18 Journal Prompts for Bedtime

In my previous article, "Can Journaling Help Improve Sleep?" I talked about the benefits of journaling before bed to help make falling asleep easier.

But if you're new to this whole journaling thing, I have some prompts that can help. Keep in mind that you don't have to do all of these every night. Just pick 1 or 2 and ease yourself into it.

Recapping the day

Perhaps my favorite thing to journal about is a recap of what happened during the day. It might seem counterintuitive to recall certain things that happened, but it actually does help. Some examples are:

  • A good or bad interaction
  • Something you accomplished
  • Something you're proud of

Intentions for the future

Setting intentions for the future is another great thing to journal about. It gives you something to look forward to and writing it down on paper could help you to remember better. Here are a few ideas:

  • A to-do list for tomorrow or even the whole week
  • What kind of mindset do I want to be in tomorrow?
  • How can I make someone's life better?

A space to vent

We all have days when something caused us frustration and anger. For me, it is hard to express my frustrations in the moment. I actually tend to keep it bottled up inside, and that's no good. This is where venting into my journal is super helpful. Try these venting journal prompts for those difficult days:

  • A recent negative experience that's weighing on your mind
  • What you wish you had said or done differently
  • How can you move forward?


Journaling is not all about venting or expressing your innermost fears. It can also be about expressing the things you're thankful for. Writing it down at the end of the day puts things into perspective, especially if it's been a challenging one. Some examples of gratitude journal prompts are:

  • Name 3 good things that happened today
  • Who are you thankful to have in your life right now?
  • What are you thankful for that you didn't have before?

Planning ahead

Recently I booked a last-minute spa getaway, and there were a ton of things I had to do before my trip. Since I protect my bedtime, it meant I had to do everything the morning before the trip. Normally I would toss and turn as my mind threw up things I have to remember. However, I stop the mind churn by writing down a plan. Some planning prompts can look like this:

  • Step-by-step plan of the day's activities
  • Exactly what to wear for trips that are multiple days
  • What to pack in each bag

Dreaming big

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big because big dreams do come true. An urban legend says that writing down your goals makes you 80 percent more likely to accomplish them. However, a study done by the Dominican University of California shows that it's closer to 62 percent, which is better than 35% percent if you just thought about it.1

Here are some goal-planning journal prompts to get you started:

  • What is a big, audacious goal of yours?
  • What can you do to accomplish that goal?
  • How would your life be different if you accomplished it?

In conclusion, journaling is a great activity to do if you're like me and tend to mull over the day as I lie in bed with my CPAP, trying to fall asleep. Will you give journaling a try?

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