Healthy Living

15 Ways to Romanticize Your Bedtime Routine

Source: @lunya
Source: @lunya

Blame it on the rom-coms I grew up on or my idealism, but whenever I hear the word “romantic,” the common trope comes to mind: over-the-top gestures declaring love. I can’t tell you how many times I watched Tom Hanks (finally) meet Meg Ryan at the top of the Empire State Building in Sleepless in Seattle and Noah and Allie’s iconic kissing-in-the-rain scene in The Notebook (made complete with Ryan Gosling’s soaked white shirt, of course). Then, there’s Edward arriving in the 1990 iteration of a chariot (his white limo) and climbing to the top of Vivian’s fire escape with a dozen roses in hand in Pretty Woman. I mean, how do you top, or even emulate, those displays of affection IRL? A harsh reality for my 13-year-old self: you can’t (and shouldn’t have to). But the good news for present-day me: It’s not what matters.

You don’t need the grand professions to express love, whether it be in your relationship with your partner or self-love, and live happily ever after. Rather, making room for and noticing the glimmers of romance in the everyday is key to making life more joyful and fulfilling. And what better way to set the tone than by starting with a small act you do every night: your bedtime ritual. From the silkiest PJs money can buy to wrapping yourself in an infrared sauna blanket to candlelit yoga, read on for 15 tips for romanticizing your bedtime routine and sprinkling in some pleasure while winding down. Fairytale endings need not apply.

1. Relish your skincare regimen

Whether it’s two steps or seven, take your time treating your skin. Pull out all the stops: the serums, creams, LED face mask, and scalp treatment (yes, skincare includes showing your scalp TLC). While you’re at it, give main character vibes by setting the ideal spa-day-like scene (think: lighting candles, turning on the essential oil diffuser, cueing the spa music). Turn your skincare routine into a luxurious experience rather than another nighttime to check off the list.

2. Make a Sleepy Girl Mocktail

Romanticizing rituals can be healthy for you, too. This nighttime libation is just what the (sleep) doctor ordered for the coveted eight hours of Zzz’s. Mix ½ cup pure tart cherry juice, 1 tablespoon of magnesium powder, and sparkling water together à la TikTok creator Gracie Norton for a “match made in heaven for good sleep.” There’s something about a drink in a fancy glass that makes anything more special—this recipe not only helps you romanticize your evenings but also helps you get better sleep.

3. Slip into luxurious pajamas

I’ll admit I’m guilty of wearing an old, oversized tee and college sweatpants to bed on occasion, but let’s leave the lived-in loungewear for the daytime, shall we? Instead, change into nightwear that makes you feel as put together as it does comfy. Silk, cotton, merino, PJ set, nightgown, slip—whatever you choose, make it lush and snooze-worthy.

Washable Silk Long Sleeve Pant Set

Available in five colors.

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Pima Ruffle Midi Nightgown

Available in four colors.

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Gisele TENCEL™ Modal Slouchy PJ Set

Available in five colors.

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4. Invest in quality sheets

The same goes for your sheets. While it’s not realistic to have fresh sheets every day, crawling into bed with fancy linens is a close second. The right set of sheets can make the difference between five-star hotel vibes and subpar sleep, so take your pick from linen, cotton, silk, or sateen—it’s worth the splurge.

Boll & Branch
Signature Hemmed Sheet Set

Available in 16 colors.

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Stonewashed Linen Sheets

Available in four colors.

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Cloud Soft Organic Sateen Sheet Set

Available in five colors.

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5. Get cozy in an infrared sauna blanket

After a long WFH day or cold commute, bring on the R&R by slipping into a cocoon-like, infrared-heated blanket from the comfort of your bed or couch. Plus, indulging in perks like sweating out impurities, increasing blood flow and circulation, reducing stress, and promoting glowing skin—you’re sure to wake up on the right side of the bed.

Infrared Sauna Blanket
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Infrared Sauna Blanket
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6. Practice gratitude

Whether it’s jotting down three things you’re thankful for in your journal or simply taking note of them in your mind as you drift off to sleep, expressing gratitude while you get ready for bed will get you in the habit of finding all the joy snacks in your day. A heart full of appreciation = a good night’s rest.

7. Use a pillow mist

Signal your brain and body that it’s time to wind down with a spray that helps activate the body’s relaxation response and regulate stress. Spritz a calming scent like lavender, cedarwood, or citrus onto your pillow and sheets before bed for a dreamy and zen night.

Vagus Nerve Pillow Mist
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Primally Pure
Palo Santo Aromatherapy Mist
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8. Reorganize your nightstand

No clutter or junk drawers here. Keeping your bedside essentials in order means you can rest assured you have everything you need within reach. Tidy and glamorize your nightstand each night to put any unnecessary anxiety to bed by only leaving items that bring you joy and peace in sight: a book or journal, an eye pillow, a glass of water, your fave lip balm and hand cream, an alarm clock (notice I didn’t include your phone!).

9. Put your legs up the wall while meditating

Why not use habit stacking to transform your nighttime routine? Press play on your choice of meditation and position your legs up the wall to relax the nervous system and kick in lymphatic drainage (hot tip: the Superhuman app has guided activations just for that). Combine the benefits of meditation and lymphatic drainage, and you get decreased stress and better sleep, plus reduced bloat and improved immune function.

10. Take a warm bath or shower

Step into your bath or shower and let the warm water do its soothing magic of washing off the day and relieving sore muscles. Hang eucalyptus from your shower head or soak in eucalyptus bath salts for an extra dose of relaxation.

11. Use red light therapy

So you’re already donning your LED face mask (see point #1), but the regenerative goodness of RLT doesn’t stop at your face. Get your glow on in the form of an at-home device for a leg up in anti-aging, reducing inflammation and muscle recovery, and boosting mood for your entire mind and body.

LUMEBOX 2.0 Red Light Therapy Device
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Red Light Therapy Device
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12. Treat your hands and feet

You’ve dropped a pretty penny on sheet masks, eye patches, and body butter, but chances are your hands and feet don’t get the royal treatment. Enter: Overnight hydration gloves and booties. If you’re going to nourish and moisturize your extremities right, do yourself a favor and make it a solid mittens and socks moment while you get your beauty sleep.

Moisturizing Gloves
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Yoosolle Health
Moisturizing Gel Heel Socks
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Moisturizing Socks
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13. Curl up to a book

Resist the temptation to scroll and pick up where you left off in your latest read. But before you do, set the stage for the ultimate reading nook with a weighted blanket, the Sleepy Girl Mocktail you concocted earlier, and ambient lighting and music.

14. Practice candlelit yoga

Downward dogging by candlelight allows you to slow down, look inward, and fit in some gentle movement before calling it a day. Surround yourself with candles, hit up Spotify for a yoga playlist, and get to stretching. It’ll do your body and sleep wonders.

15. Envision tomorrow

Nighttime means you’re closing the chapter on everything that happened today, but it also means starting a new chapter tomorrow. Take some time to envision how good tomorrow can be: What are all the things you’re looking forward to? How good will your coffee taste? Is the meeting tomorrow taking you a step closer to your dream life? You can also plan our intentions for the following day. If thinking about the next day just stresses you out (that to-do list is too long!), daydream about your next trip or an upcoming fun night with friends before you fall asleep—whatever shape it takes, fall asleep having something to look forward to.