6 Reasons Why You Need To Try Bedtime Journaling

A woman lays on her stomach on her bed with a book open in front of her. She is bedtime journaling.

Nighttime anxiety used to keep me awake at night. Once the house quieted down and my body was finally still after another busy and stressful day, my mind would start to race. Anxiety would creep in, and I would begin to worry about the silliest things that I normally wouldn’t spare a second thought to during the day.  

And I am not the only one. Studies show that 40% of adult Americans report experience trouble falling asleep at night.

However, I found that once I began to focus on my self-care and self-love journey, my sleepless nights stopped. I assumed the reason was because I was so much happier and was experiencing way less stress every day, so that just made it easier for me to get quality sleep at night. 

But I finally connected the dots and discovered the real reason that I sleep much better at night— I had started bedtime journaling. 

There are already so many positive benefits to journaling, but when you journal right before you go to sleep you can add even more benefits to that list.  

In this post you will learn the benefits of bedtime journaling, 4 things to journal about at night, and 4 tips for bedtime journaling.

What are the benefits of bedtime journaling?

1) It improves your quality of sleep

Writing down your thoughts before you go to sleep at night helps to calm your mind and quell any worries or stresses that you experienced that day, so that when you finally close your eyes you can get a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep. 

2) In increases the amount of time spent sleeping

A study performed on writing to-do lists before bed actually found that the participants who journaled before bed fell asleep nine minutes faster than those who didn’t journal.

Nine minutes might not seem like much, but when you add it up that is an extra four and a half hours a month, or an extra fifty-four hours a year. Do you think a whole two more days of sleep a year would make a difference in your productivity? 

3) It reduces your bedtime stress and anxiety

Stress and worry stop our body from winding down at the end of the day. 

Journaling can help shift your mind from the negative things that are worrying you, to more positive and relaxing thoughts.  

People that are more optimistic tend to be better sleepers overall. 

4) It helps you to become more confident

If you have spent the previous night preparing for what you want to happen the next day, you start your day off in a great place. 

Focusing on your goals the minute you wake up can leave you feeling much more confident and motivated about the day ahead. 

5) It can become part of your night routine

If you journal before bed at the same time every night, it can actually become a normal part of your nightly self-care routine. 

Once it becomes a step in your routine it could actually help you fall asleep even faster, as your body and mind will start to associate it with the act of going to sleep. 

6) It can increase your energy and productivity for the following day

When you improve your sleep, you will have more energy to tackle the challenges that lay before you. That increase in energy will help you become much more productive and give you the motivation needed to get more things done thought-out your day. 

4 things to journal about at night

1) Go over the events of the day

The end of the day is the perfect time to review what happened and how you are feeling. Journaling helps us to become more self-aware, and by reflecting on our emotions and thoughts, we learn more about ourselves

2) Create a to-do list for tomorrow

Writing a to-do list for the next day before we go to sleep can help us feel more prepared and confident for the day ahead .

3) Write a list of the things you are grateful for

Focusing on what you are grateful for right before you go to sleep helps you to end one day in a happy and positive light, and will enable you to begin the next day still feeling those positive feelings.

4) Use journal prompts

If you are new to journaling it might be difficult for you to get started and to know what to write about.

Journal prompts are a great way to give you topics and ideas to engage your mind with things to write about, and can help you gain some writing momentum until it becomes second nature.

4 tips for bedtime journaling

1) Use a pen and paper

The use of electronics shortly before bed has been linked to low quality sleep.

So while journaling apps are super popular right now, it would be wise to stick with the classic pen and paper to reduce the risk of doing more harm than good when it comes to your sleep.

2) It’s okay to do other journaling too

Some people think that if they choose to journal before bed that means they can’t participate in any other type of journaling, which isn’t the case.  

You can still participate in any other type of journaling that you routinely do during the day, for example writing in a dream journal, or a sleep journal, first thing in the morning. 

3) Focus on the positive

Expressing yourself and your feelings is okay, but if you plan on writing about something emotional and upsetting, it would be a good idea to save that journaling for earlier on in the day.  

Writing about highly emotional topics right before bed could upset you and make it even harder to fall asleep. 

4) Find the best time for it

Some people find that when they journal right before they close their eyes, they get the most benefit from nighttime journaling and it helps them fall asleep faster. 

Other people find that if they are too sleepy, they can’t think of anything to write. 

Self-care is such a personal thing. It might take some trial and error before you discover what works best for you.

Remember, the point of journaling at bedtime is to help you sleep better, and to have a more productive day the next day.

What works for someone else may not work for you, and that is perfectly okay.

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