58 Expert Tips To Help You Sleep WAY Better
Sleep plays a vital role in just about every function in the body, but for some, it's an elusive practice. If you have trouble sleeping at night — or staying asleep until morning — you're not alone. Research shows that 60 million Americans experience insomnia all the time (which works out to roughly 18%), while a shocking 68% say they struggle with sleep at least once a week. That's a huge number.
Needless to say, countless people have searched far and wide for expert tips to help them sleep better at night, but some sources are definitely better than others. The top three performing articles on the subject pull from other articles on the internet, but I wanted to know what the experts themselves had to say.
As a result, I got in touch with four specialists in all different fields (a medical doctor and sleep expert, a neuropsychologist, a registered dietitian, and an aromatherapist) to learn exactly how sleep is affected by stress, environment, diet, substances, and hormones.
Still, sometimes reading up on advice is a far cry from actually implementing it. So, following the experts' advice, I rounded up some of the internet's best sleep solutions, so you have all the resources you'll need in order to actually sleep better come bedtime.
*Establish A Bedtime Routine*
"A bedtime routine is essential," says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, New York City neuropsychologist and faculty member at Columbia University. "You want to develop a nighttime schedule that works for you and includes a winding down period of dimmer lighting, self-care, and ample rest time." This can help "regulate the body's internal time and rest rhythms to help you fall asleep and rest throughout the night."
Dr. Hafeez continues, "Things like reading, playing an instrument, or journaling can help you decompress from the day while cleaning your face, applying moisturizer, and stretching can help you feel refreshed and pampered."
Clip this warm light onto your book and avoid disruptive blue wavelengths.
You'll read more about it in a little bit, but essentially, light that includes blue wavelengths impedes your sleep by disrupting melatonin production. If reading (or any other activity that requires light) is part of your nighttime routine, the rechargeable Hooga book light uses warm, amber-colored LEDs to help you unwind before bed. It also has multiple brightness options, a flexible gooseneck design, and a clip-on base that attaches to headboards and reading material.
Jot your thoughts into this self-love journal for a peace of mind.
This journal is called Present, Not Perfect, and it's designed to cultivate mindfulness and self-love. It's filled with gorgeous illustrations, important quotes, informative blurbs, and creative writing prompts, so you can clear out all that mental clutter before bed. "I am easily distracted by the many things in life," one reviewer said. "This book is a great book to ground you back to where you are or what you are doing."
Soothe your senses and moisturize your skin with this lavender-scented body butter.
If you're looking for a cream worthy of nightly application, check out Jergens Lavender body butter. It combines natural moisturizers like shea, cocoa, and mango butters with real lavender essential oil. "This body butter is smooth, works in easily, and is not greasy," one buyer wrote. "I also like to put it on my hands at bed time. The scent is of lavender is natural, pleasant, and not overwhelming, and may even have a calming effect as I drift off to sleep."
*Hack Your Circadian Rhythm With Light — Or Lack Thereof*
According to Stephanie Hartselle, MD and associate professor of psychiatry at Brown University, "Our circadian rhythm is the 24 hour cycle we spend in activity and recovery. Sleep is our recovery and we need about 7-9 hours of it. Circadian rhythms can shift and become misaligned with our needs. Everyone has had a situation where they have gone to bed much later than intended for days and struggled to get up for work or school."
Especially in the modern world, nighttime light pollution has a huge impact on our circadian rhythms. "The pineal gland in our brain secretes hormones signaling that it's time to shut down and rest. It is exquisitely sensitive to light and especially to the bright light of our phones, laptops and e-readers," Dr. Hartselle says.
While bright lights during the day can help energize you, it's best to avoid them at night. "It’s only been about 120 years that we’ve had ubiquitous electric light and when you compare that with how long humans have existed, our brains are used to a dark, peaceful sleeping environment. It’s best to try to create that at home."
Block out the light with a contoured sleep mask that doesn't add pressure.
Looking for a way to block out all light pollution without uncomfortable pressure on your face? Look no further than this eye mask from MZOO. It has a near-perfect rating and almost 6,000 reviews on Amazon because of the contoured design, which encompasses your eyes in comfortable fabric for full coverage. It's available in four colors, all of which are fully adjustable and come with free ear plugs.
Dim the brightness in your bedroom with this amber-colored LED bulb.
Unlike your average bulb, the Harth Sleep-Shift bulb is designed with a soothing, amber-colored LED which minimizes the amount of blue light wavelengths. As a result, it's a great option to light up your bedroom while you're reading, setting out your clothes for the next morning, or going about your nighttime routine. "I can definitely tell a difference when I start blocking the blue light," one buyer said. "I start feeling progressively sleepy beginning about 30 minutes later."
Wear these blue light-blocking glasses when you need to use your computer late.
While they may look like your standard — albeit stylish — reading glasses, these ANRRI specs actually have transparent lenses that cut out 90% of blue-light wavelengths. That means, if you must stare at a screen later than recommended, they may help to reduce eye strain, headaches, and the interruption of melatonin production. They come in black or leopard and are designed for any gender.
Use this light therapy lamp for energy in the morning when natural sunlight is scarce.
On the flip side of things, getting adequate light exposure early in the morning may help to reset your circadian rhythm, so you get your burst of energy earlier rather than later. The Miroco light therapy lamp emits 10,000 LUX of bright, sun-mimicking illumination in a sleek design that fits on your desk or kitchen table. It has customizable timers and a dimmer, and one buyer raved, "This light therapy [lamp] helped me get my sleep schedule back to normal and literally brightened my days during times of grief and stress."
* Get Up At The Same Time Every Morning, No Matter What *
Dr. Hartselle starts her bedtime routine "with setting a wake time to help with trouble falling asleep. Getting up every day at the same time, regardless of how much sleep you got the night before, helps you to become sleepy at bedtime."
In other words, even on the weekends or after nights filled with tossing and turning, push yourself to get out of bed early — that way, you don't fall into the trap of sleeping late and staying up late as a result.
Wake up peacefully with this silent alarm clock that brightens like the sunrise...
Hundreds of reviewers say the HeimVision alarm clock helps them get up at the same time every day, feeling "rested," "motivated," and "better." Instead of waking you up with a sudden beeping noise, it uses a gradually brightening light, which mimics a sunrise. The light tricks your brain into resetting its circadian rhythm, so you can wake up more energized — plus the alarm has multiple color options, an FM radio, and peaceful, natural sounds in case the light isn't enough.
... or wake up immediately with this alarm clock that shakes your bed.
For those who have a really tough time waking up in the mornings, there's the Sonic Alert alarm clock. This unit looks like your average bedside table alarm, but it has an extra-loud beeper and an additional vibrating disk that goes under your pillow to shake you awake. (It also has a light dimmer if the digital numbers keep you up at night.) "Heavy sleeper? Hard of hearing? Your alarm clock isn't waking you up since you can't sleep with your hearing aids in? Tired of being late to work? This is for you," one buyer wrote.
* Use Weighted Sleep Accessories To Help You Relax *
"The thought with weighted blankets is that they bring the tactile nervous system a certain type of calming stimulation," Dr. Hartselle says. "For some people, this is not sleep-inducing, but for the majority of us, a weighted blanket can make us feel physically safer, more grounded, and less fidgety. If you sleep hot, I recommend the blankets that are breathable and made with glass beads."
Get cozy with a heavy blanket to help you feel safe and grounded.
In terms of affordable but well-made weighted blankets, this is one of the best-selling options on Amazon: The ZonLi weighted blanket is covered in breathable cotton and features evenly distributed glass beads. It's available in various weight options and colors, and it has loops so you can attach it to a duvet cover, as well. "I couldn't be happier," one buyer wrote. "Not only does it put me to sleep quicker but it also helps me to stay asleep."
Wear this weighted sleep mask for subtle pressure around your sinus area.
Hot sleepers and those who feel stifled by blankets can still utilize weighted accessories. This weighted sleep mask from OxygenPlu covers your eyes to block out light and provides a calming pressure due to the hypoallergenic glass-bead filling. ("The weight feels great on my eyes and it helps relieve my insomnia," one reviewer said.) It can also be used as a headache, puffy eyes, or sinus-pressure tool, since you can store it in the fridge or freezer for cool-temperature therapy.
* Keep Your Bedroom Organized & Optimized For Sleep *
"Your bed should be for sleeping," says Dr. Hafeez. "If your bed is cluttered with paperwork or school assignments, doing overtime as a second desk, it can be difficult for the brain to identify it as the place where you go to sleep. Keeping your bed free of unnecessary things is a great way to harvest a more effective bedtime ritual."
De-clutter your mattress with this bedside caddy that keeps your must-haves close.
Gather up all those magazines, important papers, cables, remotes, and electronics. The Life is Beautiful bedside caddy slips into your bedframe or underneath your mattress. It then provides several pockets to hold your clutter, so it's all off your bed, but within reach if you need it. The felt fabric is available in almost 10 colors and even has cable holes for charging your devices.
Keep all of your electronics in one spot (across the room) with this bamboo charging station.
Almost any sleep expert will advise you to avoid electronics right before bed, and with this sleek bamboo stand, you can organize and charge all of them simultaneously — well across the room. It works with any standard USB hub to power up your phone, tablet, E-reader, smart watch, and Bluetooth earbuds, and it even comes with five short USB cables that reduce wire clutter.
Store your bills and documents inside this desktop organizer to avoid stressful piles.
For some, mail and important documents are a source of stress, so give them a home (outside of the bedroom) where they'll be organized and easily located. This rustic, three-tier organizer tray has multiple slots and compartments to hold standard-sized paper, envelopes, notebooks, binders, and magazines. It's also available in barnwood gray or burnt wood to fit various aesthetics.
* Eat Foods That Help Your Body To Unwind *
According to Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet, and consultant for Swisse Wellness, "Certain foods can help your body to naturally produce more melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycle."
Additionally, "Eating foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, such as turkey and cottage cheese, may also aid sleep, as this amino acid has a documented calming effect and may help you to relax and unwind after a stressful day," Palinski-Wade says.
Sip on this natural cherry juice that's packed with sleep-inducing melatonin.
"Drinking tart cherry juice before bed has been found to help improve both quality and quantity of sleep in those who suffer from insomnia," says Palinski-Wade. Since it's made from fresh-pressed cherries, Cheribundi is rich in antioxidants and melatonin. It's also sweetened with a bit of apple juice instead of sugar, so it won't contribute to your jitters. "I was looking for something to help me sleep better and must say this really works," one buyer wrote.
Snack on these magnesium-rich, flavored beans to help ease insomnia.
According to Palinski-Wade, "Eating a diet rich in magnesium, which includes foods such as nuts, beans, and lentils, may help to prevent middle of the night insomnia, where you awake and have trouble falling back asleep." Since Fava beans are especially rich in magnesium, Enlightened's Bada Bean Bada Boom beans are a great snack to keep by your bedside. They have a crispy, roasted texture and are available in a wide range of flavors. Most importantly, buyers love them because they're "delicious" and "satisfying" — all without the soy, GMOs, gluten, and animal ingredients.
* Or Try Some Natural Sleep Supplements *
For those who have trouble getting adequate amounts of magnesium, melatonin, and tryptophan through food and habit-changes alone, topical and oral supplements are a popular route. Some topical supplements can surpass the digestive tract so the body can readily use them, while oral supplements are easy to take and sometimes even come in delicious forms, like gummies.
(As always, you should consult your doctor before taking any new supplements — this may help you to avoid side-effects and unintended interactions with any current medications.)
Consider these melatonin-free tablets that use herbal ingredients to promote rest.
"My favorite sleep aid is Swisse Ultiboost Sleep," says Palinski-Wade, "which combines magnesium, valerian root, and hops to help support your body’s production of melatonin to naturally regulate your sleep cycle. I recommend taking one to two tablets 30 minutes to one hour before bed for a more restful night’s sleep without any morning grogginess."
Spray this magnesium oil onto your skin for muscle relaxation.
If you're concerned you're not getting enough magnesium through your food, thousands of buyers supplement with this topical magnesium spray from Ancient Minerals. It contains only the purest, most concentrated form of magnesium chloride, which soaks through your skin to reduce cramps, calm tense muscles, and promote deeper sleep. "This helps my insomnia. I am able to fall asleep easier, and stay asleep. It also eases my anxiety and muscle cramps," one buyer wrote.
Try these sweet-tasting melatonin gummies for calmness in candy form.
This one is my personal go-to when I'm having trouble sleeping; I love it because it tastes like candy, it's easy to keep by my bedside, and I never feel groggy or out of it come morning. OLLY sleep gummies use a blend of natural sleep aids, including melatonin, L-theanine, chamomile, and lemon, which help you to feel relaxed and sleepy without any habit-forming substances.
Maintain your serotonin levels with these natural vegetable tablets.
You'll read more about it below (see the tip about caffeine), but according to Palinski-Wade, imbalanced serotonin levels can inhibit sleep. Superior Labs Pure L-Tryptophan is a supplement that uses the amino acid L-Tryptophan to support brain function and maintain serotonin levels. The brand skips unnecessary additives and fillers, and the supplement currently has a 4.5-star rating. One reviewer raved, "I've been looking for something natural to allow me to sleep better through the night. I've been taking Superior Labs L-Tryptophan now for over a month and I feel great."
* Implement Essential Oils Into Your Bedtime Routine *
"Scents can trigger emotions, memories and can even impact us through our nervous systems — smell is definitely a powerful sense," explains Way of Will’s certified aromatherapist, Jean Liao.
According to Liao, "What helps us smell is the olfactory nerve, which sends signals to various parts of the brain. The limbic system is one, an impressive portion of the brain that not only deals with important functions like emotions and memory, but also our autonomic nervous system. This system helps to regulate our breathing, pulse, blood pressure, and can even help to relax us by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Scents can trigger an array of reactions in our bodies, where the prolonged effects can remain even after the scent itself is gone."
"While all essential oils have their strengths and benefits, there are many studies that have shown their positive effects on relaxation and sleep," says Liao.
Breath in this floral essential oil blend for a serene feeling at night.
"The most popular essential oil that's used for this would be Lavender," Liao says. "If you're looking for something herbaceous with a more delicate floral note, Marjoram is helpful for relieving stress and grief." Edens Garden Good Night blend combines those two relaxing essential oils — and it also contains chamomile, ylang ylang, and sandalwood, all of which are designed to help you unwind and fall into a deep sleep. This brand uses only pure, quality oils, and buyers "highly [recommend it] for a good night sleep."
Add aromatherapy to your sleeping space with this highly rated diffuser.
"Aromatically, diffusers are a popular option for your household — being one of the easiest ways to disperse the benefits of essential oils into the air," says Liao. "There are plenty of quiet diffusers that can provide restful and uninterrupted sleep throughout the night," and this unit from VicTsing is one of the highest-rated. It's made from BPA-free materials and has a space-savvy 130-milliliter capacity with four output settings. It also has a built-in seven-color night light and turns off when the tank runs dry. Get it in three wood-grain finishes.
Rub this lavender-scented oil all over your body for a relaxing massage.
"One method of administering essential oils before bed would be a massage," Liao says. "Dilute your favourite essential oil(s) with a carrier oil and apply to your neck, shoulders, inside of your wrists — there are many places for application!" This oil from MAJESTIC PURE utilizes real lavender essential oil for relaxation and comes pre-diluted in a blend of skin-healthy carrier oils — all in a pump bottle for easy, mess-free application. "Remember to take any leftover oil, rub between your hands, cup over your nose and inhale for some immediate relaxation," says Liao.
Glide this aromatherapy balm over your skin for an easier (and cleaner) way to inhale calming scents.
Looking for a travel-friendly, mess-free aromatherapy option? The Scentered Sleep Well aromatherapy balm stick is probably the one. This stick combines a premium blend of lavender, chamomile, and geranium into a base of shea butter and beeswax. The result? A drip-free, non-greasy, leak-resistant sleep aid that you can sniff and apply anywhere.
* Limit Your Caffeine Intake — Before Bed, But Also During The Day *
"Limit caffeine intake at least five hours before bed, since this stimulant can make it challenging to fall asleep," says Palinski-Wade. "I also recommend limiting total caffeine intake to no more than 300mg per day. High levels of caffeine can reduce serotonin production which has been shown to increase the risk of insomnia."
Pour a cup of this decaffeinated coffee that's infused with lavender and chamomile.
If you really love your nightly cup of coffee, consider switching to Eight O'Clock for your afternoon or evening serving. These ground Arabica coffee beans offer a smooth, balanced flavor, but they're decaffeinated to avoid interrupting your natural sleep rhythms. They're also infused with cuts of lavender and chamomile to help promote a calm, ready-for-sleep mood. "This is the most relaxing coffee!" one reviewer said. "Love the taste!"
Trade your earl grey for this valerian-blended tea that's made to help you sleep.
You can also make the switch to tea if you're simply craving a hot, post-dinner beverage. Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Tea has buyers raving, "This absolutely works. I'm not sure how but it does." In short, it uses USDA-certified organic Valerian as an herbal remedy for restlessness, stress, and insomnia. Reviewers describe the taste as "minty," "flowery," and "very pleasant" — "sort of like black tea" with herbal notes. And, at less than $5 for 16 bags, it's one of the most budget-friendly sleep remedies around.
* Make Your Bed As Comfortable As Possible *
"Many people pay no mind to their beds and pillows," says Dr. Hafeez, "but an old mattress with protruding springs can contribute to a bad night's sleep and even cause back problems down the road. The same can be said of pillows that have grown old or dull, as these can distract from your sleep, wake you up in the middle of the night, and prompt less comfortable neck positions that cause pain and tension the next morning."
Dr. Hafeez advises: "Check the life expectancy of your mattress and explore options if you feel a lot of aches and pains in your back or neck, along with the lack of restorative sleep."
Get the support you need with this adjustable memory foam pillow.
The Coop Home Goods pillow is a cult-favorite for tons of reasons: For one, it's filled with shredded memory foam that can be added or removed to customize your loft, density, and support. For another, it's covered in a cooling, bamboo-derived rayon that can be washed in the machine, and finally, it's cruelty-free and naturally resists dust mites and other allergens. "Best pillow ever. Trust me. Why? I’m a very light sleeper and struggled with a solid, good nights sleep for years," one buyer wrote. That said, after this purchase, they've "slept like a brick without waking up [...] I didn’t know I was capable of this."
Upgrade your mattress with this cooling memory foam topper.
While they're definitely recommended for improved sleep, new mattresses are a pretty hefty investment. Luckily, the Linenspa mattress topper is one of the most popular, cost-efficient ways to give your old one a serious upgrade. It offers 2 (or 3) inches of dense, body-conforming memory foam, and it's infused with a cooling gel to balance your body temperature. Get it in just about any size, from twin XL to California King.
Cuddle up with this C-shaped body pillow that cradles you while you rest.
"I have never in my life slept [this] well," one buyer raved after purchasing the PharMeDoc body pillow. While the C-shaped support system originally gained popularity among pregnant people, it's now a staple on tons of beds due to the full-body support system. The polyfill material adjusts to your neck, back, shoulders, arms, hips, knees, and tummy (all without flattening), and the comforting jersey fabric is removable and available in five colors.
Wedge this orthopedic pillow between your knees to help ease various pains.
This one is especially helpful for side sleepers (and if you don't already, science shows that sleeping on your left side may help boost your health and reduce snoring). The ComfiLife orthopedic knee pillow is made from dense memory foam and designed to cushion your knees to prevent discomfort and hip misalignment. That said, reviewers also use it to support their thighs, necks, arms, and feet, and the consensus? "It helped me get comfortable enough to fall asleep," one said.
* Manage Your Stress As Effectively As You Can *
"This is easier said than done, but the truth remains that stress and anxiety work in a vicious cycle with insomnia," says Dr. Hafeez. "Learning healthy ways to deconstruct your anxiety and address stress in a productive way [...] is crucial for a healthy lifestyle."
"While many factors, both internal and external, feed into stress and anxiety, setting out a slot of time to see a counselor or mental health specialist may be beneficial," Dr. Hafeez continues.
That said, "If that is not feasible at the moment, learning to put your own wellness first is a big first step. This means learning to meditate, keeping to a low-intensity nightly activity like a long walk, a social media fast after a certain hour, and taking time to lavish yourself with a warm bath or a night in alone with no other responsibility."
Read about the benefits of meditation and then give it a try.
Studies show that mindfulness meditation significantly improves the effects of insomnia, but if you're not sure where to start, this book can help. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation not only outlines the benefits, but also provides an easy-to-follow 28-day program that might just change your life. One reviewer said, "I searched for a book on how to meditate without being discouraged for years. This is the very first book that helps to understand the process almost completely eliminating the frustration of learning process."
Relax on this acupressure set to feel tension relief throughout your body.
According to thousands of reviewers, the ProsourceFit Acupressure mat is an odd but shockingly effective way to reduce stress so you can get to bed. It has hundreds of tiny spikes that stimulate pressure points in the neck, back, and shoulders; this in turn releases tension and prompts a flood of endorphins, which has actually helped buyers to "sleep better at night." Each one comes with a rounded bolster, and you can get it in your choice of nine colors.
Soak in these lavender-infused magnesium bath flakes for total relaxation.
Another way to get magnesium is through magnesium baths. These bath salts from Seven Minerals contain magnesium chloride flakes derived from Permian waters, but they also have an addition sleep-inducing trick: aromatherapy. Each 3-pound bag is infused with genuine lavender oil, and buyers say it works wonders. "I immediately relax and can easily fall asleep after soaking."
Heat up this aromatherapy wrap and drape it over your shoulders to reduce stress.
Most of us carry our stresses in our shoulders, which is why this Asani wrap is a "great way to destress and relax at the end of the day," according to buyers. It's filled with temperature-absorbing clay beads, which can be microwaved for warmth or refrigerated for coolness — and they adapt to the shape of your shoulders with a subtle, soothing weight. Additionally, this wrap is filled with aromatherapy herbs like lavender, lemon grass, and chamomile, which release their scents when heated.
* Block Out External Sounds With White Noise *
According to Dr. Hafeez, "White noise is engaging enough that our breathing can sync to it, but it won't distract your mind from sleep; in fact, it can keep you from jumping into a rabbit hole of thought. It also may protect you from sharper noises from outside that may strike you awake. It is even widely used for meditative purposes because it can help the mind center itself."
Create the perfect tone to help you rest with this adjustable white noise machine.
Adaptive Sound Technologies is widely considered the leader in white noise machines, and their LectroSound machine has thousands of reviews for one reason: It "really blocks out environmental noise" so buyers are "asleep in minutes." Despite the affordable $20 price tag, it has precise sound controls, adjustable volumes, and an AC adapter as well as a USB plug.
Listen to music in comfort with these fabric headphones that connect to Bluetooth.
You may prefer to block out external sounds by listening to music, podcasts, or white noise through headphones; that said, your average pair may be uncomfortable to sleep in and likely has a limiting, potentially-unsafe cord. These WINONLY sleep headphones, on the other hand, are Bluetooth for wireless use and offer a comfortable, breathable fabric design that sits flat against your head. The battery lasts for up to 10 hours and the headphones even have on-device controls so you don't have to reach for your phone.
* Use Up Your Energy With Physical Activities *
"While vigorous movement is best avoided at night as it drives up your energy and can keep you awake, staying physically active throughout the morning and afternoon can help you productively spend your energy to improve your health but also improve the quality of your sleep," says Dr. Hafeez.
Move your body while you're on the couch with this portable pedal bike.
Some may feel like their days are too chock-full to clear out time for exercise. If that's you, this Hausse portable pedal bike is compact and versatile so you can combine movement with other activities. Place it under your desk while answering e-mails, or put it next to your couch so you can pedal while watching TV. It offers adjustable resistance levels to suit your specific needs and adjustable foot straps to suit any sized feet — plus the LCD monitor is easy to read and tracks multiple stats.
Add yoga to your schedule with this set that has everything you need.
Studies show that a yoga practice improves both sleep quality and quality of life, and this set from Sivan Health and Fitness has everything you need to get started. It comes with a thick, non-slip mat, multiple towels, two blocks, and a stretching strap, all in your choice of eight colors. That way, you're fully prepared to take your first class — or you can follow along with an instructor on YouTube from the comfort of your own home. (My personal favorite is Yoga With Adriene.)
Replace your desk chair with this yoga ball and exercise while you work.
This AILUKI Yoga Ball set is as low-impact or as high-impact as you need. The ball itself can support up to 2,200 pounds of weight and comes with a stability disk, so you can work your core and improve your posture simply by sitting on it throughout the day. That said, it also comes with resistance bands, a jump rope, floor sliders, a measuring tape, handle straps, and a workout guide for more intense exercises; basically, it's a full gym for $36.
* When You Can't Sleep, Distract Yourself With Relaxing, Screen-Free Activities *
"A lot of people waste time twisting and turning, or counting sheep in the hopes that their brain will finally get tired out." Unfortunately, Dr. Hafeez says "that won't help much, and this is where people fall into the trap of turning on the TV or scrolling through social media."
Instead of reaching for your phone, "get up, keep the lights dim, make yourself a tea or warm yourself up a cup of milk, and do something relaxing for a few minutes. This will help drive down your energy and relieve the anxiety of not being able to fall asleep."
Channel your creativity with one of these adult coloring books.
"Wonderful way to quiet my mind before bed," one reviewer said, while another wrote, "It is definitely a nice stress beater." This set from Creatively Calm Studios comes with three different coloring books: one with animals, one with scenery, and one with geometric shapes. Each contains pages and pages of intricate, soothing images, so you can color to your heart's content, and the thick paper ensures bleed-free art regardless of your tools.
Try knitting something special for a loved one with this helpful yarn kit.
After staring at a computer all day, knitting is my favorite screen-free unwinding activity. There's something about the repetitive movements that helps me to de-stress like nothing else. This Boye yarn set for beginners comes with two pairs of knitting needs, stitch markers, a measuring tape, and nine free patterns, so once you pick out some yarn, you can learn how to make your first scarf, shawl, hat, pillow, blanket, or basket.
* If You're Feeling Overwhelmed, Start Small With Your Sleep Goals *
Sometimes, the stress you feel surrounding sleep is the thing that's inhibiting it in the first place. Palinski-Wade says, "If it feels overwhelming, start small by just making one small change (like putting the phone down a few minutes before you turn in) and adding on slowly until you can establish a sleep routine that you can be consistent with."
Let these steamers dissolve in your shower and inhale soothing scents while you bathe.
Here's some stress-relief that you can incorporate into your daily routine without any added time or effort. Just toss one of these under the stream of water during your daily shower, and its essential oil vapor will mix with the steam to bring you relaxation and a sense of self-care. Each tablet comes in a different scent for varying moods, and buyers say "they’re most welcome after a long day."
Store your phone in this kitchen safe to cut down on nighttime scrolling.
If you're having a really hard time putting down your phone (both before bed, but also throughout the day), this little gadget has helped thousands of people to train themselves to go without their device for a while: It's called the Kitchen Safe, and it's a BPA-free container that locks for a specified period of time. "I surf my phone for a bit, then promptly lock it away and have a nice evening of freedom from the digital cacophony," one reviewer wrote. "I feel a presence and a clarity that is quite nice." Get it in multiple sizes and colors.
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