iPhone and iPad Self Improvement

How to Build an Evening Routine for a Happier Life

Kayla Matthews 12-09-2016

Getting more sleep often falls into the “easier said than done” category. It’s common knowledge that getting a good night’s rest is important for a variety of reasons. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports:


Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

However, for many, it’s not that simple.

Stressed about a big project that’s due? If you go to bed obsessing over it, you’ll likely wake up with worry on your mind. Conversely, if you go to bed in a relaxed mood, you’re more likely to start the next day on a positive note.

The NIH says that the way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping.

[O]ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

One of the keys to going to bed in a relaxed state and getting the rest you need is your habit pattern in the crucial window before bedtime.

Here are seven tips that will help you with your before-bed routine. Use one — or a few of them — to get in the habit of resting well and living a happier life.


1. Put Your Phone in Airplane Mode

For most people, cell phones are always within reach. And for some, phones even double as alarm clocks The 10 Best Alarm Clock Apps for Android What's the best alarm clock app for Android? Here are some great apps that each add something unique to your mornings! Read More . This may be helpful and convenient, but it’s not necessarily a good thing. Researchers are looking at whether the light and electronic signals from cell phones can hurt sleep, and if using airplane mode can help.

This sounds good, but actually doing it every night can be hard to remember. The Auto Airplane Mode app for Android allows you to set automatic start and stop times for airplane mode each day.

Auto Airplane Mode App Android

There is also an Airplane Mode Widget for Android that gives users an on-screen switch to easily toggle airplane mode on or off.


Auto Airplane Mode Widget Android

Download — Auto Airplane Mode for Android [No Longer Available]

Download — Airplane Mode Widget for Android [No Longer Available]

2. Make the Bedroom a Relaxation Haven

It’s much easier to sleep well in a comfortable environment, so make your bedroom as soothing as possible. Kathryn Grigg, the Creative Director for CRaVE Mattress, has 26 years of experience helping people get a better night’s rest:


Your bedroom is your sanctuary and it should have a relaxing atmosphere. Light wall colors, aromatherapy, and cool temperatures all help in creating the right environment for sleep.

A cool way to control the lighting in your room is using “smart home” options, such as a Philips Hue lighting system 4 Ways Philips Hue Can Push Your Lighting to the Next Level Without Philips Hue, however, the smart home concept might never have gotten off the ground. Here are some cool ways to make use of them. Read More . Starter kits begin at $79 (CA/UK).

Philips Hue Smart Lighting Mobile App

The system utilizes apps for both Android and iOS to let you easily control the color and brightness of your lighting.

Download — Philips Hue for Android [Broken Link Removed] (Free) | iOS (Free)


3. Power Down With Meditation

Anyone who has given yoga a try 10 Yoga Apps That Help You Workout Anywhere The world has taken to the benefits of yoga. With a smart yoga app, you can practice your favorite yoga poses anywhere. Here's some help finding a yoga app that suits your needs. Read More knows how far even a little meditation can go. Even for those who haven’t, though, there are a number of apps that will help relax your mind Stressed At Work? How To Relax & Focus In An Open Office Does working in an open plan office kill your productivity? You can probably blame the Germans for its wide adoption. But let's reconcile after you tried these tips. Read More before bed with the power of meditation.

The Deep Sleep With Andrew Johnson app for iOS and Android is a relaxing guided meditation. The idea is to help clear your mind and give you a more restful night’s sleep.

Deep Sleep With Andrew Johnson Mobile App

Another good app for meditation is Calm, also for both iOS and Android. The app aims to make meditating simple using daily programs, which will in turn lead to better sleep and reduced stress.

Calm Mobile App

Download — Deep Sleep With Andrew Johnson for Android ($2.99 | iOS ($2.99)

Download — Calm for Android (Free) | iOS (Free)

4. Enjoy a Warm Cup of Tea

You of course shouldn’t eat anything substantial right before bed, but a nice cup of tea might add to a relaxing night of rest. Researchers have yet to conclusively prove that drinking non-caffeinated tea before bed improves sleep, but many people enjoy the ritual just the same:

A nightcap of chamomile tea or other non-caffeinated herbal tea is a soothing relaxer before bed.

If you’re looking to brush up on your research of tea to see which might be best for you, check out the Tea app on iOS.

Tea Mobile App

For Android, the A Perfect Cup of Tea app is a simple timer that helps you brew the perfect cup, based on the type of tea. It also allows you to add custom teas.

Perfect Cup of Tea Mobile App

Download — Tea for iOS ($1.99) [No Longer Available]

Download — A Perfect Cup of Tea for Android [No Longer Available]

5. Start Your Night Earlier

Powering down before bed can be a challenge if you’re trying to squeeze a lot of at-home activities into a busy night. One way to give yourself more time at night is to get home from work earlier — of course, that can get tricky if you have to commute.

Get a jump on the after-work traffic with Waze for Android and iOS, a community based traffic app that gives you the best route every day in real time. In addition to traffic, the app identifies police and accidents.

Waze Mobile App

The INRIX Traffic app [No Longer Available] for both platforms also learns your driving habits and routes to help you plan your evening commute.

INRIX Mobile App

Download — Waze for Android (Free) | iOS (Free)

Download — INRIX Traffic for Android (Free) | iOS (Free)

6. Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are also known for their calming effects, and working them into your nighttime routine can help fuel your relaxation:

My new favorite is a drop or two of lavender oil on the temples to help you to drift off peacefully.

For iPhone users, the Best Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Guide Pro app might be a mouthful, but it can help guide you through getting the most out of various oils.

Best Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Guide Mobile App

The Ref. Guide for Essential Oils app includes info on more than 700 health topics and works for both Android and iOS.

Reference Guide for Essential Oils Mobile App

Download — Best Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Guide Pro for iOS (Free) [No Longer Available]

Download — Ref. Guide for Essential Oils for iOS ($6.99) | Android ($6.99)

7. Monitor Your Sleep Patterns

If you’re still having a bit of trouble resting throughout the night, there are ways to analyze and maximize your sleeping habits 21 Sleep Habits of World Famous Entrepreneurs Read More .

The Sleep Cycle alarm clock app for Android and iOS uses your phone’s motion detectors, microphone and accelerometer to measure your sleep cycles and a 30-minute wake up phase that helps wake you up softly.

Sleep Cycle Mobile App

The Sleep as Android app for Android offers similar features and can integrate with smart watches and Google Fit and Google Health.

Sleep as Android Mobile App

Download — Sleep Cycle for iOS (Free) | Android ($0.99)

DownloadSleep as Android for Android (Free, $3.99 for Premium)

What Will Your Evening Be Like Tonight?

Consistent and restful sleep reduces stress and anxiety, which can greatly impact your happiness on a day-to-day basis Learn the Science of Joy: Find the Best Happiness Advice Online Yes, you can learn to be happy but it’s going to take some determination. The best happiness advice should smoothen that effort. Read More . Sure, there may be instances that pop up that cut into your happiness, but imagine how much worse it might be if you’re going on little or no sleep.

By using some of these tips, you can create a healthy, lasting evening habit that will set you up for better rest, and a better morning as a result.

So, how many of these evening habits will you be trying tonight? Tell us how you use technology to get a better night’s rest in the comments section below!

Image Credits: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock

Related topics: Habits, Sleep Health.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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