How Establishing an Evening Routine Saved My Sleep Schedule

I used to be a BAD sleeper, friends. Really bad. I’m a night-owl by nature and would often find myself wide awake until 2 or 3 a.m. When Alex and I got married, this became a bit of a problem. He’d wind down and hop in bed to get up early for work, and I’d sit quietly, no TV or music, and twiddle my thumbs trying to fall asleep, too. 

So I set out to adjust my sleep schedule and let me tell you, it worked really well for me.

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I started by setting a strict, no-excuses schedule because I am a major creature of habit. Here’s what I do:

Set a bedtime alarm

Every night at 8:30, my alarm goes off on my phone. My family picks on me because at 8:30 p.m. no matter what I’m doing, I set out for bed! While I don’t hop right into bed as soon as it goes off, I start winding down what I’m doing. I wrap up work on my computer, I put my phone on the charger for the night and set my morning alarms.

Put on real pajamas

Once the alarm goes off and I start getting ready, the first thing I do is put my pajamas on. Try to wear real pajamas and not clothes that you lounge or workout in. That gets your brain in the mindset that it’s time for bed, not chores and not exercise.

Brush my teeth + wash my face

The next step is the classic portion of a bedtime routine. I brush my teeth and wash my face. I start by taking off my makeup with either a makeup remover wipe or pure Jojoba oil. Then I wash it with an Acure cleanser followed by a toner (either apple cider vinegar or Thayer’s witch hazel). Finally, I use a moisturizer of jojoba oil and lavender and frankincense essential oils.  

Get in bed 

Once I finish my skincare routine, I get in bed and wind down with a few last-minute things. I put lotion on my hands and put chapstick on. Then I apply lavender essential oil behind my ears and on my wrists. I also take my medicine and supplements and sip on my water.


Finally,  I dim the lights, get under the covers and unwind by reading for half an hour or so. I usually shut the lights off between 9:30 and 10 and by then I am ready for a good night’s rest! 

If I ignore parts of my routine or skip over it entirely, my sleep that night usually suffers because of it. I’ve really tried to stick to it, though it’s super hard when Alex goes out of town. But I’ve truly noticed a difference in the quality of my sleep since starting this process.

What does your evening routine look like?