Craving a better night’s sleep is synonymous with modern life. Our daily routines often deprioritise getting 8 hours, then we invest time and money into sleep solutions like wearables to get us back on track.
But according to the Economist, 40% of people who wear wearable sleep trackers end up abandoning their devices.
This isn’t all that surprising. Many people buy these devices in the hope of a magic fix — a quick solution for long-standing sleep struggles.
Granted, some wearable sleep tech promises more than it can deliver. But even the sleep tech we do rate — the very best of the bunch — can only do so much for us.
If you haven’t got the basics of circadian wellness down, no number of sleep devices and apps will give you the deep, uninterrupted shut-eye you’re seeking.
With that in mind, let’s revisit a few sleep routine basics.
How to create a healthy sleep routine
The number one best thing you do for your circadian wellness? Get into a healthy and consistent sleep routine.
But how can we make this work in busy modern life?
Don’t lie awake in bed
While having a set bedtime is important, lying awake wondering why you’re not asleep yet is bad for your circadian rhythm. You begin to associate your bed with wakefulness rather than sleep.
So if you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed. Go and do a quiet activity that doesn’t involve a lot of light exposure. Warm-toned lamps on. Screens and devices off. You might like to read a book or listen to some relaxing music.
When you start to feel drowsy, go back to bed. But be prepared to get up again if you haven’t drifted off within your allotted 20 minutes.
Using this method, your mind and body should — over time — get used to falling asleep quickly when you go to bed and break the psychological link between being in bed and wakefulness.
Only use your bed for sleep and sex
In these days of WFH, the rooms in our homes have had to take on multiple functions. But wherever possible your bed should be a haven reserved for sleep and sex.
That means no TV in bed, no working in bed, and no doom-scrolling on your smartphone. If you can relegate your phone to another room entirely, so much the better. The mere presence of the phone in your vicinity is highly arousing (and not in the fun way).
By reserving your bed for a few select activities, you establish clear associations that will help your body and mind sink into sleep at the end of the day.
Make your bathroom routine into a ritual
The body loves routine, and that’s why creating and sticking to a wind-down routine really helps set the scene for a good night’s sleep.
We should avoid screens, enjoy quiet hobbies and maybe do a spot of meditation. But committing to an hour-long wind-down isn’t always possible if you’ve barely had time to sit down after a busy day.
That’s why making a ritual out of simple every-evening tasks can really help.
Washing your face and brushing your teeth may not seem like particularly relaxing activities, but done the right way they can help you to prepare for sleep.
When cleansing or brushing, try to be mindful of:
- The sensations you feel on your skin
- The taste of the toothpaste
- Your breathing (take slow, deep breaths, paying close attention to your exhales)
- Your thoughts (you might like to repeat a positive mantra to help calm a busy mind)
Invest in comfortable bedding
Does your bed look and feel inviting?
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, comfortable bedding could be one of the best investments you ever make.
When shopping for bedding sets, look for natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk and bamboo. In contrast to synthetic fabrics, these materials are all good at wicking away moisture and keeping your body at a comfortable temperature while you sleep.
The same goes for your mattress. Natural, breathable materials are ideal — and the right level of support is essential.
Here at Owl + Lark, our mattresses are made from cashmere, latex and wool. Firm, yet plush, with thousands of springs and layers of luxurious fabric, they give your body the support and comfort it needs to sink into a deep and restful sleep. And we’ve perfected sheets that provide a cool, comfortable environment to get the shut-eye your body craves.