How many times have you been up half the night tossing and turning hoping to get some sleep before work tomorrow? You can’t get comfortable, your phone is going off, your mind is racing, and it feels impossible to get some rest. These tips from Dr. Rebecca Robbins, sleep expert for The Benjamin Hotel in New York, can help you fall asleep faster by making some changes to your habits and environment.
Relax, Relax, Relax
Going to sleep needs to be treated like a routine. “Falling asleep is a process, so it is best to consider the time before bed—unwinding and relaxing—as an integral part of a healthy night’s sleep,” says Dr. Robbins. “Consider the 30 minutes before bedtime as your time to power down and get ready for sleep. At this time, avoid computer or screen use, and do whatever is relaxing to you. For some, that is taking a warm shower, reading or perhaps doing a few breathing or relaxation exercises, like a few light yoga poses.” Dr. Robbins also adds that another great way to relax before bed is aromatherapy like Tata Harper Bedtime Treatment ($60).
Skip the Supplements
Are herbal supplements a good way to help someone fall asleep? “Most herbal supplements largely have a placebo effect whereby simply taking the pill is what helps sleep,” says Dr. Robbins. The best way to fall asleep is to “find a sleep schedule and stick to it, and naturally power down at night with aromatherapy and a relaxing bedtime routine.”
One of the best ways to relax and unwind is by taking a warm shower or bath. “This is an excellent part of your power down routine before bed. We see that moving from a warm shower to a cool bedroom (about 65 degrees) can cut down the time it takes you to fall asleep,” suggests Dr. Robbins.
A bedroom needs to be conducive to sleeping in order to get a good night’s rest. “Avoid bright colors or patterns for wall coverings or bedding as these are stimulating and can hinder your rest,” explains Dr. Robbins. Instead, invest in high-quality linens and keep your bedroom cool (65 degrees is a good temperature) and completely dark. “Our eyelids are incredibly thin, so light can disrupt the quality of your sleep.”