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How to Streamline Your Evening Routine

Young Woman With Blanket Sleeping At Night In Bed
Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

A streamlined evening routine can help you get to sleep on time, rest more, and feel ready for your next day. While everyone’s evening routine might look a little bit different, these five tips will help you develop your ideal set of nighty rituals and stick to them.

Stick to the Same Bedtime Every Night

The first thing you need to do to streamline your evening routine is to decide on your ideal bedtime and stick to it. The best way to pick a bedtime is to figure out when you need to be awake and count backward from there. You should aim to get between seven to eight hours of sleep per night, so if you have to be up by 7:00, you need to be in bed with the lights out by midnight at the latest.

Once you’ve found your ideal bedtime, stick to it—at least during the week! The best way to streamline an evening routine is to make it a daily habit.

Create a Schedule

Once you’ve decided on your ideal bedtime, create a schedule for how you want the rest of your night to go. Think about all of the tasks you need to accomplish: washing the dishes, making your launch for the next day, taking a shower, etc. Build in time to watch TV, read a book, or hang out with your partner. Whatever you need to do to relax!

Outlining the tasks you need to accomplish will help you make sure you’ve gotten everything done for the next day. You’ll go to bed feeling less stressed and without that, “I’ve forgotten something” feeling.

Do Some Reflection and Journaling to Wind Down

If you find it hard to get to sleep, building some journaling time into your evening schedule can help you quiet your mind, reflect on the day’s challenges and victories, and settle into bed. Journaling is a great activity to add to the end of your routine.

Turn Off Your Electronics 30 Minutes Before Bed

Aim to turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before you want to be asleep. The blue lights in your electronics keep your brain stimulated and awake, so you’re less likely to get tired if you’re scrolling right before bed.

Similarly, your computer, tablet, and phone contain endless distractions. There’s always another article to read or feed to check out. Turn off your electronics and put them somewhere where you can’t easily access them. You’ll be more likely to get to bed on time and fall asleep easier.

Prep What You Need for the Next Morning (and Evening)

Having a solid evening routine is all about waking up the next morning ready to conquer your day. Lay out all the things you need for your next day: work bag, lunch, computer, etc. Having everything set to go will help you feel better about waking up and doing what you need to do.

Put out what you need to for the next morning as well as the following evening. You’ll save time by making sure everything is in its place instead of having to search to find what you need.


Making an evening routine might feel like a lot of work. But the more effort you put into streamlining and following your routine, the more time you’ll actually have to enjoy your evening.

What’s an essential part of your evening routine? Tell us in the comments.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females. Read Full Bio »

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