Whenever people are like, “oh jeeze, all day long I’m so, so tired and then at night I can’t fall asleep,” I have no idea what in the fuck they’re talking about. I sleep long and good every night – always have, and probably always will.
But I get that falling asleep isn’t as easy for everyone else. Some people lay awake all night, some people have a weird clock because they nap all the time, and some people are able to take a snooze but just don’t get a restful sleep. That sounds like a really rough life, so I wanted to help.
Here’s how I sleep like a damn baby every night:
I get worries out of my mind before sleeping.
I read this article on Time saying that successful people always write big, weighty things down before going to bed. Between daily worries, to-do lists, and all the things we should be grateful for, there are a lot of things that can be bouncing around in our heads once they hit the pillow. Getting them out there tangibly in a journal or something like it gets them out of our heads.
After reading that article, I adopted the practice. You all know I rock a journal just for writing, but there are also pages in there strictly meant for lists. My trick is making sure all of these lists are in the same place. The point is making sure you have one central location to reference reminders instead of having to keep track of them all over the place – that way, your brain doesn’t have to think to manage it all. If I ever struggled to sleep before, I certainly don’t after adopting this practice.
I stay active during the day.
While going for a three-mile jog right before bed is going to get you too wired to sleep, maintaining an active lifestyle throughout the day will help you conk out faster and better by the time you go to bed. According to the National Sleep Foundation, being active obviously tires your body out, which gets you poised for a restful night.
I usually leave a buffer of an hour to and hour and half before going to sleep after a workout. During that time, I take a relaxing shower, have a low-sugar snack or some Kombucha tea, and relax by watching some TV or reading a book. This wind down time is good for calming down your brain and your muscles.
I barely spend time in my bedroom.
This beats down another psychological barrier between you and your sleep. Taken from another Time article, I’ve learned that your brain takes certain cues to tell your body it’s time to sleep. Things like the amount of light in your room are huge, but so is making a space your body only associates with sleep.
My hardest year of sleep was my freshman year of college, and not because of parties. It was tough because my bedroom was also my hangout room and also my homework room and also my party room. When I finally got an apartment at school and was able to watch TV and do other things in different locations, my body knew that my bedroom was specifically for sleep, and sleep only. It took the cue to let me snooze.
This one is super obvious and has been praised all across the internet. But here’s the dirty little secret: you only need to unplug at the level you feel most comfortable.
Like I said above, I like to watch some TV before heading to bed. That works for me, probably because I’m farther away from the TV screen so my eyes aren’t being stimulated. I do, however, cut out computer and phone as a way to give my eyes and my brain some rest. It’s also important to note that the nights I fall asleep the fastest are the ones where I read before bed.
I get my body clean and ready.
I’m a religious night showerer, mostly because I need my bed to be 100 percent pristine. In college when I would party too late/too hard to get in a shower before bed, I would sleep on top of the covers to make sure my sheets didn’t get dirty.
Beyond showering, I have to make sure my face is completely clean. Nothing gives me the heebie jeebies like knowing dirt and makeup are chillaxing in my pores. Lately I’ve been super into these SweetSpot Labs makeup remover wipes. I’m usually pretty skeptical of wipes because I tend to need to rub really hard for them to remove my makeup in comparison to an oil, but these were actually pretty amazing. Bonus points: they smell so heavenly. You can pick up your own from Target, they usually retail for about $10.
Disclaimer: The awesome folks at Influenster and SweetSpot Labs sent me some samples of the makeup remover wipes to try out for the purposes of this post. They also sent me some Kombucha tea. As per usual, all of my opinions are my own.