One thing is true: I love to sleep. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s the new self-care. But when I am on a streak of not sleeping well, I truly start to despise bedtime because I assume it’s going to result in waking up frequently, tossing and turning, and ultimately, not being as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I want to be in the morning. Read: waking up puffy and irritable. Sadly, no ice roller I’ve tried has been able to fix week-long sleep-deprived face swelling, so I’ve made it my mission to do my research on how to wake up more well-rested, which has resulted in me trying some popular tips for getting better sleep. Just like anything, some worked and some definitely didn’t, so I am sharing the 10 ways that actually work and can help you get better sleep by tomorrow.
1. Take CBD before bed
You know how much we love CBD for anxiety, productivity, and mood, but we also love how effective it is during bedtime. According to Equilibria, our go-to source for high-quality CBD products, “CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to support homeostasis, which in turn may balance other areas of your well-being, such as maintaining healthy sleep and wake cycles.” Simply put, it can help you feel calmer and at ease when you are winding down, which in turn can result in better sleep.
Equilibria’s Sleep Gummies are our favorite because they are formulated with their high-quality CBD along with CBN and a botanical blend of chamomile and L-theanine, which help women combat restlessness and unwelcome thoughts at night. Talk about a total game changer. Try them out for yourself and use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!
2. Incorporate breathwork or meditation
Do you feel like your mind is always racing when your head hits the pillow? You’re not alone. The stress of the day is hard to shake off sometimes! One effective way to relax your mind and body before bed (or really at any time of the day) is by incorporating breathing exercises and/or meditation. According to the Sleep Foundation, research shows that meditation and breathwork “can help improve insomnia, and may even improve sleep quality.” Not sure where to start? Download an app! There are so many options that you can try depending on which method you are most interested in.
3. Exercise during the day
I know what you’re thinking: Do I have to? But hear me out. The good news here is that you don’t have to run a marathon in the name of getting a good night of rest. Even engaging in just 30 minutes of aerobic activity throughout the day can lead to more slow-wave sleep (read: deep sleep) during the night and can help you decompress so that when it’s time for bed, you’ll have an easier time falling asleep. So roll out that yoga mat, get those steps in, or pick up a light set of weights—you’ll thank me tomorrow morning.
4. Lower your body temperature
I despise being cold—like I get straight-up cranky if I am chilly—but I can’t deny that I feel like I get a better night’s sleep when I am a little colder. Sleep Advisor’s Thermoregulation Guide breaks down how body temperature regulation works while we are sleeping and sheds light on how a drop in body temperature can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your REM sleep. To reap the benefits of this, turn your thermostat down to 65 degrees before you start winding down or invest in bedding that has cooling technology.
5. Swap screen time with reading
I have to admit something I am not proud of: I am #guilty of scrolling through my Instagram feed or watching episodes of Schitt’s Creek until the moment I close my eyes. But honestly, most of us are. We have all heard about the negative effects of blue light, but one of the major reasons to limit screen time (especially before bed) is because of the effect that it has on our production of melatonin. With that said, the National Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding electronics in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Instead, try picking up a book and lulling yourself to sleep with a light read. If you’re antsy before bed or not ready for sleep, reading can help promote a more relaxed and peaceful state of mind. In a 2021 online study, reading before bed was linked to improved sleep quality, which is a good argument to swap screen time for reading. Here are some light reads that our team has been loving lately:
This one is an editor favorite for multiple reasons, but our Branded Content Editor Ashley loved reading this one before bed. The story is glamorous, characters are complex, and chapters are short, which makes it a great read to escape into and put down once the Zzzz's take over.
A lot of our team members hold this read close to their hearts and for good reason. This friends-to-lovers romance serves up all of the escapism and wanderlust our hearts desire but is low stakes enough that it won't keep us up until 2 a.m. with nail-biting cliffhangers.
6. Avoid eating late at night
While the idea of a late-night snack can be overwhelmingly tempting, according to Alexis Supan, a registered dietitian from the Cleveland Clinic, eating late at night goes directly against our body’s circadian rhythm. “It’s best to stop eating about three hours before going to bed,” she noted. “That allows plenty of time for your body to digest the last food you ate so it won’t disrupt your sleep but leaves a small enough window before sleep that you won’t go to bed feeling hungry.” This way, while we’re getting into sleep mode, our digestive system can rest along with the rest of our mind and body.
7. Use blue light-blocking glasses
If avoiding screens at night isn’t always an option for you because you study or work late (or you like to read on a Kindle), make sure that you utilize nighttime mode and/or wear blue light-blocking glasses. On most devices, you can adjust your display settings to make your screen a yellowish tone, which is much easier on your eyes and has little to no effect on your circadian rhythm. I actually have the nighttime mode set to be on all day on both my computer and my phone, and I wear blue light-blocking glasses daily. I highly, highly recommend doing both!
8. Limit caffeine consumption
I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out: You can do this. I am not saying give up your coffee and tea altogether (I would never do that to you), but I am suggesting that limiting your caffeine intake can improve your sleep. Caffeine can have a disruptive effect on your sleep and reduce your total sleep time, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, so it is recommended to avoid caffeine during the second half of the day. Opt for caffeine-free tea or decaf coffee if you want to sip on something but still want to feel well-rested, and reach for a sleepy tea at night.
9. Limit naps throughout the day
Listen, I love a good nap as much as the next gal, but the reality is that when midday snoozes are prolonged or frequent, it can have a negative impact on nighttime sleep. The next time you find yourself fighting that middle-of-the-day, post-lunchtime slump, try resisting the urge to snuggle up and escape the daytime by drinking an ice-cold glass of water, doing a light workout, getting some sunlight by going outside, or using a light therapy lamp.
10. Maximize your sleep environment
If there’s one area that you have the most control over when it comes to getting better sleep, it’s maximizing the environment that you’re snoozing in. According to the CDC, a “good” sleep environment is one that is dark, cool, comfortable, and quiet. And while you can’t always control street lamp placement outside of your bedroom window or a train that might pass in the night, you can make adjustments to your space to make it a sleep oasis. Consider getting your hands on a sleep mask or blackout curtains to promote darkness and a noise machine or earplugs to keep things quiet. We promise: You’ll never regret investing in your sleep space.
If you're trying to drown out external noises that might wake you from sleep (we're looking at you, middle-of-the-night choo-choo-train), then you absolutely need a white noise machine in your life. This one from Marpac is a tried-and-true team favorite and is also portable so you can take it with you wherever you go.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.