing gel. I also use a Clarisonic cleansing brush every other night for even more deep cleaning.
Exfoliate. This is such a key step in achieving skin that glows and is breakout free. My go-to's are the Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub. The Tula Pro-Glycolic Resurfacing Gel is also a great product to use at night for further exfoliation, smoothing, & plumping the skin. Side note: I've also tried and LOVED Good Genes by Sunday Riley and it was majestic (not great for the wallet, but worth every penny).
Care for your under eyes. I've always struggled with puffy eyes (no matter how much or little sleep I get the night before), so Patchology's Restoring Night Eye Gels have been an amazing addition to my nightly routine. They contain a powerful combo of anti-aging Retinol + Peptides that work while you sleep to cool, smooth, and refresh tired-looking eyes. I usually put them on while I'm drinking tea and reading/watching a show. It's so easy & they feel super soothing.
Moisturize. This step is something I've only recently gotten better at, because I always used to associate breakouts with moisture. However, I've learned that a hydrated face is healthier and helps your complexion overall...if you're using the right moisturizer. I like to use a serum and a moisturizer to further plump and lock in hydration. For serums, I've been loving Tula's Aqua Infusion Power Liquid and Peter Thomas Roth's Hyaluronic Cloud Serum. For moisturizer, my go-to's are Drunk Elephants B-Hydra, OLEHENRIKSEN's Oil Control Hydrator, and Tula's oil-free gel cream.
Jade Roller. Not only is it soothing and relaxing on your skin, but using a jade roller also helps to reduce puffiness and inflammation in the face. I use this jade roller, but you can also find plenty of other options on Amazon.