A night time routine, just like a morning routine, is one of the most essential components of any man’s day. Together, a morning routine and a night time routine serve as the bookends of a successful life.
Getting into a proper routine is one of the very first steps that a man must take if he wishes to become an intermediate at self-development. These routines can later be abandoned once a man is sufficiently focused, at ease, and successful, but it must be desperately held onto until then.
This is the night time routine that I follow (not always, but more on this later) and it has given me an enormous amount of focus, drive, energy, and wisdom, and with all due respect to others, this routine is probably 10x better than anything I’ve ever seen.
Follow it for 1 month and you will feel like a fucking badass. You’ll be more confident, assertive, decisive, and you’ll have way more energy.
As I alluded to before, there comes a certain point when you do not need any routines any longer. Here is the way that I see it. When you’re first getting into self-development, the problem is that you don’t have enough order in your life. You watch way too much TV, you waste too much time, you masturbate a lot, and your life is filled with bullshit.
So, it’s crucial that you implement routines into your life. This will create order—rather than spending your night jerking off or watching TV, you’ll program your mind for success.
This order will lead to wisdom, introspection, financial success, better game, and mental clarity among other things. Then, however, when you’ve been into self-development for a long time, the problem is actually too much order. You’ve taken on a routine for damn near everything.
“Okay so I wake up at 6, do my morning routine until 7, work until 10:30, eat until 11, work until 12, go to the gym until 3, then I have my daily yoga lessons at 4, then eat until 4:30, shower, change, go get dinner with a cute girl at 5:30, bring her home, fuck her, eat again, then leave for the club at exactly 9:30 so that I have time to get in before it gets pounding…” and on and on and on.
A guy in this situation needs to fucking chill and go with the flow more. You see this a lot, in the cycles of self-development. Guys go from one extreme to the other, until they eventually find a happy medium.
So what happens is you’ll oscillate back and forth between too little order and too little chaos until you find the right balance.
But, at first, you absolutely need to have a morning and night time routine. They will serve to provide order and discipline into your life, and will thus drastically improve it.
You’ll have to just decide for yourself, however. Maybe you’ll benefit from doing the routine 3 days a week, but the other 4 you’re out gaming and don’t want to bring a girl home and tell her “Oh, hold up. Wait—let me read for an hour before I fuck you.” Decide what works for you, and do that.
There are several key things that make a good night time routine. Generally speaking, a good night time routine will allow for introspection—this is key, because it’s how you improve on your weak points. It will also minimize light, to prime your brain for bed time.
In addition to these things, a good night time routine will relax you, so that you get a deeper sleep. Then, there’s other things like re-programming your mind with affirmations and what not.
One of the biggest benefits of having a night time routine is that you can reflect on the day’s events and what you could’ve done differently.
After doing this for several weeks, or months, or even years, you’ll be able to notice common patterns. Maybe you frequently come up with excuses not to do a certain activity, or maybe you spend too much time doing a certain habit. Now, because you are aware of these bad habits and tendencies in your life, you have the power to change them.
Self-knowledge paves the road towards success, and a night time routine filled with introspection is a great way to achieve this. As you’ll see, there’s a couple of methods that you can use to accomplish this, but my favorite is to keep a journal.
One of the biggest detriments to deep sleep is light—our bodies are not made to experience artificial light, because for millions of years, we evolved to go to sleep when the sun set. That being said, I’m not going to be a fanatic and tell you to turn off your computer 4 hours before bed, however.
As a blogger, I, more than anyone else, understand the impracticality of this. What I will do, however, is give you a bunch of tips and hacks that you can use to still stay on your computer and have light, but to minimize the negative effects of it.
The reason why you need to minimize light before you go to bed, is because light prevents the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone responsible for putting you to sleep, so the suppression of the production of this hormone is obviously a bad thing.
As somebody who has severe onset insomnia (trouble falling asleep, but not staying asleep), I understand how difficult it is to calm down after a long day of intense work. Often times your mind continues to run and run and run, and you just can’t seem to shut it off.
This is why learning to relax is absolutely crucial to fall asleep on time. If your mind is still racing from the day’s events, you’re not going to be able to fall asleep, plain and simple.
Ideally, you should start relaxing about 4 hours before you go to bed and slowly grow more and more relaxed until you finally fall asleep. This routine is designed to accomplish just this.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you go to sleep around 3AM, because you’re a night owl. As I’ve said before, you can go to sleep pretty much whenever the hell you want, depending on your goals. But, to make things simple, let’s assume that your current goal is to pull hot girls and build a better dating/social life.
If this is the case, you want to go out to clubs and bars at least 4-5 nights a week, so waking up at 6AM isn’t plausible. Assuming that you’re getting home around 3AM (which I was when I was in an immersion period for game), here would be the routine:
Now, for a more in depth look. Again, keep in mind that depending on your goals, when you go to bed will change. This is fine, just start the routine a couple of hours before you’re going to go to bed.
Starting a few hours before you go to sleep, you want to minimize the amount of blue wavelength light that you’re exposed to. There’s a few tips that I have for this.
If you’re going to stay on your laptop, download F.Lux—this is a program that automatically adjusts the light on your computer screen to mimic the sunset. This will protect your eyes from blue light and allow your brain to produce melatonin so that you can fall asleep easier.
I also recommend buying an alarm clock that can mimic the sunset (like this one). Not only will this allow you to do this night time routine in a dim light, so as to not suppress melatonin production, but it also simulates the sunrise when you first wake up as I talked about in my morning routine article.
I recommend setting it to around 12, and progressively lowering it down to 4 when you’re reading (more on this later). The idea is to gradually decrease the amount of light you’re exposed to over the course of a few hours, which simulates the sunset.
It’s very difficult to wind down for the night and fall asleep if you have a lot on your mind. That’s why every night you should take some time to write down some of the things that are bothering you. This, in effect, gets them “out of your mind,” and onto a piece of paper. I don’t know how, but it seems to have a therapeutic effect for me.
This can be any number of things that you’re worried about, for example:
Or whatever it is. Just write down what you’re worried about, and you’ll notice that afterwards you’ll feel much better—sometimes just writing down your thoughts helps you to get them out of your head and let go.
As I’ve said before, meditation is one of the best habits for men. It will make you confident, decisive, calm, relaxed, and happy…all of the time (once you get good at it). But, the thing is…it takes you a long time to get good at it. Not with Life Flow, however. Life Flow is basically an audio-track that you listen to while you meditate, and it plays certain frequencies that change your brainwaves.
In short, Life Flow makes meditation up to 10x more effective. You’ll accomplish in just a year what would’ve taken over a decade.
I recommend meditating for at least 20 minutes before you go to bed, because meditation has been shown to reduce stress and produce a calm, euphoric feeling. This will greatly aid in you falling asleep.
Okay—so you’ve meditated and calmed your mind, now it’s time to calm your body. You can accomplish this by doing certain stretches as well as foam rolling. I recommend doing the “Critical Stretches” that I mention in Body of an Alpha.
There’s a few others that you can add in, but most of the other crucial stretches are in my morning routine. The point of the stretches here are to relax your muscles, rather than to energize you.
Once you’re done stretching, it’s time to use a foam roller. I recommend using this one. Using a foam roller breaks up muscular knots and improves muscle recovery, circulation, and flexibility, as well as eliminating pain from tight muscles.
If you don’t know how to use a foam roller, I mention how to use it in Body of an Alpha—you can read up on it, though if you don’t want to buy the eBook. There’s plenty of YouTube videos discussing it to watch, as well.
“What the fuck?” I said as I looked at my computer screen. “That shit helps with sleep?” It was hard to argue with over 1500 reviews, so I ordered one to try it out.
It came in the mail a few days later, and I threw it on the ground. “Jesus, that looks painful,” I thought. It was a little mat with hundreds of spikes sticking out of it. And I was supposed to lie down on it. “OW OW OW What the FUCK,” I shouted as I put my back onto it. “Jesus that hurts.”
After 7 minutes I felt like I was on a heroin trip.
“Woah…what the hell?” I didn’t get up for nearly 30 minutes because it felt so good. After I got up, I proceeded to have one of the best sleeps of my life. Ever since then, I’ve used an acupressure mat regularly.
It may seem weird to stick a thousand little spikes into your back, but the idea is that once your muscles relax and just give in, the spikes stimulate little capillaries all over your back to open up, which causes a massive rush in circulation and endorphins.
That’s why it hurt so much at first, and felt so good after 7 minutes. You can also use it on your chest, legs, feet, or pretty much any part of your body. But the point is that it makes you sleep SO much deeper.
Now it’s time to reflect on the day. This is one of the more important aspects of the night time routine. Reflecting on the day will allow you to see patterns in your behavior over time, that you can change to suit your needs.
Ask yourself the following questions:
You don’t have to ask yourself these exact questions, but they’re there to get you thinking. I usually write about any failures or successes I had that day, what I could’ve done differently, things I shouldn’t have done, things I did that I’m proud of, or my feelings towards various events.
Over time you’ll become more self-aware.
If you always tell yourself you’re going to go out and game, but always come up with an excuse not to do so, you’ll start to notice this pattern in your journal and you can do something about it. If you always get tired around 3PM, you’ll notice it from journaling about it. You can then figure out the cause, and fix it so that you have high levels of energy all day.
While I’m journaling, I prefer to sip a tea that calms the mind. Kava tea is a great choice; it’s used by Pacific Islanders to calm the body and mind and it’s about 10x stronger than chamomile.
When you start to read for an hour every night, you’ll literally feel like your brain is starting to come out of a haze. You’ll be sharper, you’ll understand things on a deeper level, and you’ll be able to accomplish your goals with ease.
Don’t just read any books, though. Read books that will expand your mind. Read books that plunge the depths of the human experience, books that provide you with valuable insights into your mind, and books that explain important concepts to improve your life.
While you’re reading a good book, I recommend wearing an ice pack under your neck. This is a trick that I picked up from Tim Ferris’s 4-Hour Body. Basically the idea is that putting a cold ice pack on your neck triggers a hormonal cascade of testosterone, human growth hormone, and endorphins, that promote fat loss, lean muscle growth, and rejuvenative sleep.
So not only will you be expanding your mind, but you’ll be fine-tuning your hormones while you do it.
I’ve mentioned affirmations a few times before, but basically the idea is that you repeat a bunch of statements that you want to be true right before you go to bed. This puts these ideas into your subconscious mind right before you go to sleep, so that your mind dwells on them while you’re sleeping.
For example, some of the affirmations that I say are:
So when I’m sleeping, what do you think my mind is doing? It’s dwelling on how I’m calm, collected, confident, and charismatic. It’s dwelling on how my blog is growing and how women think I’m the shit. It’s dwelling on how I’m a badass action-taker.
This exercise may sound kind of woo-woo and stupid, but if you do it and really believe what you’re saying, you’ll notice a difference within 30 days. Guaranteed.
Don’t forget that a night time routine isn’t for everyone. I realize that this is fairly time consuming, but remember: when you’re first getting into self-development, this is exactly what you need. This routine will turn you into a confident winner, who takes MASSIVE action to achieve your goals.
If you’ve been involved in self-development for a while, don’t be afraid to change the routine up to suit you, but you should be reading at a very minimum. I personally aim to read at least 30 minutes a day on average—sometimes I read books cover to cover, other times I just skim for valuable life lessons.
Either way, you now have a badass night time routine that will help you conquer your goals and achieve an awesome life. So go, and implement it. Take fucking action.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, be sure to leave them below. And, as always, I hope you guys enjoyed the article and I’ll see you next time.
Jon Anthony is a dating coach, fitness expert, and self-improvement guru. He dropped out of college to start Masculine Development in 2015, and has since been self-employed, helping men across the world achieve their best lives. You can best reach him on social media, or via email for questions.