7 Tips to Guarantee a Better Night’s Sleep
I’ve never been one of those people who had trouble going to sleep. Unless you count my coffee-addicted university years, fours lattes a day (each with a sugar or two) would keep most people up until the wee hours of the morning. But as someone who thrives on a solid 8 hours each night, the whole falling asleep part has never been my issue.
For me it’s the issue of staying asleep and getting good, restful shuteye that causes me drama. But as I’ve had a bit of extra time on my hands this year (thanks Covid!), I’ve developed a much better sleep routine that helps me get the max benefit out of my rest time, and hopefully, some helpful tips to share too!
No TV in bed. It’s way too easy to keep hitting ‘Next Episode’ and before you know it its 1am and you’re 6 episodes deep in to a Schitts Creek marathon you didn’t intend on. Sounds simple, but few people have the discipline to put the laptop away after one episode, and it feeds into my next tip.
Read a book before falling asleep. Listening to music, watching telly or endless scrolling on Instagram all stimulate my brain way too much to be conducive of good sleep. A really good book that you’re super interested in will help boost the motivation to get those pages flicking. Or if it’s not the most riveting read, it might just literally ‘bore you to sleep’.
Get a good bedside lamp. It doesn’t need to be expensive, mine is a bendy one from the wonderful world of IKEA – it cost me a whole $15 – it’s bright so it illuminates perfectly for reading, it’s small so it lights up a book but not the whole room and it’s lasted me years despite the low price tag.
Stick to a routine. It takes me about four days to get in to a good sleep and wake up routine and then it only takes one Saturday sleep-in to ruin it all. I’ve found getting up on weekends at a similiar time makes a huge difference, and it means that I’m not waking up like a zombie every Monday having to start all over again.
Fragrance. I love the flicker of a lit candle as much as the next basic bitch, but combining naked flames and sleeping people is a disaster waiting to happen. A strongly scented candle with a lid will keep the fragrance in all day and gently scent a room throughout the night if you take the lid off before bed. My favourites are anything with lavender, marjoram, or ‘ocean’ scented. Diffusers also work well.
A designated ‘To-Do-List’ and pen. One that permanently lives on your nightstand/bed head/bedside pile of stuff. If you’re one of those people who finds it hard to shut your mind off for the day, then jotting things down as you remember them is a great way of telling your brain that it can stop worrying that you’ll forget something, plus it helps you start the next day with purpose and direction.
Finally, and this sounds like an obvious one, but it’s something I’ve been guilty of for years…
Only turn out the light and lie down when you’re really tired and ready for sleep. Lying in bed trying to force sleep usually just stresses me out because I start thinking about how little sleep I’m going to get, or how tired I’m going to be tomorrow. If you don’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, try getting up and doing something (not screen-based) until you’re ready to try again.