Your bed might be your sanctuary, or at least a semi-sacred place for watching Netflix and eating snacks. With that in mind, the time before bed should be ritualistic. Set yourself up for a perfect night of sleep with these small tips. We promise it’s not just about brushing your teeth.
We know you’ve heard it before, but truly it is time to get the glowing phone out of your bedroom. Reports have repeatedly shown that the more time you spend looking at a screen right before you sleep, the less likely you are to get good sleep. Before you crawl into bed, charge your phone in a place out of arm’s reach, ensuring you won’t wake up and check it in the night, and that you’ll be forced to get up to turn off that alarm. If you can resist, try to stop engaging with technology at least a half-hour before bed. Grab a good book instead.
Drink It Up
If you are dreaming of the desert, make sure you wake up prepared. A carafe of water with a glass on top ensures you have more than enough H20, and keeps your glass from getting contaminated overnight. Forget the logistics though -- a nightstand with an elegant carafe on it also makes your bedroom feel a little bit more like luxury hotel.
Stock Your Stand
We’re not here to tell you what to keep or what not keep at your bedside—those delicate details are on you—but do yourself a favor and stick to just the basics. Don’t junk up your drawer with every imaginable need, lest you find yourself on a digging expedition in the dark. A thick stack of books looks inviting, but it means you’ll be sifting for what you need in your sleepiest state. Stick to the basics, and maybe include a little headache medicine in case you wake up feeling a touch worse for wear.
Such Great Heights
Your side of the bed storage is a preference. Similar to how you choose who you share a bed with—some people prefer talls, others smalls. Make sure you can reach all you need by finding a bedside table that’s nearly level with your mattress, putting it in the 24 to 28 inch range. Most people would rather reach up slightly from bed (and not have to stoop to get something if they are standing), so don’t be afraid to go big (27 inches). Also think outside of the single-drawer nightstand box.
Drift into dreamland with a sheet spray that makes use of the remnants of your last all-night gathering—while not smelling exactly like an old party. Mix one part vodka to three parts water with a drop or two of an essential oil, like lavender. Stow in a small spray bottle and spritz until you’re seeing fields in Provence as you snooze.
Harvard University’s Dr. Andrew Weil has a method that’s gained traction with the sleepy, promising that his 4-7-8 method can get you ready for bed in one minute. Inhale for four seconds, hold for seven, exhale for eight. After four sets, you should be feeling zen. We tested it, and it took us two days to write this article.
All bedsides need a light, but they don’t all need a lamp. If you’re short on space, a wall-mounted sconce is just as illuminating. If you have more space, opt for a lamp that fits your needs. If you aren’t an in-bed reader, you don’t need a directional task lamp to shine on your page turner. Pick a beacon that fits your needs, just make sure it’s something you can easily turn on and off from bed.
Make the Bed
Technically this is a morning ritual, but it’ll help you bed down even easier. Take a moment in the morning to at least pull the sheets up—and remove whatever detritus has collected at the foot of your bed. Being able to climb onto a made-up mattress buys you a few more minutes of slumber, and who doesn’t want that?