I love to get a good night’s sleep. My bed time routine is the one thing in my life that I regard as sacred. And even though I have a morning routine, my night time routine is my absolute favorite.

5 Things to Help You Get a Good Night's Sleep

Original photo byJessica Castro

One of the main reasons I have a night time routine is to make it easier to fall asleep. We’ve all done that silly “stay up all night” thing, as well as the “scroll my phone compulsively because I can’t seem to stop” right before bed thing. And it was with those two things in mind that I created my night time routine.

The night time routine I’m about to share with you isn’t incendiary, but it’s how I get a good night’s sleep. And while I can’t promise you this night time routine will change your life, I can promise you that a night time routine is what you need to start getting better sleep.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

001: Keep your bed time sacred.

I’m one of those people who tries to go to bed at the same time every day, even if it’s a weekend. I don’t know why this is so weird for some people, but I’ve known many adults who hate this notion. But let me tell you something. STAYING UP LATE IS THE WORST. You know what else? RUINING YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.

For this reason, my bed time is sacred. I go to bed at the same time nearly every night, regardless of whether or not it’s the weekend. So, I’m generally snoozing by 10 PM every single night. Sure, this means I don’t stay out late on weekends. But I’m 32, and honestly, staying out late causes me physical pain.

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002: Stop looking at screens at least an hour before bed.

The key to my morning routine is not looking at my phone first thing in the morning, and one of the keys to this night time routine is not looking at your phone last thing at night. Sure, your smart phone can do a billion and one things and it connects you to the outside world. But you don’t need that kind of stimulation, nor is that blue light great for getting sleepy.

I use night shift on my iPhone to automatically adjust the colors of the light so that it doesn’t mess with me so much. But I also try to put the phone away around 8:30 PM. This allows me to get away from social media and videos and anything that may encourage me to manically stay awake and keep scrolling.

003: Adopt a cozy ritual.

After I put my phone away, it’s time to get cozy. I like to brew a strong cup of chamomile tea, and then cuddle with the dog on the couch. You may be wondering how chamomile can be strong, and well, I’m not entirely sure it can be. But I use two tea bags, so there’s that. I also let the remaining kettle water cool a bit, and then put it in a hot water bottle that I snuggle up with in bed. This has been a game changer for keeping me warm as I try to fall asleep.

I should note here that I used to pop a melatonin before bed as I sipped my tea, but I’ve since stopped doing that. Most melatonin you can buy is a really large dosage, and it can leave you feeling groggy the next day. And long term use has been linked to depression. There are still occasions where I’ll take half of one, but not very often. And, if I’m being honest, my nightly Xyzal for allergies does enough to leave me foggy all day long, so I mostly avoid the melatonin.

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004: Get physically ready for bed early.

I’m not the type of person to stay in my clothes when I get home from work unless I’m going out later. But if I’m not, I put on my pajamas, sometimes as early as 2 PM. I don’t like being in my work clothes longer than I have to be.

Another thing I like to do early is wash my face. There’s just something about removing all the mascara that puts me in a good mood. So, I generally try to wash my face and apply all my anti-aging stuff early on, so I’m physically ready for sleep. This may not seem important, but it goes a long way in making me feel like I’m ready for bed. I just can’t sleep with all that makeup on.

005: Actually put yourself in bed before you need to be asleep.

This shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is, but I know so many people who won’t lay down in bed until the precise time they wish to be asleep, And then they get mad that their brain won’t let them fall asleep immediately. Don’t play this self-defeating game, friends.

I usually crawl into bed around 9:30 or so, and try to read for a while. This is a good way for me to stop thinking about all the things that have been running around my head all day, which in turn, makes it easier for me to fall asleep when it’s time. Occasionally I’ll stay up too late reading, but honestly, those times are few and far between. Once the spine on my reading book is cracked, it usually takes around 20 minutes or so for me to be too tired to continue reading.

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How Do You Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

How do you get yourself mentally and physically ready for bed? Do you have a cozy ritual? Can I interest you in a hot water bottle? Mine has been a game changer. What constitutes a good night’s sleep for you?

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