Journaling Prompts for Better Sleep

Calm your mind, improve sleep, and find a routine

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This activity will:

  • Help calm your mind before bed;
  • Give you techniques that may improve your sleep;
  • Help you think about a bedtime routine that works for you.

Grab a journal or a piece of paper. 

Before you’re ready to go to sleep, write down your thoughts and answers to the following prompts:

  1. What do you need before bedtime?

Everyone needs something a little different to help them fall asleep. Make a short list of what you need before bedtime. Maybe it’s a bath, a cup of tea, a dark room, a book, quiet meditation, or soothing music. Take a moment to figure out what you need and write it down. Stopping to consider what works for you can help you make a deliberate choice before bed. 

  1. Choose one thing you'll do tonight to improve your sleep.

Look at the list you made from the prompt above about what you need before bedtime. Can you choose one of those things and make a plan to act on it tonight? Maybe it’s making yourself a cup of tea before bed. Or meditating? Or speaking kindly to yourself? Or writing down things that cause you stress? Or focused breathing? Choose one and give it a try tonight. Set a reminder in your phone to do that one thing tonight. 

  1. Write yourself a note about something positive.  

Some people find nighttime stressful. Ending the day can bring up anxieties. By telling yourself something positive, it can help you calm down. You can write about something good that happened in your day, something positive about a loved one, something you read about, a positive affirmation, or anything that will bring a smile to your face. 

  1. Write what keeps you up at night. 

It may seem counterintuitive to write about what keeps you up at night before bed, but getting worrisome thoughts down on paper can help them get out of your head. Write down some of the things that buzz in your brain when you wish it was sleeping. What do you worry about? What events replay in your mind? Do you lie awake thinking about all the things you have to do the next day? If so, make a to-do list and leave it by your bed. It'll be there when you wake up, so you don't have to worry about forgetting it.