My Nighttime Routine: Do You Have One?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


I feel like morning people are always talking about their "morning routines," mostly because a lot of morning people are like vegans: You will know them by how much they talk about their habits. (Sorry, morning people & vegans. I still love you... & kinda wish I were like you.)

As decidedly not a morning person (stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about my recent sleep disorder diagnosis), I've thought a lot about the morning routine I'd like to have, if mornings were my jam. As it is, I basically just roll out of bed, eat a granola bar at my desk, & change out of my pajamas by 11am.

What I do have is a much more established nighttime routine. While it's nothing special, I've found that I feel more prepared & therefore sleep better when I go through this routine before crawling into bed.

1. Pick up the apartment.

I don't do as much of this as I ought to, but before I head to bed or begin the rest of my nighttime routine, I do a little bit of picking up around the house. One of our cats leave balls of socks everywhere; my husband is prone to leaving beer bottles & books all over the place. I certainly don't do any deep-cleaning most nights, but putting away some of the smaller items of clutter gives me some peace of mind before bed.

2. Take care of the cats.

You probably already know (especially based on the fact that they have their own Instagram account) that I lovelovelove our fluffs, Helo & Dora. They get fed at night, plus a bowl of clean water, & I spend some time scooping out the litterboxes, too. Helo has been known to poop in the bathtub if the litterbox is anything less than pristine, so I try to appease his majesty before I call it a night. Bonus: The more I engage with them before bed, the more likely they are to cuddle with me in bed.

3. Take my medicine.

I used to be the kind of person who couldn't remember to take anything, which is why I've never been on oral birth control (TMI? You'll live). Now, though, I take at least three pills every night: Zantac for acid reflux, Singulair for asthma, & Lexapro for anxiety. Per a recent visit to a pulmonologist, I also take two puffs of an inhaler designed to help better control my asthma. I have to rinse out my mouth after using it so I don't get oral thrush, a goddamn yeast infection of the mouth. How gross is that?

4. Wash my face.

I remove my makeup with Neutrogena makeup wipes, which I've been using for more than a decade now. They're the best I've yet found! For a long time, they were my only means of washing my face outside of showering, but now I also use Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser, a birthday gift from a friend. Ut's a weird consistency and has a weird smell, but it leaves my face feeling so fresh that I am willing to overlook any & all weirdness.

5. Apply my potions.

Once my face is clean, I apply plain, pure argan oil to my skin. It sounds counterintuitive to put oil on an already-oily part of your face, I know, but since I started using it (at the recommendation of my mom's coworker, no less), my skin has never been better. I let the argan oil sink in while I brush my teeth & braid my hair (for morning waves), then I apply Jane Iredale moisturizer, which smells like lemongrass, sinks in quickly. & feels fresh & light enough for overnight use.

6. Turn on the air purifier.

Mike bought an air purifier a few months ago because we were both struggling with ongoing allergies. It's made such  a difference! I can breathe better (probably also helped along by the new inhaler, I know), & the white noise it creates helps me sleep better, too. We sometimes leave it on during the day, especially because I work from home, but I always make sure it's on overnight.

7. Set my alarm(s)... across the room.

I used to sleep with my phone nearby, but I'm prone to sleeping through my morning alarm, & I also wanted to follow all those best practices tips doctors share about "sleep hygiene" (like, you know, not sleeping with your cell phone). My dear iPhone X now resides on the other side of the room overnight so that I'm at least slightly less likely to turn off the alarms in my sleep - & yes, I set multiple alarms. Like, nine or 10 of them.

8. Get cozy. 

I'm perhaps weirdly particular about the setup & placement of my bedding. I like lots & lots of blankets, including but not limited to a top-sheet (remember all my top-sheet feelings?), a duvet, & a comforter, plus sometimes a few other blankets thrown on top. I like them to very nice & even, like I'm sleeping beneath a bed that's been newly made, so before I go to sleep, I organize everything just the way I like it - on my side of the bed, at least. Mike has no bed-related rules or scruples!

9. Read. 

I don't always read before bed, but it's my favorite time to get in a few pages & to give my eyes a post-screen rest before I fall asleep. I bought a book light so that I can get my read on even while Mike is asleep beside me, & I also sometimes read on my Kindle to help me keep track of my bedtime (especially with my phone all the way across the room!)

What's your nighttime routine - or, for that matter, your morning routine? Are you a morning person or a night owl? 

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