It’s almost the start of a new academic year, so it’s time to start building good student routines. One crucial part of becoming a more successful student is finding the perfect night routine (morning routines are also important, check out this article for more tips on those).
This article is all about the perfect night routine for students, and how your night routine can help you become a more successful student.
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So, without further ado, let’s get into what the perfect night routine for students entails, how it can help you become a more successful student, and what my PhD student night routine is like.
What is the perfect night routine for students?
So, first off, what does the perfect night routine for students entail? Here are the top 10 characteristics of the best student night routines.
1. First and foremost, the perfect night routine includes enough sleep—this ONE THING will help you become a more successful student.
Okay, you’ve heard me talk about how important sleep is before, but I can’t stress it enough. I’ve recommended it before, but this is my favourite book about why sleep is so important.
Basically, if you want to retain things, think better, live longer, be happier, and generally live a better life, you need to be getting enough sleep. In my experience it is NEVER worth pulling an all-nighter to study or finish a paper. There’s really no need. Make sure your night routine gives you enough time to get a full night’s sleep.
If you struggle to sleep, I’d recommend practising some meditation before bed. I’ve recommended it before, but this meditation used to really help me sleep.
2. The perfect night routine includes some ‘me time’ and self-care.
Before you go to bed is the perfect time to incorporate some daily self-care into your life. It is SO important for keeping you in tip-top shape both mentally and physically. If you need tips and ideas for self care for students, check out this article.
3. The ideal night routine helps you turn your brain off—you can’t be a successful student if you’re up all night worrying about random things you have to do.
For this, I’d recommend doing a bit of a brain dump just before bed. Write down all of the random things that are on your mind, be them things you have to get done, worries, or, really, anything at all! This will help you clear your mind and ready you for sleep.
4. The best night routine for students includes a balanced dinner (and a healthy snack if you need it!)
I really count my night routine as being from the time I eat dinner until I go to sleep. Eating a balanced dinner (and enough!) is an important part of getting ready for bed. Also, if you’re hungry before bed, eat! I very often have second dinner.
5. The best student night routines have enough time built in to wind down—don’t try to go to the gym or work right up until bedtime.
I’ve been struggling with a bit lately going to the gym late and then watching Love Island afterwards. But, working or working out too close to bedtime means your brain is too active to go to sleep.
6. A fantastic student night routine shouldn’t have too much screen time—or at least involves red-tinted screens or blue light-blocking glasses.
This is another one I struggle with. But, I’m trying to replace my final scrolling of the day with reading a book.
If you must use your computer or phone before bed, put it on night mode or use blue light-blocking glasses like these ones.
7. Obviously, a great night routine also needs the essentials—brushing your teeth, washing your face, pampering, etc.!
It wouldn’t be a night routine without these things! For me, it’s taking a shower, brushing my teeth, taking my contacts out, and putting on my face creams.
8. The perfect night routine for students includes some planning for the day ahead to keep you on track to become a more successful student.
I find that figuring out what I need to tackle the following day helps me relax and keeps me from thinking about everything I have to do as I’m falling asleep.
9. The best student night routine also includes some things you do just for fun to relax—part of being a more successful student is balance!
Don’t spend your entire night routine doing chores. Take some time to read, listen to podcasts, watch TV, and just RELAX. You don’t have to be perfectly productive all the time.
10. The perfect night routine for students shouldn’t try too hard.
Now, let me explain what I mean by this. Basically, don’t obsess so much about having the perfect night routine that it ends up stressing you out and being counterproductive.
How will the perfect night routine help you become a more successful student?
1. The perfect night routine will help you become a more successful student by helping you SLEEP, which is my number one tip for success at uni.
As I discussed above, sleep is critical to, well, everything about being a successful uni student. With enough sleep, you’ll retain more information, understand complex concepts more easily, and work more efficiently. Plus, you’ll likely feel happier and more motivated doing it all!
(As a side note, if you’re struggling with motivation, check out this article).
2. The perfect night routine makes you a better student by letting the things you learn or that you’re researching marinate (i.e., the shower principle).
We’ve all been there—you’re struggling to understand a concept or fix a problem in your research and can’t figure it out. Then, as soon as you go off and do something else, inspiration hits. Having a good night routine will help you relax and sleep better, which helps your brain process and store the new information you’ve learned that day and work through any academic (or personal!) problems you encountered along the way.
3. The best night routine will help you become more successful at uni by keeping you healthy.
Now, I’ve already done an article on how to stay healthy at uni, but your night routine is a key part of it. In fact, one of my top tips for staying healthy at uni is getting into good routines. I find that routines are key to sticking to good studying and working habits.
4. A great night routine will make you a better student by making you feel like you can take on whatever challenges the next day throws your way.
Getting into a good night routine makes you feel accomplished and gives you the confidence you need to take on all the academic challenges that come with uni.
My PhD student night routine
So, what does my student night routine look like?
1. Make a healthy dinner.
First, I make a healthy dinner, usually around 5pm (I know, I eat SUPER early). For some ideas of meals I like to eat, check out this article.
2. Watch some TV.
Not gonna lie, my partner and I often watch something while we eat dinner. Right now, we’re re-watching New Girl.
3. Go to the gym.
After we’ve had dinner, given ourselves time to digest, and cuddled a bit, we go to the gym.
When I get back from the gym, I shower, take my contacts, out and put on my face creams. Basically, I try to do as much of these kinds of things as I can as early as I can in the evening so I have less to do later on and can focus on relaxing.
5. Have a protein shake and a snack.
Usually, my snack is some leftovers from dinner or lunch. As a side note, I’ve been LOVING this protein lately.
6. Watch some TV and plan my next day.
I know I don’t always take my own advice, but it’s Love Island season, okay??? I also make a list of what I need to do the next day and brain dump anything that’s on my mind into a note on my iPhone and do my final scrolls of social media as well.
7. Do a bit of reading before bed.
As I said above, I’m trying to read a little bit before bed every night.
8. Put my podcasts on and go to sleep.
Then, I cuddle with my partner a bit more, put on my podcasts (I use this wireless headphone headband while I sleep), and go to sleep for 8-9 hours.