Minimalist Nighttime Routine: Ideas To Wind Down

Minimalist Nighttime Routine


A minimalist nighttime routine can be just as important as a morning routine when it comes to living simply. When I set aside intentional time in the evening to relax, recharge, and prepare for the following day, I experience one of minimalism’s greatest benefits: peace.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Hi, I’m Ryan. Developing a minimalist nighttime routine has made a world of difference in my life. Disconnecting from work-related activities and taking time for myself at night allows me to wind down, clear my head, and sleep well.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What Is A Minimalist Nighttime Routine?

What Is A Minimalist Nighttime Routine

A minimalist nighttime routine is an intentional set of habits that help you de-stress, relax, and prepare for the following day. Like a minimalist morning routine, a minimalist nighttime routine isn’t meant to be tedious or overly complicated. In fact, the goal is to eliminate as many unnecessary tasks as possible so your evening feels simple and serene.

Why Is Creating A Minimalist Nighttime Routine Important?

Why Is Creating A Minimalist Nighttime Routine Important

We’ve all grown used to the idea of creating the perfect morning routine and all the benefits it can have on our lives, but I believe that the importance of winding down at night has been severely overlooked.

Before I chose my nighttime ritual, I struggled with poor sleep and maintaining a sense of work-life balance. Now that I’ve been adhering to one, I’ve realized that there are even more benefits to having a minimalist nighttime routine than I originally thought.

benefit of a minimalist nighttime routine

It Reduces Stress

Developing a minimalist nighttime routine significantly reduces my stress levels in both the evening and the following morning.

When I make time to tidy up, prepare myself for the next day, and practice self-care, I can go to sleep knowing everything is taken care of. I don’t experience anxiety in the middle of the night, and my mornings typically flow smoothly because my past self already thought about what I would need.

It Improves Sleep

Having a minimalist nighttime routine is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. When I started following one, I realized it helps create a consistent structure that signals my body to wind down and prepare for rest.

Making intentional decisions, like avoiding screen time at night, helps me avoid the over-stimulation that used to rob me of sleep.

It Minimizes Time-Wasting Distractions

Very often, I hear people say how they wish there were more hours in a day. In my opinion, there is plenty of time available; we just don’t always harness it because we are easily distracted.

Being a minimalist is all about limiting the mental and physical “clutter” that so easily weasels its way into our lives. Committing to a nighttime routine ensures that my evenings aren’t riddled with junk. Instead, they’re filled with things I want and need to do.

watching tv is a distraction

It Increases Presence With Loved Ones

I’ve found that creating a minimalist nighttime routine has made me more present.

Because I’m not wasting time on distracting or unnecessary activities, I have extra energy to devote to the relationships in my life. I can spend guilt-free time talking to or hanging out with loved ones because I’ve already taken care of the important tasks that help me wrap up my day.

living in the moment

Examples Of Minimalist Nighttime Routines

Examples Of Minimalist Nighttime Routines

The great thing about developing a minimalist nighttime routine is that, just like with a morning routine, there’s no “wrong” way to go about it. At the end of the day, as long as your routine aligns with your values and schedule, it’s a good one.

My Minimalist Nighttime Routine

No matter what’s going on in my life, I try my best to follow this schedule each night:

  1. Wrap up work around 6 p.m.
  2. Reset my desk for the next day
  3. Cook dinner — maybe grill out (this relaxes me)
  4. Tidy up the kitchen/other living spaces
  5. Connect with loved ones in person or via my phone
  6. Turn off all tech to limit screen time
  7. Wash my face and brush my teeth
  8. Choose an item from my “analog” box (a book, a puzzle, etc.)
  9. Go to sleep around 10 p.m.
There are obviously times when my evening routine is disrupted, like when I’m sick, there’s an emergency, or I make other plans, but for the most part, this is what I do!

Now that I’ve created this minimalist nighttime routine for myself, I can’t imagine life without it.

Minimalist Nighttime Routine For Couples

Sticking to a nighttime routine can be complicated when a partner is involved, but it’s definitely possible — especially if the desire for a simple evening is mutual.

Nighttime Routine For Minimalist CouplesYouTuber Ashlynne Eaton describes both the individual and shared activities in her minimalist nighttime routine and how they help her decompress.

The beginning of her evening consists of solo tasks, like tidying her workspace, going on a walk, and listening to a podcast.

When her partner, Christopher, is home for dinner, they split the tasks of cooking and cleaning the kitchen. When he’s out, however, Ashlynne does both.

Later on, after a bit more alone time, she and Christopher relax by either hanging out with friends or watching a few shows together before bed.

Ashlynne Eaton

“For me, it’s all about trying to find a good combination of healthy habits while also incorporating some relaxation and fun.”

– Ashlynne Eaton,

Minimalist Nighttime Routine For Parents

If you’re a parent who feels a little disheartened about the possibility of simpler evenings, I don’t blame you.

Nighttime Routine For ParentsBetween homework and extracurriculars, kids’ schedules can be insanely busy! It may seem like there’s no way you’ll be able to incorporate nighttime habits that stick, but this minimalist mom has figured out a system that works for her.

Although we don’t get to see what Freya Casey does in the earliest hours of her evening, she does walk us through the nighttime routine she follows with her daughter.

Freya spends time planning the next day while her daughter bathes. Then they brush their teeth and enjoy some tech-free activities, like reading and snuggling.

After Freya tucks her daughter in, she retires to her own room and falls asleep meditating on things she’s grateful for.

freya casey

“Our routine is very minimalist. We don’t really do a lot except get ready for bed, spend time with family, and most importantly, maintain a positive mindset.”

– Freya Casey, Healthy Minimalist Mom

Ideas For Your Minimalist Nighttime Routine

Ideas For Your Minimalist Nighttime Routine

As I mentioned, everyone’s minimalist nighttime routine is going to look different depending on their personal preferences and needs. A “good” nighttime routine is one that calms you and prepares you for the next day; it doesn’t really matter how you get there.

cup of tea nighttime ritualIt’s important to note that your nighttime routine won’t look exactly the same every evening. The changing demands of each day might warrant some real-time adjustments, and that’s okay. The goal is consistency — not perfection.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to creating your minimalist nighttime routine, try experimenting with some of these ideas.

Prepare For The Next Day

Do whatever you need to do to prepare yourself for the next day.

Lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, update your to-do list, and tidy your space so your morning will be a breeze.

Being proactive at night, while you’re not under time pressure, can give you an extra boost of confidence and motivation going into the next day.

minimalist morning routine

Transition To Warm Light

Research suggests that warm colors may lull us to sleep faster than cool, bright colors.

Before bed, consider lighting some candles or transitioning to warm, soothing lighting for a better night’s sleep.

Simply replace your lightbulbs so they emit yellow/orange tones, or invest in LED lights, salt lamps, or any other source of moody lighting.


Taking some time to reflect on your day can help you identify victories and challenges.

It also provides an opportunity to process any emotions that may have surfaced, which leads to greater self-awareness and overall wellbeing.

Journaling can be a powerful, concrete way to reflect. Our 21-day journaling challenge has over 50 prompts for you to explore!

bullet journal challenge

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the basic principles of minimalism. It increases your contentment and overall satisfaction with life.

You can practice gratitude on paper, but if you’re multi-tasking or pressed for time, you can reflect on what you’re thankful for without even writing anything down.

Incorporating gratitude into your evening will help you end the night on a positive note.


Meditation is a time-honored practice, and its benefits are well known. Most notably, it reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and improves sleep.

Spending a few minutes sitting in stillness and silence can be immensely powerful for your body, mind, and spirit.

Trade Tech For Analog Activities

Limiting screen time in the evening prevents over-stimulation and allows your mind to rest. After your work is finished and you’ve sent your final communications for the day, trade the tech for analog activities.

Read a book, do a crossword puzzle, draw, or try your hand at sudoku. These activities provide entertainment without overwhelming your senses right before bed.

crossword puzzle

Practice Good Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene before bed is an important step in anyone’s nighttime routine. Your self-care rituals don’t have to be extensive, but you should definitely cover the basics.

Showering, flossing, brushing your teeth, and applying skincare can help you feel refreshed and keep you looking and feeling good long term.

Overcoming Obstacles That Interfere With Your Routine

Overcoming Obstacles That Interfere With Your Routine

Life happens, and no matter what your situation is, you’re going to meet some resistance as you implement your new routine.

You may have to chat with your partner, reevaluate your children’s schedules, redefine what’s most important to you, or eliminate some commitments from your own plate.

Overcoming these obstacles isn’t always easy, but in the long run, it’s worth it to try. It took me a while to design a nighttime routine that worked for me, but now that I have one, I could never go back.

obstacles to nighttime routine

Your Turn!

  • How will you simplify your minimalist nighttime routine?
  • What habits or activities help you wind down at night?

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