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Try these 9 hacks to prepare for getting a good night’s sleep.
- Set a bedtime alarm on your phone to go off 30 minutes before you need to sleep, which will signal to you that you need to finish up whichever activities you’re working on. Be sure to have a bedtime alarm go off every day of the week, including weekends.
- Reconsider your dinners and when you eat at night. In addition to having a busy mind, you may feel sluggish and also experience difficulty falling asleep at night due to heavier foods or eating late. Avoid fried food and caffeine (which can be in some desserts and sugary drinks), and instead go with a lighter dinner with a big salad. Schedule your dinner at least a few hours before your bedtime.
- Take a short walk after dinner. It can be just 20-30 minutes. Being outside is good for your digestion, you get some fresh air, and you rest your mind from all the activities you’ve completed during your busy day. A walk also sends signals to the body that it’s time to unwind and relax.
- Get away from electronics (computer and TV) in the hour before bedtime. Instead, listen to a podcast on a topic you find interesting, queue up some relaxing music and listen with your eyes closed as you’re sitting on the couch, or read a to stimulate your imagination.
- Start a productivity planner before going to bed. Write a list of items that are top priority for the next day, mark them in the order of importance, note down how long you think you’ll work on each activity. This technique is useful because you train your mind to focus a few steps ahead so you don’t worry about forgetting something important, which in turn might keep you awake at night.
- Have a cup of herbal tea (no caffeine), some warm milk with honey, or a (either tablet or powder form) around the time your alarm goes off. These warm drinks can help you feel more sleepy.
- Make your room sleep-friendly. Sleep in a well ventilated room, keep your window open at least a little, raise the blinds or move the curtains aside to let daylight in, and don’t place anything on your eyes so that your body can react to the natural morning light when it’s time to wake up. To prevent any noise from waking you up, invest in a good pair of soft silicone ear plugs like so you can sleep through the night.
- Take a deep breath of lavender. Lavender oil is often used to calm the senses and can help us relax before going to sleep. Keep a bottle on your night stand, and before you close your eyes, put 3–5 drops into the palm of your hand, then rub your palms together to release the essence of the oil. Inhale deeply a few times, then run your fingers over your temples, forehead, around your nose, and smooth them over your pillow for an additional soothing effect.
- Optimize your sleeping pattern. There are always resources at your fingertips for turning sleep into a positive and lasting habit. Try one of these to get more ideas:
- Check out
- Use the Sleep Doctor’s
- Read Arianna Huffington’s book