Sleep—it’s one of the pleasures of life. So why are so many of us so bad at getting enough of it? And what can we do to change this? If we’re lucky, the answer can be simple; just get into bed. But sometimes climbing under the covers early isn’t that easy. Try these six sleep-inducing strategies to get ready for bed so nothing interrupts your slumber each night:
- Pamper yourself. Motivate yourself to hit the hay by giving yourself something to look forward to. Comfortable pajamas, a cozy robe and luxurious sheets can turn your bedroom into a five-star hotel. Choose sheets made of natural materials like cotton, linen or bamboo to help wick away sweat. No need to go overboard on thread count. Between 200 and 400 is the perfect marriage between softness and breathability.
- Program your thermostat. Our bodies get the best sleep when the temperature is on the cool side, so set your thermostat between 60 degrees and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Even better: Invest in a smart thermostat to lower the temperature of the house automatically at a certain time every night. This can remind your body that it’s bedtime, and it’s one less thing you have to take care of before bed.
- Read a book. You can read just about anything—from magazines and newspapers to novels—on your electronic devices, but the blue light they emit can keep you up at night. For this exercise, it’s best if you pick up an actual book—one where you can turn the pages and smell the paper. If you really love the convenience of an electronic device, consider an e-reader that doesn’t have a bright, backlit screen.
- Relax to music. Soothing music helps us relax and fall asleep faster. Download a relaxation playlist (songs with a tempo of between 60 and 80 beats per minute) to your go-to device, and let the soft music play.
- Get an aromatherapy diffuser. Bring a spa-like feeling to your bedroom with aromatherapy. The right scent can relax your body and mind, readying you for sleep. Though lavender is most often associated with sleep, give jasmine, valerian or vanilla a try.
- Give your bulbs an upgrade. The technology in energy-efficient LED bulbs lets you program your lights to become warmer automatically—and emit less sleep-stealing blue light—as bedtime draws near.