If there’s one thing in the wellness world that seems a little (okay, a lot) overdone it’s the morning routine. We scroll through TikTok and Reels and it’s all we see. The same thing happens: wake up, meditate, hydrate, workout – yawn. By now you know how important it is, how great it is for your mental health, and if one more person tells us we have to wake up at 5 AM to have any type of success we might just reach our breaking point.
The missing piece in all of this messaging is that achieving a productive morning routine without locking in a nighttime routine is nearly impossible. So, if you’ve been struggling with getting up early and finding the mental capacity to meditate, journal, or do all of the other things you want to do – this is for you.
WHY ARE NIGHTTIME ROUTINES SO IMPORTANT?
Without a nighttime routine, we’re leaving all of the hard work for the first thing in the morning. Waking up is difficult enough as it is, we don’t need to tack on extra tasks and set unrealistic goals for ourselves. This leads to burnout and isn’t built for long-term results. The main goal of an evening routine is to prepare our bodies for sleep. Without a good night's sleep our days feel extra long and if we’re being honest – brutal. Poor sleep has been linked to…
Poor Work Performance
Major Mood Swings
Poor Immune System
The University of Warwick did a study and they found that getting less than 6 hours of sleep on a continuous basis makes you 48% more likely to die of heart disease and 15% more likely to develop a stroke. So realistically, your morning routine is going to be 0/10 without setting yourself up the night before.
4 WAYS TO INTRODUCE A NIGHTTIME ROUTINE:
These are the crucial steps for your nighttime routine. If you’re new to the concept we recommend starting with one of these steps and eventually working your way to all five, or whatever works for you and your schedule. Remember, we are all leading extremely different lives. The key is finding what works for YOU.
Swap Blue Light For Red Light: We want to start off by saying blue light isn’t the devil. It’s actually amazing for you during daylight hours because it boosts attention, reaction times, and our mood! But when we’re winding down for bed, that’s actually the opposite of what we want…blue light at night throws the body's biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack. Sleep suffers. Not good.
Try This: Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light is less likely to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin. Grab our favorite red light bulb from amazon here.
Swap Netflix With An Audiobook: The general rule is any electronics before bed isn’t great for your sleep. The blue light kills your melatonin but also binging Netflix before bed keeps you up later. A stimulating show (AKA Ozark) keeps your brain alert, preventing you from falling asleep. You’re also more likely to stay up later to finish another episode, or two, or three. We’ve all been there, and we’re not saying never binge your fave show (because there’s truly nothing better than that) but audit your next day before doing it. Do you have a lot of work to do? Big plans? It’s all about whether or not it’s worth sacrificing your energy for the next day.
Try This: Try swapping Netflix for an audiobook or podcast. It will still give you that stimulation but without the blue screen. Our fave podcasts are On Purpose, 9 to 5ish, and The Ed Mylett Show.
Swap The Late Night Scroll With a Hot Bath: As we mentioned, we’re anti-electronics at nighttime. The reason we all love a good ol’ fashioned TikTok scroll is that we think that it’s relaxing. Keyword: Think. It makes sense though, we get all cozy, curl up in our fave PJs and don’t want to move for literal hours. But the hard truth is that it’s actually not relaxing you at all. The brain remains active: the eyes and their muscles work to focus on the screen. Your senses remain stimulated as your body continues to process humor and excitement. Try putting your phone on airplane mode an hour before bed and charging it in a different room to help.
Try This: If you want to really relax, draw a hot bath and put on some relaxing music. Romanticize the hell out of it. A study found that taking a hot bath about 90 minutes before bed could help people fall asleep more quickly. The hot water actually helps change your body's core temperature so that you go to bed at a lower temperature.
Swap Late Night Kitchen Raid With Herbal Tea: Let’s be clear if you’re genuinely hungry before bed. Eat something. Going to bed hungry can also disrupt your sleep pattern! It’s not so much when you eat it’s how much. Late-night snacks typically consist of the less healthy stuff – chips, cookies, ice cream, or whatever you have laying around in the snack cupboard. It’s the mindless eating and TV watching that will really disrupt your sleep. Again, some nights we feel like making a charcuterie board at 10 PM and watching 6 episodes of The Real Housewives and it just feels right. As we stated earlier, it’s all about gauging what we have on our to-do list the next day and going from there.
Try This: If binge eating at night is a recurring issue for you, we recommend breathwork to recenter. Here is our favorite from the Cacti app. Make yourself a cup of herbal tea and have a small snack, try not to eat straight out of the bag!
If you’ve locked down your nighttime routine and are looking for something new to add to your routine here are a few of our favorite products straight from the Cacti HQ that are prerequisites for our nighttime routines:
5 PRODUCTS TO ADD TO YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE :
Humidifier: Not only is this great for your skin, but you can add essential oils like lavender which are proven to help you sleep like a baby.
Tongue Scraper: There’s no better way to wind down than feeling squeaky clean. Take it to the next level with a tongue scraper (use before brushing your teeth) you’ll be shocked you’ve never used one before.
Clinique Cleansing Balm: PSA: If you don’t use a cleansing balm to take off your makeup at night you're doing it wrong.
Luna Sleeping Oil: For dry skin types and formulated with retinol, you’ll have even-toned skin by morning.
Kiehls Night Cream: Skincare is a form of self-love (at least that’s what we tell ourselves while browsing in Sephora) Wake up to nourished, flake-free, healthy-looking skin. Check out Kira's wind-down routine using Keihl's here.
Nighttime routines go hand in hand with a good sleep routine. A good sleep routine goes hand in hand with a solid morning routine. See what we’re getting at? You can’t have one without the other.
Tag us on Instagram at @cactiapp and walk us through your nighttime routine. What are your favorite wind-down activities?
The Cacti Team