We all know the wonderfully restorative effect of a good night’s sleep. Regular, high quality rest improves our productivity and overall sense of wellness. But if getting seven to eight hours of solid shuteye is easier said than done, it’s time to rethink your sleep hygiene. Unfamiliar with the concept? It’s simply taking the time to properly prep your body – and mind – for sleep before you jump under the covers. A a seriously dreamy slumber is within your reach. Just read on for our best tips to fall asleep quickly and deeply.
1. Set a bedtime alarm
You probably wake up to your morning alarm but what about an evening alarm? Setting up a nightly reminder to get ready for bed can be the key to better rest. Our bodies crave routine but it’s easy to let the evening hours slip away. (Netflix binge, anyone?) Set your phone up to remind you – about an hour before bedtime – that it’s time to wind down. In fact, after going to bed at a consistent time every night for a few weeks, you may find yourself relying less on your morning alarm.
2. Keep your cool
An excessively hot, cold, or drafty room can negatively impact your sleep quality and ability to fall asleep quickly. Because your body temperature drops to its lowest level at night, a cooler environment creates the best conditions for a sound slumber. Set your thermostat between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 18 degrees Celsius) and eliminate any obvious drafts.
3. Set the foundation
Next, choose the right foundation for a comfortable sleep. There are duvets and pillows for every style of sleep, so find the ones that suit you best. To find the perfect level of pillow support, choose one based on your natural sleep position – stomach, back or side. Or opt for a 3-in-1 style that can be configured for any position. When it comes to the duvet, choose the filling that addresses your temperature and personal needs. And then as temperatures change, consider switching up your duvet to a level of warmth that’s right for you and the season.
4. Relax with aromatherapy
A soothing scent is a quick way to signal your body and brain that it’s time to sleep. Keep a bedside diffuser loaded with your favourite essential oil. Remember that some scents – like orange and peppermint – are natural stimulants so be sure to try an essential oil that makes you feel relaxed. Lavender, ylang ylang and frankincense all have calming effects.
5. No screens allowed
If you find yourself caught in an endless Instagram scroll well past your bedtime (we’ve been there too!), it’s time to treat your bedroom like the sleep sanctuary it should be and leave the tech in another room. This will also reduce your evening exposure to the melatonin-suppressing blue light emitted by digital devices. Blue light is perceived by the body as sunlight and tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime.
6. Create a consistent routine
Establishing a regular relaxing routine at night sends a message to your body that it’s time to fall asleep soon. Dedicate just 30 minutes every evening to your own personalized power-down ritual. A few soothing suggestions include: taking a quick warm shower, preparing a calming cup of herbal tea, reading a book, journaling, or a doing few light stretches. Find a few wind-down cues that work for you and perform them at the same time every evening to ease your body and mind into bedtime mode.
Photography by A Plus Creative