A Trick that Makes My Night Time Routine WAY Easier

Since I was a teenager, I’ve struggled with going to bed on time.

I can’t tell you how many nights I came home from Cold Stone at 10:30 p.m., dead tired and knowing I had to get up for school the next morning at 5 a.m., and instead of going to bed, I’d just lie on the couch for a while, trying to muster up the energy to go upstairs and get ready for bed.

The idea of brushing my teeth, taking out my contacts, washing my face, and getting into my pajamas just seemed like way too much work.

(That previous paragraph makes me sound like the laziest person on the face of the planet, and perhaps that’s true).

Sadly, I haven’t outgrown this feeling of being too tired to go to bed.

Almost 20 years later, and I still feel like “I want to go to bed, I just don’t want to GET ready for bed.”

A couple of years ago, I made a change to my night time routine that has made a HUGE difference in my ability to stick to a reasonable bedtime (since getting enough sleep is key to my whole life).

Ever since Ella was born, I’ve changed into my pajamas right after she goes to bed, unless I’m going somewhere.

Now, when I go to change into my pajamas, I also take out my contacts, brush my teeth, and take off my makeup at the same time.

This takes a total of about four minutes, but it’s basically life-changing for me.

At 7:30 or 8:00, it doesn’t feel like a huge hassle to take out my contacts and wash my face AND it makes me feel like I’m super on top of my night time routine and basically superwoman. That’s not a bad way to start the child-free portion of the evening.

Then I can get on to the more important parts of my evening. Like scrolling on Instagram for 45 minutes.

The other benefit of getting ready for bed right away is that if I’ve already brushed my teeth, I’m significantly less likely to snack after dinner (although, I’ll admit that some nights, I just end up brushing my teeth a second time after a last little treat).

And when 10:00 rolls around and I can just hop right in bed with a book for 30 minutes before turning off the light?

It’s the best feeling.

Do any of you use this trick too?


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Photos by Heather Mildenstein

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  1. I totally get the "too tired to go to bed" feeling!!! I swear there are nights when I literally lay at the foot of my bed, fully clothed, thinking: "I just need to put on PJs and brush my teeth and pee…argh, that's exhausting! I'm just going to lay here for a bit longer…"
    It never occurred to me to get ready for bed before bedtime. I think I'll give it try! And yes, brushing one's teeth is an excellent way to avoid late night munchies!

  2. I've been brushing my teeth and washing my face while supervising bath time and it really is so.much.easier to go to bed at a decent time even if it's just saving me 5 minutes!

  3. I've been trying to do this every night since I finished Better Than Before… and while I'm not perfect at doing it every night, I definitely like myself a lot more on the nights when I actually do get ready for bed earlier. Also, those Kleenex makeup remover wipes are seriously the best ones I've ever used… I've already plowed through my entire container that I got in the mail.

  4. I HATE getting ready for bed! My bedtime routine takes longer than my getting-ready-in-the-morning routine. I should adopt your timing though, that would help. Except I like to eat something after my kids are down, so brushing my teeth would still need to be later.

  5. Wow, it's a little crazy how similar our 'routine' is! But then, I have 3 little boys about the same ages as your girls so maybe it's just a 'tired mom of little ones' thing! 😉 As soon as they're asleep at 8 (they still nap) into the bathroom I go! And, I have the same weakness as far as nighttime munching so brushing my teeth before I sit down keeps that habit in check for me too!

  6. I struggle with the exact same thing! I hate getting ready for bed and want to just skip all the steps that accompany it! I love the idea of doing it a little bit at a time so it's not so overwhelming when you're already exhausted!

  7. I worked at Coldstone in highschool too… haha nice. Sounded like my exact high school day.. every day

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