With over ⅓ of adults in the US reporting getting less than 7 hours of sleep, we are in a sleep shortage epidemic. And one way to both get more sleep and improve the quality of your sleep is to have a clear and intentional bedtime routine that helps you relax your brain and your body.
And I’ve created a bedtime routine for adults worksheet that can help you build your perfect nighttime routine as well as a night routine list with simple habits that can improve your nighttime routine.
Additionally, this post is chock-full of ideas to improve your sleep hygiene, build in healthy bedtime habits, and improve the quality of your sleep.
Because with better sleep, you’ll be able to wake up each morning with energy and feeling ready to conquer the day.
And let’s be honest: who doesn’t need that?
Especially considering that insufficient or poor sleep can lead to a host of health issues including:
- heart problems (and high blood pressure)
- weight gain
- difficulty concentrating
- Mood Changes
- Getting Sick More Often
- Skin Aging
Basically, not sleeping enough can affect almost every part of your body and mind, so it’s really important to get enough sleep for your overall mental and physical health.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- What’s in the bedtime routine printables
- How to use the bedtime routine checklist for adults
- Loads of healthy bedtime routine ideas
Let’s dive in!
Free Printable Bedtime Routine Worksheet & Checklist
First off, there is absolutely no one size fits all perfect bedtime routine for everyone. What works for someone else may not be great for you.
Which is why it’s important to both explore ideas for a healthy bedtime routine (so you have plenty of information) and to then build the right bedtime routine FOR YOU.
The key to a great bedtime routine is one that helps you relax both your body and your mind so you can actually quickly fall asleep when your head hits the pillow.
And these free pdfs (which you can grab at the bottom of this post) will help you do just that. Especially if you’re someone who functions better with physical lists and checklists.
As an adult with ADHD, I am obsessed with checklists and planning because it helps get clear on my routines and helps me actually follow through with what I actually want.
(Hence this entire website!)
This free printable bedtime routine bundle includes 2 different printables:
1 – Night Routine Checklist with simple ideas/habits to get healthy sleep: This list gives you some great research-backed ideas for healthy habits you can build into your nighttime routine. You’lll also find a bunch more ideas further on in this post.
2 – A Bedtime Routine Worksheet that allows you to plan your optimal bedtime routine: This worksheet includes places for you to write in your:
- Bedtime: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock.
- Hard Stop time: This is the time that you stop whatever you’re doing and begin your bedtime routine. Having a hardstop time allows you space to practice your routine without feeling rushed, while still allowing you to maintain your bedtime.
- Evening Routine (plus Habit Tracker): In this section to list your bedtime routine habits and can track your success with the habit tracker.
- Evening Schedule: Here you can plan when you’ll do your evening tasks in order to ensure a smooth transition to bedtime and keep your chosen bedtime.
- Notes: This area is for any notes or ideas you may have.
7 Steps to Use the Bedtime Routine for Adults Worksheet
Here are the detailed steps in order to best use this nighttime routine worksheet.
Step 1: Pick your ideal bedtime
To determine your ideal bedtime, start with what time you need/want to wake up and work backwards.
Research shows that most adults need between 7 and 9 hours in order to avoid the truly horrible physical and mental effect of not getting enough sleep. How much you need depends on your lifestyle and genes.
For example, I am closer to the 9 hour side while my husband does pretty well with about 7 hours of sleep.
If you’re being honest with yourself, how many hours do you need?
Work back from your wake up time and that’s your bedtime.
Step 2: Pick the habits you want to include in your bedtime routine
With your bedtime established, now it’s time to actually figure out what you want to do in your bedtime routine. Your goal in your bedtime routine is to relax not just your body, but your brain so you don’t get in bed and suddenly find yourself with racing thoughts.
(been there and it stinks)
So pick a few practices that appeal to you. These should be things that are both good for you AND you look forward to.
Because let’s be honest: if you don’t look forward to it, you’re not going to do it.
There are tons of ideas in the next section to help you build your routine
Step 3: Create Your Bedtime Routine
With your nightly habits picked, decide what order you want to do them in. What will work best for you?
One you have that order, you can write it into the “My Evening Routine” section in the worksheet.
Step 4: Determine your “Hard Stop” time
The hard stop time is the time that you will stop whatever you’re doing and transition into your bedtime routine.
This is key to keeping you on a schedule and maintaining your bedtime and nighttime routine.
Considering the habits you want in your nighttime routine and that you want your routine to feel calm and relaxed, decide how much time you’ll need to work through the routine.
Let’s say it’ll take you 1 hour to have a really fantastic bedtime routine and your selected bedtime is 11:00 pm. Your hard stop would be 10:00pm.
Step 5: Sketch out Your Evening Schedule
The more you plan, the better able you will be to put your new routine into practice. Writing out your basic evening schedule can help give you structure to your evening and ensure your hard stop time.
Some examples of things you may want to roughly schedule when you’ll do them:
- Clean up
- Put kids to bed (if you’re a parent)
- Unwind to some TV
Step 6: Start your Routine
Now it’s time to actually put it into practice. Post your routine chart, stick to your hard stop, and prepare from relaxation. Remember that most new routines take a couple of weeks before they start to feel natural. Don’t beat yourself up.
Just keep working towards your goals.
Step 7: Adjust as Needed
When you first start out, your routine will be a bit of an experiment. What works? What doesn’t?
You may find that you want to try out other habits. That’s 100% okay. The goal is to find what works for you.
Bedtime Routine Habits for Great Sleep
Now that you know how to use the bedtime routine worksheet, let’s go over what habits you may consider including in your bedtime routine that will help you practice good sleep hygiene (set of practices and habits that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis).
These habits are divided into 2 sections:
- Habits that relax your brain
- Habits that relax your mind
Both are essential to truly relax.
Remember, your goal isn’t to fit in as much as you can. It’s to find the habits and practices that will work best for you right now. Here are some great bedtime routine habits:
Bedtime Habits to Relax Your Body & Improve Sleep Quality
- Dim the lights: Lower light levels signal your body that it’s time to wind down and helps your circadian rhythm. (On the opposite did of things, getting sing light first thing in the morning helps you feel more tired at night)
- Avoid screens in the hour or 2 before bed: Cutting out this blue light helps melatonin and helps you wind down.
- Doing Gentle Yoga or Stretching: This can relieve physical tension and prepare your body for sleep.
- Deep Breathing: Deep, rhythmic breathing can help reduce stress.You can just sit and focus on your breath and taking beig breaths or you can do something more structures like the 5-5-5 breathing. just sit and take a deep breath for 5 seconds, hold it for 5, blow out for 5. Repeat a few times.
- Take a hot bath or shower: not just for relaxing, it actually helps you fall asleep faster by helping your core temparature drop quickly.
- Put on socks: Also helps pull heat from your core so you fall asleep faster
- Lower the Temp: Make sure it’s cold in your room (68 F or lower) as it helps you fall asleep faster.
- Drinking Herbal Tea: Non-caffeinated teas like chamomile or lavender can be relaxing.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tensing and then relaxing each muscle group can reduce physical stress.
- Using Aromatherapy or Essential Oils: Scents like lavender or eucalyptus can be calming.
Nighttime Habits to Relax Your Mind & improve Mental Health
- Make a to-do list/short plan for the next day: Instead of your brain ramping up, afraid to forget something for tomorrow, writing out your next day’s plan or todo list gives your brain permission to relax.
- Set out clothes for the next day: Prepping allows your brain to calm down knowing that you’re ready for the next day.
- Practicing Mindfulness or Meditation: This can reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Journal: I do this when I feel like my mind is heavy, stressed, or just racing. Maybe it’s a night owl thing, but free writing at night helps me process whatever I’m dealing with, get clarity, and relax my brain. I have a 3 ring binder with loose paper so I’m not looking at a blue-light screen)
- Read for pleasure: read something that shifts your brain away from the cares of the day into relaxation mode. Avoid anything that excites your mind
- Wind down ritual: This is something that helps signal “it’s time to shut down”. Like changing into PJs, putting on slippers, or putting on a robe. Or something else. Like sometimes I work in the evenings in my home office, and when I hit my “hard stop” I clear off my desk, make my to-do list for the next day, turn off my computer, turn off the light and shut the door. This ritual helps me “shut down”.
- Listen to Soft Music: Soothing music can relax the mind.
- Use noisemaker: This drowns out distracting sounds. This could be using an app like the free BetterSleep app (which my kids use every single night!), or even sleepbuds (which I use).
If you’re experience insomnia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) may be something you want to explore. It’s a research-backed method to improve sleep by changing sleep habits and thoughts about sleep that might be causing problems.
But like anything, it might not work for everyone. Some people, especially those with severe depression, might still have sleep problems after CBT-I and may need different treatments.
Download the Free Printable Bedtime Routine Printables
And that’s it, my friend. By using the bedtime routine worksheet and checklist provided, you’re not just improving your chances of a good night’s sleep; you’re also investing in your long-term health and well-being.
So, decide which practices you want to incorporate, adjust them to fit your unique needs, and look forward to waking up refreshed and ready to conquer the challenges of a new day. Hit the blue button below to get started.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: