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The Ultimate Night Routine For Better Sleep & Productivity [A Step-By-Step Guide]

Written by Shelby Torrese

Reviewed by Liz Brown

Having a night routine has a long list of short- and long-term health benefits—Take your night routine to the next level with this easy-to-follow night routine!

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It’s no secret that having a routine is good for the mind, body, and soul. Routines make use of our amazing circadian rhythms – our internal, natural, 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Optimal cycling requires rhythm. Think of it as dancing. When a song has a nice and steady rhythm, it’s easier to sync up because there’s a sense of harmony. Whereas jazz, or songs with eccentric rhythms, are more difficult to jive with and may feel more like a stumble than a dance. A worthwhile night routine is no different. When you have a set sequence of things you do every night, and somewhat know what to expect, your body can ‘dance’ more smoothly through life.

Night routine to boost productivity

Benefits Of Having A Night Routine

In order to fully understand the benefits of having a successful evening routine, it will help to understand the major benefits associated with having a healthy, functioning circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are affected by various things such as light, noise, caffeine, etc. They are found in all plants and animals and are overseen by our body’s biological and master clocks. These clocks are orchestrated in the brain (in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, to be exact) and primarily direct and communicate with the rest of the body. They will notify cells of things like ‘time to wake up, boost energy’ or ‘time for fuel, let’s eat’.

Circadian rhythms influence more than eating and sleeping, though. They are responsible for integral bodily functions such as the releasing of hormones, our digestion, body temperature, and more. [1] Those reasons alone should be motivation enough to set up a night routine.

Some other benefits of a night routine are:

benefits of an evening routine

Sleep And Productivity: What’s The Connection?

Productivity is lowest in employees who experience both sleep disturbances as well as those with irregular schedules. [4] So, not only are nighttime routines important, but having a regularly programmed schedule throughout the day is advisable. There have even been studies that present strong links between workplace disasters and sleep. [5] Chernobyl, the Challenger explosion, Exxon’s oil spill, and AA Flight 1420 are all examples, to name a few. Whether you have a high-liability, high-risk job or not, don’t you want to be performing life at your absolute best?! We sure do! And we want you to, too!

It’s also no coincidence that people tend to aim for a good night’s sleep the days leading up to exams, important presentations, and other monumental events. Sleep directly affects cognitive abilities—for better or for worse. Reinforcement and strengthening of new learnings and new material are connected and communicated in the prefrontal cortex to the hippocampus during, you guessed it, sleep. [6]

In other words, sleep is the time our brain uses to file away all the new information we’ve gathered that day. So when we don’t sleep well, our brain is too preoccupied with basic functions, like breathing, to be worried about saving new information. In order to look, feel and perform your best, a nighttime routine is in your best interest. Without further ado, here are some fool-proof evening routine ideas.

evening routine

The Ultimate Night Routine [Step-By-Step]

You don’t have to follow this checklist to a T, but it will offer plenty of ideas that you can build off of. We’ve broken down this step-by-step nighttime routine guide into sections, depending on place and time, because a successful evening routine begins long before bedtime strikes.

Before heading home from work

Immediately after work

Woman jogging in the evening

One hour before bed

Right before bedtime

The Bottom Line On Night Routines

Having a night routine doesn’t mean that your days of spontaneity are gone. You can still go to happy hour, get lost in binge-watching your favorite show (again) and all the other things we didn’t list here. The only difference is, you now have a roadmap. You know what the effects of alcohol and after-hours TV are, and you know how to navigate your way through the post-work abyss.

Life is a constant balancing act, and it’s up to you to determine how it works for you and your life. If you can follow a routine at least 80% of the time, you’ll see significant improvements in your all-around well-being, energy levels and probably your happiness, too! Take a couple of moments and write out an evening routine that would work for you. Test it out for a week and see how it goes!

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About The Author

Shelby Torrese

Nutrition, Movement & Meditation Coach

Shelby Torrese is a wellness enthusiast (and matcha fanatic!) from Miami, FL. She attributes her love of movement to her mom, a personal trainer, and her love of food to her dad, a farmer. She studied creative writing in college while getting her yoga certification, and went on to pursue fitness and nutrition in grad school. Her go-to advice is, “Balance,” and she is a firm believer that the ocean can cure just about everything.

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach
  • M.S. in Human Performance


Reviewed By

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's sharing delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and home decor tips on her blog and social media.

More from Liz, visit: Personal Blog, TikTok, Instagram


  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)
  • A.A. Liberal Arts (STEM)

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