Honest Hacks: How to Sleep Better Starting Right Now

Jan 22, 2020
Honest Hacks: How to Sleep Better Starting Right Now

We have one simple New Year’s goal: sleep better. Not just more. Better. When’s the last time you actually slept all eight hours without interruption from the kids, the cat, your snoring partner or the million-and-one things you need to do tomorrow racing through your head? Srsly, you need your best sleep by night if you’re going to live your best life by day (and knock out that to-do list).

Because here’s the thing, we don’t just shut down when we get our shut-eye on. Our circadian rhythm (or bio clock) goes into repair mode to recover from the last day so we can be more energetic, alert, productive and happy the next day. Plus, the benefits of beauty sleep are real (more on that later), so if you don’t want to change your sleep habits for you, do it for your skin. Priorities, right? Here’s how to sleep better through 2020 to make it your most blissful year yet.

How to Get Good Sleep With New Healthy Habits

1. Go Outside During the Day

Even just 15 minutes in natural sunlight or bright light can help keep your circadian rhythm on a healthy beat, improving energy and mood during the day and sleep quality at night. Get in the habit of taking a quick walk around the neighborhood (weather permitting) before diving into the day ahead to start on a sunny note or on your lunch break if morning’s are hectic. Make sure to put on your sunscreen if it’s after 10am!

2. Cut Off Caffeine By the Afternoon

Unless it’s in your Depuff Eye Gel. We’re not saying quit your coffee or yerba mate habit altogether (caffeine has plenty of health benefits, too), but too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing anymore. Since caffeine and its effects can linger in the body for 4 to 6 hours after consumption, depending on dose and your body, cutting it off by early afternoon is a good way to up your odds of better sleep.

3. Workout Before It Gets Late

Working for that sleep with regular exercise makes it all that much more blissful. But hitting the gym late in the day can be over stimulating and prevent your sleep cycle from triggering when you need it. Make sure your sweat session ends at least a couple of hours before you go to bed to give your body and brain time switch from beast mode to sleep mode.

4. Nap With Caution

First, if you have time to nap, kudos do you, friend. Second, make sure those naps are actually helping. When done right, a little daytime snooze won't tank your nighttime slumber and can boost memory, alertness and job performance while you're at it. Just make sure to limit your nap time to 30 minutes, max, and don’t nap too close to bedtime.

5. Make Your Room Your Oasis

By setting up your sleep space for, well, sleeping, you improve your odds of falling asleep quickly and staying asleep through the night. That means controlling light (your sleep oasis is no place for disruptive screens), noise (with one caveat we’ll explore below) and temperature. As tempting as it might be to run the heat high for a cozy night, make sure your bedroom’s temp stays at a cool low-to-mid-60s so you don’t wake up sweaty (and sleepless).

6. Turn Off Screens 2 Hours Before Bed

Bright light is one of the biggest signals to our brain that it’s time to slow down the melatonin and wake up. Send the opposite signal by powering down light sources from screens early (and keep them off all night). Blue light is the worst, so resist the pre-bedtime Instagram scroll or email check and get into the habit of leaving all electronic devices out of the bedroom. If your phone is your wake up call, make sure it’s on do not disturb hours before bed.

7. Don’t Go to Bed Hungry or Stuffed

If your body is busy working to digest a big meal, it’s not going into sleep mode. Likewise, if you’re too hungry to think about anything else, your brain isn’t going to relax into a deep sleep. Instead of making the last meal of the day your biggest meal, opt for a lighter dinner and snack a couple of hours before bed if you’re still hungry.

8. Get into a Nighttime Routine

Whether it’s a hot bath, soothing music or nighttime skincare routine, consistency is key. But rethinking reading in bed — especially if your book du jour is a stimulating page turner that demands emotional or intellectual attention. Opt for lighter reading and do it from your comfiest couch or chair so you’re body and brain associate your bed with sleeping.

9. No Wine Before Bed

It may feel like that nightcap is making you drowsy, but alcohol is also likely to wake you up mid-sleep and disrupt your sleep cycle. Take the edge off with a glass at dinner, but not after. If you need something to help you relax right before bed, there are plenty of more helpful options: tea, melatonin, or, our personal fave, an actual chill pill in the form of CBD gummies.

10. Unload Mental Clutter

If you have a hard time falling asleep because your thoughts are racing, you need to get into the habit of offloading that mental clutter before going to bed. This means different things to different people. Meditation, breathwork, yoga and prayer are all positive ways to clear your mind and relax your body to get it read for sleep. Another great method for relaxing before bed is to draw a bath with some natural, soothing bubble bath. If all else fails, try a more literal approach and write down tomorrow’s to-do list so it’s out of your head and on paper instead so you can drift off more easily (and worry-free).

11. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Yes, even on the weekends. Irregular sleep habits can throw off that circadian rhythm we’ve been talking so much about. The so-called social jet lag of sleeping in on the weekends makes Mondays that much harder, so set an alarm to go to bed at the same time every night and don’t hit that snooze button in the morning.

12. Turn Up the White Noise

Making noise might seem a counterintuitive way to get better sleep (remember, your bedroom is your sleep oasis), but hear us out. When a noise wakes you up at night, it’s not the noise itself but the sudden change from no noise to noise that’s jarring. White noise — whether from a sound machine or app — masks sudden changes (like a partner snoring loudly) that wake up light sleepers.

13. Wear an Eye Mask

Even the most inconspicuous glow — like that from a digital alarm clock — can disrupt your shut-eye. If you can't seal up all the light sources in your room, try a comfy eye mask (bonus benefits if it’s silk to help prevent pulling on the skin).

14. Spritz Your Pillow with Lavender

It smells divine, yes. But lavender essential oil also has a calming effect when inhaled and can help induce relaxation. Even if it doesn’t help you fall asleep faster, it does make falling asleep more pleasant.

15. Get Out of Bed if You Can’t Sleep

The more anxious you get about not sleeping, the harder it is to actually fall asleep. Instead of stressing in bed, get out and return to some of the strategies above — like meditation or journaling — to help your body and mind relax, de-stress and try again.

Beauty Rest is Honestly So Real Just like the rest of your body, your skin has its own internal clock that’s on offense during the day and in repair-mode at night. That’s why the whole #wokeuplikethis phenom continues to inspire endless morning selfies — your skin is at its best after rest...if you’re getting enough good sleep. We formulated our newBeauty Sleep Resurfacing Serum to give skin an extra cell-renewing assist with moisture-binding hyaluronic acid and five alpha-hydroxy acids — glycolic, lactic, citric, malic and tartaric — suspended for a slower release and more gentle exfoliation while you sleep. Now that’s how you sleep smarter to beauty harder!

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.