19 Ways To Get Your Best Sleep

Side view of beautiful young Afro American woman smiling while sleeping in her bed at home

19 Ways To Get Your Best Sleep

Let's use this time to give thanks for bed rest.

Published November 23, 2016

In need or more—and better—sleep? These tips will get you there.

  1. Be Consistent

    Knocking out and waking up on a schedule—even on weekends—will train your body to follow a regular sleep-wake cycle.

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  2. Skip Devices...

    The blue light from phones, tablets and the television signal to your body to stay awake. Avoid using them for an hour before bed.

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  3. ...Or Change Your Settings

    Not interested in forgoing your phone? The iPhone now has a “Night Shift” function that shades the screen in warm tones that won’t disrupt your sleep cycle, and Androids have “Night Mode.” Use the Twilight and F.lux apps on other phones and on your computer for the same impact.

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  4. Hide Your Clock

    Turn your phone facedown and turn around your clock. Looking at the time during the night will make you count down how much time you have left to sleep—and keep you awake.

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  5. Create A Ritual

    Turn on some Solange while you twist your hair and read a few pages before you switch out the light—following a bedtime routine will signal your body that it’s time to lay it down.

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  6. Go Dark

    Black out curtains are your best friend for optimal sleep. Alternately, try a comfortable sleep mask that blocks out random lights in the room and the sun’s rays.

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  7. Work Out

    Just like a kid who spent the day running around will pass out at the end of the day, a grown woman who makes time for exercise will fall asleep more easily, too.

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  8. Chill

    You’ll sleep better if your room is on the cold side. Experts say 60 to 67 degrees is optimal, but make sure you’re comfortable.

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  9. Upgrade Your Bed

    If your mattress is more than seven years old—or just straight up uncomfortable or too small—it’s time to get a new one. And pillows should be replaced annually.

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  10. Ban Work

    Your bedroom should be for sleep and sex. Keep everything else out of your sanctuary.

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  11. Limit Caffeine

    Skip coffee, tea and soda after lunchtime to prevent being wired at bedtime.

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  12. Journal

    Does anxiety keep you awake? Keep a journal beside your bed to write down the things that are bothering you. It will stop them from running through your head.

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  13. Slip On Socks

    Studies show that having warm hands and feet will help you fall asleep more quickly.

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  14. Limit Naps

    It’s fine, and even refreshing, to nap. But keep them to 30 minutes long to avoid jacking up your nighttime sleep.

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  15. Talk To God

    Whether that means praying or meditating or repeating a mantra, connecting with something bigger than yourself will help your mind quiet down and let sleep in.

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  16. Use White Noise

    Download the White Noise app to generate low-level noise that will not only soothe you to sleep with the sounds of a whirring fan or a summer rain, but block out extraneous sounds.

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  17. Sniff Up

    Breathing in the scent of lavender is linked to falling asleep more easily and sleeping more deeply.

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  18. Don’t Smoke

    Nicotine is a stimulant. Even an occasional cigarette can keep you up.

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  19. Eat Your Spinach

    The magnesium in the green stuff—and pumpkin seeds and avocado—will help you sleep more soundly.

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Written by Kenrya Rankin

(Photo: George Rudy/Getty Images)


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