Top 10 Tips for Getting to Bed On Time

By March 14, 2013Motivation

By Patti Brown

It became clear to me soon after I started trying to change my morning habits: my day was made or broken the night before. I had to find a way to get better at bedtime.

So I researched, and I experimented. Full disclosure? I’ve been doing HelloMornings for two and a half years, and I am still working on good bedtime habits.

10 Tips For Getting To Bed On Time -

If you struggle with getting to bed on time too, maybe one of these ideas will help:

  1. You may need to reset your body’s internal clock, and believe it or not, one way to do that is to get out in the sunshine first thing every day. Add a brisk walk to give you energy in the morning and help you sleep better that night.
  2. Plan your evening schedule based on your target bedtime. If dinner is too late, or the kids’ bedtime is too close to yours, you may procrastinate going to bed because you crave quiet time in the evening. Shift those activities earlier. Remember: “Sleep can not be the thing you sacrifice”
  3. If you feel like you can’t go to bed because you have too much to do, are you doing too much? Ask God to show you what you can delegate!
  4. Avoid sugar and caffeine for several hours before bedtime. Instead, make a soothing cup of herbal tea part of your evening. My favorite is Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Vanilla.
  5. The light from computers, mobile devices and television screens confuses your brain because the light waves are too much like daylight. It is best to avoid screens for at least an hour before going to bed. 
  6. Develop a consistent bedtime routine. Your brain responds to triggers and will learn to wind down when you initiate a certain pattern of behavior.
  7. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to start your bedtime routineACE Janice Morrow sets her alarm to ask “What do you want your morning to look like?” My alarm reminds me nightly: “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. – Psalm 127:2”
  8. If your mind is overflowing with things you need to remember to do, “brain dump” on paper – write it all down and clear your head for a peaceful night’s sleep.
  9. Certain activities improve the relaxation response. Studies have shown that playing classical music, reading fiction, or knitting can soothe and shift brain activity. Try these to help you wind down.
  10. Still struggling? Make it a team effort, find an accountability partner… it could be your husband or a friend. It will be like your own mini Goodnight Evenings group!

Focusing on bedtime may be the missing piece on your road to successful HelloMornings!

Is bedtime easy as pie for you, or do you struggle too? Share your ideas for getting to bed on time in the comments!



  • Sheena says:

    I really struggle to go to bed early – I always have a show that i want to watch and wind down with before I start my bedtime routine. I have found reading helpful aswell as maybe doing some suduko if i don’t feel like reading =)

  • Helen G. says:

    I just need to get to do it! Thanks for the tips, Patti. Time change always be a challenge to me.

    • Joyce Moy says:

      Helen, I always forget about the time change, so it’s always been challenging for me too. I was going to make a point of adjusting my sleep the week before the time change, but I got sick, and decided that I couldn’t do it. My energy was just zapped trying to breathe! Maybe we can even adjust our bedtime/wake-up times 10 minutes at a time a week or two before the time change next time….will write myself a note right now. 🙂

    • Patti says:

      You’re welcome Helen! I agree, the time change throws a big wrench into everything.

  • Great suggestions! I love the “brain dump on paper” idea. I’m going to start doing this before bedtime. Maybe it will help me turn my mind off a little bit.

    • Patti says:

      I have to do it almost every night Tarissa. I have so many things I am trying to keep track of that otherwise I’ll just lie there and worry about forgetting them! Isn’t that silly? It really helps me. I grab the list when I get out of bed in the morning, and take it with me to my spot on the couch where I do my quiet time and daily planning.

  • Amanda Cross says:

    Thanks for writing this Patti! Will try these things especially getting out in the sunshine. I think you recommended this to me before, but I have been neglectful to do these things.

  • Angela says:

    This is so true! I just said to myself this morning that a good day starts the night before. Now to remember this tonight ….

  • Sarah (theGIRL) says:

    Excellent tips, Patti! Thank you.

  • I definitely agree with the screens. If I turn on my iPod once I’m in bed to browse facebook, twitter, I find it really hard to actually go to sleep. It either sucks me in and I lay there for a long time or once I turn it off I can’t sleep. I’m trying to have my routine and just go to bed. No online time.

    • Patti says:

      Yes! And I have the same problem if I wake up in the middle of the night and look at my phone. It wakes me up too much, then it’s hard to get back to sleep. And of course that means get up time is a mess!

      • Joyce Moy says:

        Patti, Yes, I’m the same way with looking at the phone in the middle of the night whenever my kids wake me up so I can tell them that they woke me up at 3:21am, but then I just end up awake longer, then that’s my own fault. :p

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