This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you sign up or purchase products or services mentioned. Read the full disclosure here.
Last Updated on July 20, 2023
Ever lay down at night and it feels like your mind is going a mile a minute? All the things you were too busy to think about during the day seem to creep up at night, just when we need them the least.
But instead of fighting the thoughts and trying so hard to get some shut-eye, address them! These bedtime journal prompts are here to help you achieve exactly that. By releasing your thoughts onto paper before you go to sleep, the falling asleep process will go so much smoother.
Bedtime journaling really helps to clear your head at night. In fact, it’s scientifically proven to help you sleep better. You know those nights where you’re lying awake stressing about everything you have to do tomorrow? That’s exactly when you should journal! Getting the thoughts out of your head and onto paper makes a giant difference.
These bedtime journal prompts will allow you to:
- Rest easier
- Empty your mind of overwhelming clutter from the day
- Reflect on how today made you feel
- Be more present in the moment instead of fixating on tomorrow
- Work through negative thoughts
So if you’re ready to make your nights a little more peaceful, keep reading and give these bedtime journal prompts a try!
Is It Better to Journal in the Morning or at Night?
You might be wondering: is journaling right before bed really the best move?
Morning journaling and nighttime journaling both hold different benefits, but journaling at the night is best for those who struggle with falling asleep. Believe it or not, people who jot down a to-do list at night before bed actually fall asleep significantly faster than those who don’t!
You might think that journaling about the following day would only make you fixate on it more. But actually, writing tomorrow’s activities down can help you stop worrying about them because you know exactly what you’re going to do. “Set it and forget it,” if you will.
Even reflecting on the day, and anything that stressed you out that day, can help you release the worries from your system. I know I’m less likely to lie awake tossing and turning with my mind running rampant if I’ve already written and released my daily stressors into my journal. Give it a try with these bedtime journal prompts!
15 Bedtime Journal Prompts to Relax and Ease Into the Night
These bedtime journal prompts are perfect for releasing your thoughts before bed and clearing your mind. If your mind goes into overdrive at night, these will help you quiet your head space!
1. What is everything on your mind right now?
If you only choose one of these bedtime journal prompts, let it be this one! The first thing you should do when winding down at night is to do a brain dump of everything that’s currently on your mind. Just let your thoughts flow and it will become apparent to you what’s bothered you the most today. This alone is so powerful to prevent your brain from going into overdrive when it’s time to go to sleep.
2. How do you feel about today?
Sometimes we don’t give ourselves the chance to process our feelings about the day. But if you keep brushing off your feelings day after day, they can manifest in negative ways. Take this opportunity to really assess your reactions and feelings toward what happened today. Addressing your thoughts on a daily basis ensures that they don’t get bottled up and cause further trouble.
3. What thoughts do you have about tomorrow?
It seems like the main things that keep us up at night are the worries of tomorrow. Do you have anything significant happening tomorrow? Appointments? A big to-do list? A confrontation with a boss? Whatever it may be, let it out and get it out of your system.
4. What is one way you can improve your bedtime habits to make sleep easier?
Do you have a system in place to allow you to wind down at night? Perhaps reading instead of watching TV or making yourself a nice cup of tea instead of a glass of wine. Listening to a sleep meditation instead of letting your thoughts run rampant. These are just a few examples of ways to improve your bedtime habits so you can make your evenings more conducive to rest.
5. Visualize yourself nailing the most important thing you have to do tomorrow.
Have something big coming up? Are you playing it over and over in your head just stressing about all the ways it can go wrong? Reverse that! Think about all the ways it can go well. Visualize yourself performing the task well, feeling confident, and being super prepared. This type of visualization practice is used in manifesting and it can really help to transition your mindset into a more positive, confident one!
6. How can you make your night routine more relaxing?
What can you add to your night routine to make it more relaxing? Some ideas include watching ASMR videos, meditating, and journaling while listening to relaxing instrumental music. We often neglect creating a relaxing night routine for ourselves, but it can make such a difference for our sleep habits and wellbeing. It’s definitely worth it!
7. Is there anything in your night routine that doesn’t make you feel good? How can you do less of it?
I can make a good guess that the most common factor here would be your screen time. It’s so easy to endlessly scroll before bed, but is that really preparing your mind to relax and wind down for the night?
Think about anything unhelpful that you can subtract from your night routine that simply isn’t making you feel good. Then, make a small plan for an activity you can replace it with.
Want to create the perfect self care routine to ease you into a peaceful bedtime? You need this journal!
Life too hectic for self care? Not with The Busy Woman’s Self Care Journal!
Made by a busy woman, for busy women, the goal of this journal is simple: to make an effective self care plan that works for your unique needs. No matter how crazy life gets!
Get step-by-step guidance to create your personalized self care plan by…
8. What are 5 things you’re TRULY grateful for?
Going to sleep feeling grateful is such a good feeling! Take the time to reflect on 5 things that make you happy, appreciative, and overall make your life a good one. You can try these gratitude journal prompts if you’d like to really get into this.
9. What is something that always makes you feel better about a bad day?
When we’re in the middle of a bad mood brought on by a bad day, it can be hard to pull yourself out of that mindset. But while it’s challenging, being intentional about doing things that help you feel better is a game changer. Listening to encouraging YouTube videos, watching a funny movie, or taking a nice warm bath are a few ideas for things you can do to pull yourself out of a slump. Jot down some go-to ideas for what you can do after a bad day.
10. What is something you are looking forward to tomorrow?
Even if tomorrow is a busy or stressful day, you can always find at least one thing to look forward to if you’re looking for it. Maybe it’s treating yourself after work, planning out some time to cuddle a pet, or packing a yummy lunch. We could all use a little something to put some pep in our step, so find something that can make tomorrow good!
11. What was something that made you smile today?
Did anything make you genuinely smile or laugh today? Maybe you witnessed something nice, had a good conversation with a loved one, or had the time to do something you enjoyed. Whatever it is, reflect on it and soak in the happy vibes.
12. What is something you can imagine at night to make it easier to fall asleep?
A funny trick that always helps me fall asleep at night is to imagine a blank white sheet. I don’t know what it is about that, but it gives my mind something plain and neutral to focus on. Before I know it, I don’t recall thinking much after the blank white sheet! Brainstorm some ideas for similar things you can think about that would help you fall asleep.
13. Are you hearing anything negative from your inner critic right now? How can you dismiss them?
Are you obsessing over something embarrassing you did today? Thinking too hard about self comparison? These thoughts always seem to creep up at the worst time, like when we’re trying to get some rest. For each negative thought you’re experiencing, write down a counter-thought to reframe it into something more positive or rational.
14. What is something you’re proud that you did today?
This could be absolutely anything, both big and small. Maybe you didn’t check off every item on your to-do list, but you were able to tend to something that came up on the fly. Maybe you thought quick on your feet or did something resourceful. Write down any and all “wins” that are worth acknowledging today!
15. What are some challenges you have coming up this week and how will you tackle them?
You don’t need to sort out a whole game plan right now. In fact, I’d advise against doing so right before you go to sleep! That is too much stress. Instead, just list out your challenges and the first step you might take toward facing them.
If you have a stressful meeting, you could plan to take some notes tomorrow to prepare yourself. If you’re worried about something outside your control, affirm yourself that you’re doing the best you can. This will help you acknowledge what’s on your mind without spiraling into “oh my god I need to figure this ALL out right now!” mode.
Evening Journal Prompts for Stress and Anxiety
Journaling at night is also a good opportunity to release all the pent up stress and anxiety from the day. Along with getting better rest, you’ll have a healthy outlet for stress relief.
Here are some quick bedtime journal prompts to ease stress and anxiety before bed:
- What was today’s biggest stressor?
- How can I ground myself in this present moment, instead of ruminating on today or worrying about tomorrow?
- Did I have to handle anything unexpected today? If so, how did the surprise make me feel?
- What visualization technique can I use to help me fall asleep? (Imagining a blank white sheet helps me!)
- Did anyone offend me today? What happened and how do I feel now?
- Did anything set me back today? How can I pick myself back up tomorrow?
- Think of a time where you passed judgment today. What triggered it and what can you do to re-route those thoughts next time?
- How were my energy levels like throughout today? Did anything impact them?
Night Time Journal Prompts for Mental Health
How is your overall mental health doing? Stress and anxiety are one factor, but there’s other factors worth focusing on too. These bedtime journal prompts will help you keep your mental health in a good place.
Try these journal prompts before bed to keep an eye on your mental health:
- Which positive affirmations do I need to hear most tonight?
- Which unhealthy thought patterns did you catch yourself falling into today? How can you counter those negative thoughts?
- Did anything make me feel sad, hurt, or run-down today? Let it out.
- Did I pass any negative judgments on myself today? How can I be a little kinder next time?
- Did I get the support I needed today? Think of 2 go-to people you can reach out to when you’re struggling.
- Were there any bad habits I did today that negatively impacted my mental health? What made me do them?
What are the Benefits of Journaling In the Evening?
Using bedtime journal prompts can be a fantastic outlet for any pent-up thoughts and feelings that accumulate throughout the day. Journaling in the morning can be a great practice too, but the act of emptying your mind before bed specifically can make it easier to sleep! Benefits include:
- The chance for the least amount of interruptions or distractions so you can focus on your journaling
- Can replace a negative habit like excess screen time
- Helps you wind down and truly relax before falling asleep
- The opportunity to end the day with gratitude
- Clears your mind of any pestering thoughts that keep you awake
What Do You Write in a Night Time Journal?
Your night time journal should prepare you for a restful, peaceful sleep. It should give you the chance to empty your mind so your brain isn’t bombarded with anxious thoughts that keep you awake. Consider including the following when you journal before bed time:
- Jotting down tomorrow’s goals
- Taking note of today’s achievements
- Brain dumping any pestering thoughts
- Using your words to calm yourself down and ease your mind
Pay attention to what you need most. The bedtime journal prompts in this post are the perfect place to start, but if you just need to vent it all out stream-of-consciousness style, feel free! The goal is to close the evening off with mindful writing.
4 Easy Tips for Keeping a Nightly Journal
Not used to journaling at night? Here are a few ways to ease yourself in the routine of using bedtime journal prompts:
1. Get comfortable
Make the experience a relaxing one! Set the mood by turning on some relaxing instrumental music, setting the right lighting, lighting a candle, and grabbing a comfy blanket.
2. Set aside 10-15 minutes at the same time of night each evening
Maybe it’s right before you turn off the lights, maybe it’s at the start of your evening. Whatever works best for you, it will help to fall into a routine when you schedule your journaling session for the same time of night every night.
3. Grab a journal you love
Do you like blank notebooks where you can write your own prompts, or would it make things easier to follow a guided journal? If you’re new to journaling, I highly recommend guided journals like my gratitude journal or mental health journal. They have prompts and other exercises already built into them, which takes out some of the work. If you prefer a blank journal, I loveee Erin Condren notebooks! Keeping a cute journal can make it more motivating to write in.
4. Use bedtime journal prompts
I find it helpful to seek out journal prompts specific to what you’re trying to achieve. If your goal is to wind down before bed, which I’m assuming it is, then these bedtime journal prompts are perfect! Picking prompts that will help you let out thoughts that would otherwise impact your ability to sleep is a wise choice.
Is it good to journal before bed?
Indeed, it is! This study found that when you journal before bed, you reduce anxiety, increase your sleep time, and improve the quality of your sleep. I think we could all use those benefits!
These results were discovered through spending just 15 minutes a night writing about a recent positive experience. So if you want a guideline for how to approach your bedtime journal prompt sessions, start with that! Going to bed with a positive memory fully present in your mind will set you up for happier sleep.
Psst…add self care into your routine every night with my daily self care check in sheet! Grab it below and add it to your bedtime journaling habit! (It’s free!)
Let me know in the comments: