This post may contain affiliate links. Check out this disclosure for more info. Thanks for your support!

It’s the middle of the night, and you’ve just wrapped up another busy shift at your bar. You’ve counted your money, cleaned up, and now it’s time to go home and get some rest.

Except, you don’t feel tired. Your back aches and your feet are sore — and your body desperately wants to rest, but your mind doesn’t want to shut off.

Sound familiar?

It can be hard to relax a highly stimulated mind — especially after a long and busy shift. Luckily, there are things you can do to quiet your mind and get some sleep so you’re ready to hit the ground running when you wake up.

If you’re struggling to relax after your evening shifts, here are 6 things you can do to unwind:

1. Drink Chamomile Tea

When you get home make yourself a cup of chamomile tea and sip yourself into relaxation! Not only is chamomile caffeine free, it’s also known for being calming — perfect for a bartender looking to unwind after a busy night!

What’s more — chamomile tea contains antioxidants in it, which nourish your body and enable it to better fight off illnesses (meaning you’ll be less susceptible to the viruses and germs carried by your customers!).

Drinking chamomile tea is full of benefits that are good for your mind and body, so be sure you make yourself a cup after every busy shift or late night!

2. Prepare for Your Day Tomorrow

“I need to get groceries.”

“Ah, I have to do laundry. I have no underwear.”

“It’s mom’s birthday soon, I need to pick up a card for her.”

“Oh, I can’t forget to pay the electricity bill.”

There’s nothing like trying to go to bed only to have a million thoughts of what you NEED to do running through your head. Rather than being passive and stressing yourself out over everything you need to do, be proactive instead.

Here’s how:

  1. Make a list of everything you need to do tomorrow, prioritize based on importance
  2. Prepare what you can now — set out your clothes, pack your lunch, set your alarm etc.
  3. Do a quick clean up so you feel slightly more organized and relaxed when you lay down

By preparing for tomorrow before bed, you won’t be making an internal to-do list of all of the things you need to get done. Instead, you’ll be able to close your eyes and turn your mind off!

3. Do Some Quick Stretches

Bartending requires a lot from your body — you stand for a long period of time, are constantly shaking and pouring cocktails and drinks, and may even be required to lift heavy items such as ice buckets and boxes of beer.

After a long shift, your body will likely feel stiff and sore — that’s why it’s important you do some quick stretches before bed.

Not only will stretching increase muscle strength and flexibility, it will also help your body release tension and avoid work-related strains — all while relaxing your body!

Prepare yourself and your body for a great night of sleep by dedicating 5 minutes to stretching before you go to bed. You’ll wake up feeling regenerated and ready for another shift!

4. Do a Guided Bedtime Meditation

Regular meditation reduces stress and feelings of overwhelm, so it’s the perfect activity to partake in as your winding down and preparing for bed.

What’s more — meditation will bring you and your mind into the present moment, so all of the other internal chaos and clutter and pushed to the side. This enables you to calm your mind and body to ensure you have a relaxing sleep.

If you’re new to meditation check out YouTube (which has thousands of free meditation options to choose from) and Calm (a meditation app that has a pretty robust free version).

Every night before bed, spend 10 or 20 minutes doing a guided bedtime meditation. You’ll fall asleep easier and wake up more refreshed!

5. Put Your Phone on Silent and Place it Out of Arm’s Reach

Have you ever been on the cusp of sleep, only to be rudely awakened by an incoming call or text message?

Have you ever laid in bed restless, so you grabbed your phone and ended up wasting hours scrolling aimlessly on social media, or online?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement with the above, then this tip is for YOU — especially after working a long shift. As soon as you get home, put your phone on silent (not just vibrate) and place it out of arm’s reach.

Doing this will accomplish two things:

  1. You won’t be as tempted to grab your phone when you’re struggling to fall asleep
  2. You won’t be disturbed by incoming calls and text messages

Enjoy the newfound peace and tranquility that comes from being undisturbed by your phone at night!

6. Listen to Calming Music

Soothing, calming music can help your mind relax, and is proven to help you fall asleep faster and for longer periods of time.

Before you go to bed, put on nature music, binaural beats or slow, classical music. You may even want to keep it on as you’re falling asleep (playing it on your phone is probably easiest, so plug your phone into the wall charger, place it on your dresser and turn on the music)!

By listening to calming music before bed you’ll get more sleep meaning you’ll wake up feeling energized and well-rested! Enjoy!


By using these 6 tips to unwind after your busy shifts, you won’t struggle to feel calm and relaxed, and you’ll set yourself up for a better night’s sleep!

Antasha Durbin

Antasha is a seasoned bartender with more than seven years of bartending and hospitality experience. She is also a spiritual writer at, where she writes free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living. You can follow her on Twitter @cajspirituality for daily inspiration.