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The Power Of Evening Routines – How To Unwind After A Busy Day For Better Sleep

Anameti Usoro is an expert sleep coach and anesthesiologist specializing in insomnia relief for busy professionals through breathwork and sleep coaching. As the founder of Restore Rest, she combines science and holistic practices to help individuals achieve restful sleep and improved well-being.

Executive Contributor Anameti Usoro

For busy professionals, unwinding after a hectic day can be challenging. However, establishing a calming evening routine is essential for signaling to your body that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. As a sleep coach, I’ve helped many individuals create effective evening routines that lead to improved sleep quality and overall health. As an anesthesiologist with unpredictable days, establishing a routine has been one of the ways I’ve been able to free myself from insomnia.

Woman relaxing at home with facial mask and calming candle lights

The importance of an evening routine

An evening routine helps transition your body and mind from the high-energy demands of the day to a state of relaxation. This transition is crucial for:

  • Reducing stress: A structured routine can lower cortisol levels, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety that might interfere with sleep.

  • Establishing consistency: Consistent routines reinforce your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day.

  • Improving sleep quality: A relaxing pre-sleep routine can enhance the quality of your sleep, allowing for deeper, more restorative rest.

Steps to create an effective evening routine

1. Set a consistent bedtime

Choose a bedtime that allows for 7-9 hours of sleep and stick to it, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle. A regular sleep schedule can help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed. Try to identify a bedtime that suits your lifestyle so that you’re able to stick to it.

Tip: Observe your body’s cues and adjust your bedtime accordingly.

2. Limit screen time

The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt melatonin production, a hormone that regulates sleep. Instead of scrolling through your phone or watching TV, engage in relaxing activities like reading a book or practicing gentle yoga. Limiting screen time can also reduce nighttime rumination. The content of text messages or emails you read may keep your mind running and keep you up when your body is ready to rest.

3. Create a relaxing environment

Dim the lights and keep your bedroom cool and quiet. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 65°F-67°F. Consider using blackout curtains, a white noise machine, or aromatherapy with calming scents like lavender. Ensure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and remove any distractions that might keep you awake. I prefer using bamboo sheets for their cooling effects and softness.

4. Unwind with calming activities

Engage in activities that help you relax, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing mindfulness and deep-breathing exercises. These activities can help lower your heart rate and signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Gentle stretches, listening to soothing music, or journaling can also be effective ways to relax before bed.

5. Avoid stimulants

Refrain from consuming caffeine or heavy meals close to bedtime. Opt for a light snack if you’re hungry, and choose beverages like herbal tea or a sleep mocktail. Caffeine and sugar can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Instead, choose snacks that are known to promote sleep, such as bananas, almonds, coconut, kiwi, or a small serving of yogurt.

6. Mindfulness and meditation

Incorporate mindfulness or meditation practices into your evening routine. Breathwork exercises like 4-7-8 and box breathing are great options. These practices can help quiet the mind, reduce anxiety, and prepare your body for restful sleep.

  • 4-7-8 Breathing technique steps

    • Breathe in through your nose for a count of four.

    • Hold your breath for a count of seven.

    • Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight.

    • Repeat this cycle three or four times.

  • Box breathing steps

    • Breathe in through your nose for a count of four.

    • Hold your breath for a count of four.

    • Breathe out through your mouth for a count of four.

    • Hold your breath for a count of four.

    • Repeat steps 1-4 until you feel more relaxed or centered.

7. Journal your thoughts

If you find that your mind is racing with thoughts and worries, keep a journal by your bedside. Spend a few minutes each night writing down your thoughts, concerns, and plans for the next day. This practice can help clear your mind and reduce nighttime anxiety. If racing thoughts start once you lay down in bed, your body may be associating your bed with the time to worry. To counteract this, journal earlier in the day so you can get your worries and thoughts out when you’re not in bed, helping your body recognize your bed for rest time.

8. Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body. This can help release physical tension and promote relaxation. Start with your toes and work your way up to your head, focusing on each muscle group for a few seconds.

The role of a sleep coach

Creating and maintaining an effective evening routine can be challenging amidst a busy professional life. A sleep coach can provide invaluable assistance by:

  • Personalizing your routine: A sleep coach can help design a routine that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle and addresses your unique needs and preferences. They can offer tailored advice on everything from the best bedtime to specific relaxation techniques.

  • Offering expert advice: With their expertise, sleep coaches can recommend specific practices and adjustments to enhance the effectiveness of your evening routine. They can also help troubleshoot any issues and make necessary adjustments to your routine.

  • Providing accountability: Regular check-ins with a sleep coach can help you stay committed to your routine and ensure ongoing improvement. They can provide motivation and support, helping you stick to your goals even when life gets hectic.

If you’re ready to work with a sleep coach, check out my website or email me at to get started.


Establishing a calming evening routine is a powerful tool for improving sleep quality and overall well-being. By setting a consistent bedtime, limiting screen time, creating a relaxing environment, and engaging in calming activities, you can signal to your body that it’s time to unwind and prepare for restful sleep. With the support of a sleep coach, you can receive personalized guidance and expert advice to optimize your routine and achieve lasting benefits. Prioritizing a structured evening routine is an investment in your health that will pay dividends in your daily performance and long-term wellness.

Creating an effective evening routine doesn't have to be complicated. Start by making small changes and gradually build on them. Remember, the goal is to create a series of habits that help you relax and prepare for sleep. With time and consistency, these habits can become an integral part of your day, leading to better sleep and a healthier, more balanced life.

As busy professionals, it’s easy to neglect the importance of a structured evening routine. However, the benefits of taking the time to unwind and prepare for sleep are immense. By prioritizing your evening routine, you can improve your sleep quality, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being. So, take the first step today and start crafting an evening routine that works for you. Your future self will thank you.

Follow me on Instagram, or visit my website for more info!


Anameti Usoro, Sleep Coach and Anesthesiologist

Anameti Usoro is a sleep coach and anesthesiologist dedicated to helping busy professionals overcome insomnia and sleep disturbances through breathwork and sleep coaching. With a deep understanding of sleep science and holistic practices, she founded Restore Rest to provide personalized solutions for better sleep and overall well-being. Passionate about transforming lives, Anameti Usoro uses innovative techniques and compassionate guidance to support clients on their journey to restful nights and rejuvenated days.



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