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what do you write in a journal before bed?

What Do You Write In A Journal Before Bed?

When you’re carrying the weight of daily stresses, it’s not a surprise that you can’t wind down after a long day. Funny enough, having a great day will also make it difficult to slow your mind down with all those feelings of excitement.

This is why journaling before bed is a great way to slam on the brakes and slow your racing mind so that you can relax before sleeping.

It can be a soothing activity that will not only relieve the day’s anxieties but also help you feel more prepared for what’s to come.

So, what do you write in a journal before bed?

The best topics to write in a journal before bed include, 3 things you are grateful for, how you would like to approach the next day, a quick recap of your day, your feelings and reactions to those, and ways to let go. You could also journal about your past and present achievements, new goals you may have, or write down positive thoughts that come to mind.

It’s really quite simple and once you get the hang of it with the help of discovering what works best for you, journaling before bed will become one of your most favorite activities.

Let’s take a closer look at each idea in detail:

Related Post: What Should I Use My Journal For?

Things To Journal About Before Bed

1. Give A Recap Of Your Day

writing in journal before bed

A common thing to write about in your journal before bed is typically a quick paragraph of how your day went. You can talk about the things you did, how you felt, unexpected surprises and more.

Depending on whether you’re in the mood to journal for long or not, you can go into details or keep it short.

This will help you get everything off your mind so that you can get ready for the night.

See also: Should I Journal Every Day? (A Useful Guide To Daily Journaling)

2. Write A Short Paragraph Of Your Feelings And Reactions

If there’s something important on your mind or a particular thought or worry that has been following you for days, it’s a good idea to journal about it.

Especially, if this thought or feeling has been the cause of your lack of sleep.

Writing down your thoughts and feelings on this subject may help you work through things and form new realizations or solutions.

In better words, it’s a great way to get things off your chest.

Also, I found that exciting stuff can also have the same effect as something bad or troublesome.

When your mind is awake and you feel those intense emotions of happiness and excitement coursing through your body, it’s not easy to go into a relaxed sleep.

Journaling about these things is a good way to work through these feelings and calm down.

writing diary entries in journal

3. Discuss How You Will Feel Letting Go

After a long, tiresome day, carrying all this baggage over to the next day will only weigh you down.

Journaling about your feelings is good to an extent as long as it’s not overly critical of yourself or too negative.

However, journaling about letting go off things will help you find peace and soothe your mind and body.

If you write down your feelings about why letting go of a situation or feeling will benefit you, you will start to feel better, making it much easier to move on.

4. Write 3 Things You Were Grateful For

One of the key secrets to feeling more positive about life in general and experiencing that happiness is by reminding yourself about the good things that you have in life.

This is where journaling comes into play and you can write about things that make you feel grateful.

It will help you look forward to the next day and forget any negative feelings or thoughts.

Journaling about at least 3 things you are grateful for (whether that’s in the morning or just before bed depending on what works for you) will put you in a mindset that will help you be a better person and make you feel more positive.

gratitude journaling before bed

See also: 22 Amazing Bullet Journal Gratitude Logs & Spreads To Use

At first, it may feel challenging to come up with these 3 things every night but there is so much to be grateful for!

It could be as simple as being grateful for the weather or your ability to see and do things.

Look around at the things you have, your surroundings, the people you know, and the person you are.

I bet you that there are plenty of things you can be grateful about and this activity is a great way to discover them.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to read through your completed list and grateful for even doing so if not for this journaling prompt.

5. Write Down At Least 3 Good Things That Occurred During The Day

Similar to the idea above, you could journal about the small yet impactful things that happened during the day.

Maybe you really enjoyed the lunch you ate or someone showed you a random act of kindness or maybe you did something for someone else that made you feel proud of who you are.

Journaling about these things will make you feel better about your day and it will be easier to enter that relaxed state of mind before bed.

Even if your day didn’t turn out how you would have liked or maybe you have a really stressful day up ahead, these small reminders will make you feel more positive and think clearly.

6. Discuss Your Plans For The Next Day

what to write in a journal

For some, it helps to write about the things that they need to do the next day and dump it all out before bed.

This way, they aren’t thinking so much about things that they need to remember to do while sleeping.

I’ve had many nights where I kept waking up and felt it hard to wind down because I kept remembering that I had something that needs to be done urgently.

This could be paying a bill or dropping something off, whatever it is, write it all down and you’ll feel more prepared for the next day.

However, this doesn’t work for everyone.

For some, it might be preferred to write these to-do items in the morning due to the fact that writing about these things might make them feel more on edge at night.

You’ll have to try it a few times to know for sure what works for you.

7. Remind Your Self Of Your Achievements

Another amazing thing to write about in your journal before bed is to remind yourself of all your achievements, past or recent.

This is a fantastic way to help boost your confidence and take on the next day with increased positivity.

Doing this most helpful when you’re feeling down about not doing well on something or finding it hard to believe that you are capable after many failed attempts.

It’s always a good idea to be kind to yourself and writing about positive things that will benefit you is the best way to go.

8. Make New Goals And Remember Your Why’s

things to write in a journal before bed

You can also write down any goals that you have in mind whether that’s relationships, success, or personal goals.

To take things further, you could also give an update on the progress of your current goals or any new additions to the plans that you might have.

If you’re working on some new project or on a mission to learn something new, journaling about your progress will only heighten the experience and make the entire process more fulfilling.

It’s also a fantastic idea to write about why you are doing that certain activity to remember the reason why you first started.

This way, when you’re feeling down about it or disappointed about your lack of progress, these reasons will help motivate you to keep trying.

9. Be Positive And Avoid Negative Feelings or Thoughts

When journaling before bed, you need to be careful about what you write in it.

I can’t describe how easy it is to fall into a pattern of negativity and nonstop complaining that will only make you feel worse.

Although it is encouraged to be totally honest in your journal, continuously going in a negative trajectory will not benefit you.

If you feed and reinforce your negative thoughts about yourself or any situation, you will find it difficult to move on and feel relaxed.

A quick suggestion would be to dump your negative feelings and transfer them to being more positive and thinking positively about a situation.

If you find this too difficult, then I would suggest journaling about these feelings during the day but sticking to lighter topics before bed.

And these thoughts won’t play in your head while you’re sleeping.

Related Post: Bullet Journal Sleep Tracker Ideas: How To, Tips, And More!


Journaling before bed is now a habit that I do try to maintain quite often.

I find it the best method for me to relax and let go of the daily stresses.

The fantastic thing about writing in your journal before bed is that you don’t even need to write about all the things mentioned above.

But depending on your mood, you can pick the ones that you feel like journaling about.

Never force yourself to write about things that you don’t want to or else you will feel like it’s a chore.

It may not be easy to journal every single night but doing it a few times in a week or month will be great for your mental health and well-being.

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