A few weeks ago, I wrote a guest post for Ember Grey discussing why you need to treat yourself like a toddler. Today’s try this at home tip is an expansion of that post in regards to establishing a bedtime ritual. Before we discuss this tip further, I encourage you to consider your current bedtime ritual. Do you have a ritual or do you simply wait until the last minute to fall into bed? How many hours of sleep do you need to feel rested?  Those evening hours can rapidly pass by leaving many of us wishing for a few more hours to complete tasks. Sadly, many push past hours when in reality they should be sleeping.

Take some time to consider what you would like for your bedtime to be.

The best way to calculate this is to take into consideration the time you need to wake up. My goal is to be up at 5:00 am each morning to wake up. As I attempt to get 7 hours of sleep, this means I need to be asleep by 10. Thus, I try to get into bed by 9:30. I will be honest that there are many times I am not successful but developing an evening ritual is helping.

Schedule a time when you are no longer looking at your computer, phone or other electronic device. 

Research is continuing to prove that the blue light emitted from our screens interrupts the production of melatonin which is a hormone that tells our body it is nighttime.  Some studies suggest shutting off electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. This is not an easy suggestion. I often do not get to my computer to respond to emails until 8:00. This leave little time for writing blog posts or correspondence if I aim for my electronic shut down of 9:00 PM As I used to read books electronically at night, this has forced me to return to reading actual books and magazines. It does feel different and I have found that it does help fall asleep faster. If you are someone who still struggles with shutting everything down, consider software such as f.lux which adjusts your computer screen to the time of day (making your screen brighter during the day and darker at night) for your computer. In regards to your iphone, some suggest inverting your colors, but I prefer to adjust the brightness. level.

Make time for a beauty or self care ritual. 

Establishing a physical routine allows time for your brain to acknowledge it is time to prepare for sleep. This ritual could involve stretching, taking a shower/bath or washing your face. Other suggestions are to have a cup of tea, write in a journal or read a book. Other suggestions include aromatherapy of lotions. Rituals are significant and do not have to be long or time consuming or expensive For me, I have discovered that if I allow myself to become too sleepy and then have to wash my face, I am awake. As a result, I try to wash my face earlier in the evening and change out of my work clothes.

Create a relaxing bedroom environment. 

Cooler environments assist in a sounder sleep. I’ve had to be aware of this when purchasing new comforters and covers for my bed. Too many times I have awoke in the middle of the night due to being hot. Consider if you need an overhead fan or sound machine to make the room more relaxing.

As adults, it becomes very easy to rush through this part of the day. A short evening ritual allows for time to reflect upon the good and bad of the day. It also helps to establish a time frame which can initiate the ritual. If you are someone who struggles with remembering when you need to be getting ready for bed, set an alarm as a reminder.

Do you currently have a bedtime ritual? What suggestions work for you? 


Try This At Home is a weekly Tuesday series.  This series is  inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Happier Podcast where she makes  her own try this at home suggestions to make life happier and easier at home.  Weekly, I share my own successes and failures as I work towards creating a happier and healthier life. 




  1. Emelia @ Dream Big & Buy the S on February 9, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Great post! I have somewhat of a ritual–but need it to include staying off my phone- it’s on my 101 in 1001 list to have a time to unwind and shut my brain off!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:10 am

      I think we all have the problem of getting off of our phone. We’ve become connected to it and it’s a struggle.

  2. Katie Arnold on February 9, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I think creating a ritual at bedtime is a MUST! Lately I’ve broken away from my routine and I definitely think it’s making dealing with this breakup harder. One thing that’s really helped me sleep at night is taking some natural calm magnesium and then putting on some lavender essential oils or lavender scented lotion.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:09 am

      Katie, I’ve been meaning to try the natural calm magnesium and I have a sample. However, I’ve been sick and want to try it without the aid of cold medicine. Do you use it every night? I have another friend who says it helps her.

      • Katie Arnold on February 12, 2016 at 7:52 am

        Yep, every night! It definitely helps me relax and wind down before bed. With that said, I don’t do the suggested dose and only go for about ½-1 tsp with warm water. Because magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer, it can be known to upset people’s stomachs (and doctors will often prescribe it for people with constipation issues) so I suggest starting small!

  3. Christine on February 9, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I do have a bedtime ritual. I have made a point to stop looking at my phone at night. I take a little time to relax and then I turn off the lights. I do have some difficulty sleeping at night but I believe its because I have so much on my mind.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Sleeping can be hard when you have so much on your mind. You might want to try writing everything down and imagining that you are leaving it there.

  4. Nina B on February 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I do have a routine but I read off my kindle on my phone which is a big no no!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Do you think being on your Kindle keeps you up? Many people benefit from turning the brightness down. It’s hard to switch back to reading “real books”

  5. Bourbon & Lipstick on February 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I also have a routine but HAVE to get better about turning off my computer. That’s where I really struggle!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Oh Lindsay, I struggle every night with my computer or what ever electronic device. It’s hard when you want to create posts, send emails.

  6. Chrissy Z. on February 9, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Awesome tips! I used to gave trouble falling asleep because my mind was still too busy. Since setting a bedtime routine for myself it’s so much easier for me.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:06 am

      It’s funny how setting that beside routine makes things easier. My problem is I’m a morning person and I’m up extra early which really means I need an early bedtime – I was so much fun in college! 🙂

  7. Mattie @ Mattie's Makings on February 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I’m pretty good about my nighttime routine – except last night I just fell asleep unexpectedly! haha I do fail at turning off electronic devices though!! I need to work on that. Thank you so much for linking up with the let’s be friends blog hop 🙂

  8. Lauren on February 9, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve been thinking that I’m going to add “stitch a line of my blanket” and “read” to my bedtime rituals, since neither require electronics!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:04 am

      That is a great idea Lauren. This would give you something to look forward to each evening. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Anne @ Love the Here and Now on February 10, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Great tips! I like to read and take a hot bath before bed. It is so calming for me. I agree with being colder at night as well…there are many nights where I will crack the window slightly. My downfall is having my phone and nipped near me. They are both hard to resist even though I know what the research says. Hopefully I can break the habit sooner rather than later. I make my daughters keep their phones downstairs at night. I worry though with my oldest at college and keep mine near me at all times.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:03 am

      Anne, I understand about wanting to have your phone near by. I connect my phone to a speaker/charger and it does not let me hear texts but does ring. Maybe something like that would help you. Ultimately, we each have to find what works for us. Do you take a bath every night?/ I would love to do that but I don’t think I could make the time.

  10. Jackie @ My Sort Of Adult Life on February 10, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Love this. I’m constantly striving for a better bedtime ritual. It’s so hard to get everything I want to accomplish done in the few short hours after work!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:02 am

      I so agree with you Jackie, I’m always hoping to accomplish more but I’ve realized that after a certain time I am not doing my best work. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. G2W on February 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I absolutely love to read in bed! I use my iPad. But, lately, instead I have been playing Scrabble on my iPad til I get sleepy and then go to sleep. I have been waking up more rested. Could that be real? Seems like playing Scrabble on my iPad is pretty similar to reading on it! I’ve also started to go to bed about an hour earlier,…which is probably the real reason for feeling rested!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:00 am

      If you turn the brightness down on your IPad, then the blue light may not affect you as badly. Also, if you are going to be earlier that is giving you more time to rest. Glad you are feeling rested, that’s so important.

  12. Pam on February 11, 2016 at 1:46 am

    I keep adding this to my to do list and I keep putting it off! I think I need to establish a routine I love so that I make it to bed on time every night!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Pam, I agree that it’s important to have a routine that you love. If you look forward to reading that article in a magazine or using a certain face wash then you are more likely to want to do it. I hope you can start with a new routine! Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Penny @ pennyspassion.blogspot on February 11, 2016 at 2:39 am

    These are great suggestions. I really need to start some new bedtime habits. Falling asleep on the couch and then going to bed and being wide awake isn’t the best routine. 🙂

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 12, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Sometimes it’s hard to develop a routine but it does help us rest better. It takes some thinking on what you want it to look like and of course, time to make it a habit. Here’s wishing you time to find what works for you.

  14. Chrysta Bairre on February 13, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I have a bedtime ritual! Mine is mostly self-care based- I wash my face, floss and brush my teeth, use moisturizer on my face, neck, hands, and elbows, and fill the humidifier (welcome to Colorado!) as I prepare for bed.

    Some nights I do a few simple stretches before crawling into bed- I’d like to add stretching as a regular part of my routine. It helps improve my quality of sleep and I feel more positive and refreshed in the mornings!

    Thanks for sharing these great suggestions!


    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Chrysta, I’m so glad to hear you have such a wonderful self care routine! I feel it’s so important to take time to do these activities each evening. By establishing a routine like you have, it helps us have better moods and outlooks.

  15. Matthew Scott Roberts on February 13, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I use and love f.lux. It is great for when I need to be on my computer late.

  16. Rachel @ STCL on February 13, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I always try to get myself to bed at a reasonable hour but then always find myself up way later than expected 🙁 I started setting alarms to remind myself to wrap up the TV/computer/reading time and get ready for bed. I definitely think an earlier tech cutoff time would be good but tough!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 14, 2016 at 8:56 am

      I’ve struggled with the same thing Rachel. I find something on TV etc. Setting alarms is a really good idea. That’s what I try to do with my electronics. Just last night I had to fight the urge to look at my phone but I read a magazine instead.

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