How to Optimize Your Bedtime Routine for the Best Sleep of Your Life

Stop me if this sounds familiar. You’re in bed, covers pulled up, lights out… and sleep just doesn’t come. It doesn’t matter how much you toss and turn, nothing you do is enough to get your body and mind to relax. It isn’t long before you start counting down the hours, thinking about how tired you’ll be in the morning, and generally getting more and more stressed. Sound relatable? Everyone experiences sleepless nights at some point in their life. Luckily, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent such an unfortunate situation.

  1. 1. Make Your Bed

    A good sleep environment is critical to your sleep (groundbreaking, I know). Making your bed (and I don’t exclusively mean making it in the morning — you can totally leave your bed disheveled until you make it right before you crawl into bed) can help you dedicate your bed to actual SLEEP. Also, during cold months, having your blankets in order actually makes your bed warmer! 

  2. 2. Use Your Bed for Sleep

    If your mind associates your bed with homework or Instagram, it won’t be conducive to good sleep. Try to reserve your bed for sleeping, not scrolling. 

  3. 3. Lavender Scent

    The scent of lavender helps to soothe and de-stress. Also, if you keep in the habit of using a room spray (or something similar), soon your mind will associate the scent of lavender with sleep, easing your way into dreamland.

  4. 4. Wind Down Beforehand

    Pick a bedtime, and about an hour before it, start to wind down. Turn down the TV. Dim the lights. Get in your PJs and grab a book. Take a warm shower to relax your muscles. Low-tech or no-tech is best for when you’re trying to fall asleep.

  5. 5. Blue Light Screen Filter

    If you can’t put away the tech for bedtime, consider putting a blue light filter on your phone. Chances are your phone already has one that is built-in — go look for it in the settings. Blue light from screens keeps you more alert… which is the opposite of the goal at bedtime.

  6. 6. Patterned Breathing

    Steadying your breathing helps regulate your heartbeat, which keeps you calm. Also, focusing on your breathing can help turn your focus inward, and help you drift off.

  7. 7. Journaling

    Too many things buzzing around your head? Journaling allows you to put down everything you’re thinking of and then *snap!* the book shut. Journal before bed, and your mind will be better able to sleep.

  8. 8. Valerian and Melatonin

    If all else fails, valerian root and melatonin supplements are a natural sleep aid. Be careful not to use them too often, though, as you can become immune to their effects.

Everyone struggles to get shut-eye at some time or another. With these tips under your belt, you’ll be able to drift off to dreamland much more easily.

 

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