How to Create a Calming Nighttime Routine as a Mom

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Girl mom and writer sharing my journey of cultivating inner peace & finding moments of joy in the day-to-day. Passionate about empowering women to see and believe in their greatness.

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Hi, I'm Ilse

Before children, I put little emphasis on creating a calming nighttime routine. My evenings were my own and if I didn’t get the “me time” I needed one night, I could easily squeeze it in another day or the following evening. That, of course, is more challenging to do these days.

Intentionality has become a great part of my life and that’s because without it, I would not find the space to take care of myself. Life moves fast with littles and they have no problem telling you their needs and wants.. IYKYK 😉

Personally, I thrive with a calming nighttime routine that helps me wind down and prep for the next day. It’s a way to let my body know it’s time to decompress, sets the tone for quality sleep and lays out a proper foundation for the following morning.

So, how do you create a calming nighttime routine as a mom.. who’s likely pretty tired and just wants to plop on the couch? Keep reading for my tips.

Give yourself 10 minutes to look at your calendar & prioritize your tasks for the next day

I’ve made it a habit to double check my calendar as soon as the kids go to sleep. I get acquainted with the following day and take note of the things I have to prep for. Whether it’s related to my daughter’s school, a deadline, a barre class, doctor’s appointment, whatever I have going on, I plan accordingly.

Purchase or make a simple day planner for this. I have one you can download for free and I even had mine laminated so I can re-use every day. Trust me, there’s something about a visual representation and brain dumping your to-do list that declutters the mind and allows for a better night’s sleep.

Tidy and “close the kitchen”

I know this is meant to be a “calming” routine but certain tasks as adults are unfortunately unavoidable (#adulting). Most of our after-dinner kitchen clean-up, lunch making, and toy pick up happens while the kids are still up so they can help, but some nights we still have a few lingering things to tidy after they go to sleep. It’s not much but this includes filling up water bottles for the next day, putting away cleaned and dried dishes, a quick vacuum, and maybe prepping breakfast like overnight oats.

It sounds like a lot but I promise it takes no more than 15 minutes, especially when two people are completing the tasks. After this is done, we “close the kitchen” which simply means no more food making and dish dirting happens.

Identify what you crave after the kids go to bed

Get intentional with how you’re really feeling after the kids go to sleep and what you feel you’re missing – this is about creating a calming routine after all, so this step is important. For me, it’s almost always self-care moments. This takes effort because by the end of the day you’re probably completely wiped, but I found when I prioritize small acts of kindness toward myself (from a sheet mask to moving my body) a boost of confidence comes over me.

For you, it might be something different. Maybe you crave a chat on the phone with friends, reading, spending time with your significant other, whatever it is, just make sure it’s something for yourself and not to serve others or your home.

Dim the lights aka Lamp o’clock

What is lamp o’clock you ask? It’s when all overhead lights are turned off and lamps come on – it’s so simple, effortless and it’s become my personal favorite. It sets such a relaxing tone for the evening and provides a peaceful atmosphere. If you’ve never tried this before, I highly recommend turning on your lamps (or just one lamp, that’s what I do) in the evening and let the calm come over you. Light a candle while you’re at it and truly set the tone to relax.

No more blue light after 9 p.m.

It goes without saying, but it’s important to shut down electronics so you can shut down your brain. Believe me, I KNOW us moms get very little phone scrolling time but if it’s truly a self-care act for you, set a timer and end by 9. Not only will this help you prioritize what you really want to do online, it will help you look for different ways to decompress that allow for your mind to stop running and bring greater joy and peace. I don’t know about you, but late night scrolling brings more overwhelm then relaxation so give yourself a goal of say, a week of doing this, and watch how good it makes you feel.

Make yourself a sleepy time mocktail

I love a nice glass of wine after a long day but it rarely helps add pep in my step for the next morning. Personally, it’s just not worth it when my goal is peaceful sleep. Instead, make yourself a mocktail that aids in better sleep.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Most nights I take out my wine glass (because presentation is key) add some ice, mix magnesium powder and water and bam.. I’ve got myself a nice little nighttime mocktail. It’s so simple and honestly, I’m ready for bed 30 minutes after drinking it.

If you do want to get more elaborate and fancy, you can make the Sleepy Girl Mocktail (created by Gracie Norton). It’s super refreshing and simple to make.

Sleepy Girl Mocktail Recipe


1 tablespoon of magnesium powder

1/2 cup pure tart cherry juice

Top off with lemon lime flavored soda or sparkling water

That’s it! Tart cherry juice has melatonin, and magnesium is said to help calm down the nervous system so together, they’re a dream team.

I hope these tips serve as inspiration to get honest with what you need as a mom at the end of exhausting days. Remember, no one will create the space for you to breathe and relax if you don’t do it for yourself.

Loved any of the tips? Share this post with a friend who might enjoy as well and tell me something you do for a calming nighttime routine as a mom.

Until my next post!

Comments +

  1. […] end our days can have such a powerful impact on our overall mental state. I chat a lot more about nighttime routines in this post so go check it out if you’re having a tough time creating one for […]

  2. […] restful state you can be so that you can make the most of the sleep you do get. I chat more about nighttime routines in this post; some tips helped me feel slightly more rested during my youngest daughter’s newborn […]

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I'm Ilse Inzunza. A writer and mom sharing my journey of cultivating inner peace & finding moments of beauty and joy in the day-to-day. 

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