The Challenge: Develop Morning & Nighttime Routines


Research has found that incorporating structured routines into daily life is a practical and effective strategy for promoting positive mental health outcomes. The establishment of morning and nighttime routines fosters a sense of predictability and control, contributing to stress reduction and enhanced overall mental health. Individuals who engage in regular morning exercise routines experience improvements in mood and cognitive function throughout the day. The importance of a structured bedtime routine is associated with better sleep quality and reduced symptoms of insomnia and anxiety.*




Your morning and nighttime routine will be individualized to your needs and daily life, so you want to ensure you set realistic goals. Part of setting this mental health goal is experimenting with what does and does not work for your routine.

Example of a morning routine: 

  • Waking up at a consistent time
  • Movement (stretch, cardio, yoga, weightlifting, etc.)
  • Hydrate + eating a nutrient-dense breakfast
  • Breath work or Meditation
  • Journal or read a book

Example of a nighttime routine:

  • Taking a warm shower
  • Limit screen time before bed
  • Journal or read a book
  • Going to sleep at a consistent time** 

Looking for a place to start? The American Heart Association has put together some quick “How To” guides for creating healthy Morning and Night routines.


Here is a quick fact sheet on the benefits of sleep put together by the American Heart Association.

Healthy Sleep Fact Sheet (English)

Healthy Sleep Fact Sheet (Spanish)

*Loprinzi, P. D., Cardinal, B. J., & Noakes, T. D. (2019). Association between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep, NHANES 2005–2006. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 16, 37-41.

*Bei, B., Wiley, J. F., Trinder, J., & Manber, R. (2016). Beyond the mean: A systematic review on the correlates of daily intraindividual variability of sleep/wake patterns. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 28, 108–124.

*Gouin, J. P., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Malarkey, W. B. (2008). The influence of anger expression on wound healing. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 22(5), 699–708.

**Patel, N. (2023, September 6). 15 realistic mental health goals to set in 2023. BROWN GIRL TRAUMA.