Sleep. That elusive, beautiful friend you wish you got to see more of. Before I turned 30, I barely needed sleep. I could wake up fresh after a few hours of Zs and keep my energy up throughout the day. This is now a laughable thought. It’s like I turned 30 and my body was like, “Yeah, no, Stef. Let’s just take a little nap every hour.”
It could be my age. It could be that I now take an anti-anxiety medication that makes sleep heavy, but morning wake-ups a challenge. Or the two car accidents I’ve had in the last three years are ruining my quality of sleep. It’s possibly having more (or different) stress in my life — but it’s probably a combination of everything. Either way, sleep is no longer something that comes naturally to me and has become something I need to put effort into doing well.
I connected with the BW team on this and we put together a list of our go-to habits for better sleep. Here are a few ways to cultivate a restful night, and in turn, happier, more productive days!
Read a book before bed.
Put that phone down and pick up that book you keep meaning to finish. No, not on your tablet. The physical book. Looking at your phone or any blue light source before bed not only poorly affects your melatonin levels and REM sleep, it also keeps your mind WAY too engaged with distractions. (Yes, Instagram and TikTok, we’re talking about you!) Reading even just 10 pages from a novel enables you to focus on one thing: the book.
Truth: I’m still really working to break my blue light before bed habit.
Set your phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode.
DND basically makes your phone go dark. Your alerts will go on silent, your phone won’t ring, and you won’t hear that little machine buzzing in the night. You can set DND to turn on automatically at a certain time and off at a certain time. Yasmine from my team has hers set to turn on at 9:00 pm and off at 7:00 am. She gets up at 5:30(!) and likes both her sleep and morning routine uninterrupted by her phone.
If you can handle it — and if you’re not meant to be on call in your work — take it one step further and activate ‘Airplane’ mode.
Truth: Also working on this one…
Always wash your face before bed. ALWAYS.
We cannot stress this enough. Why would you want to go to sleep feeling like you still had gunk on your face? Even if you don’t wear makeup, your skin still needs a cleanse to wash the day off, clear your pores, and have a clean slate for your skincare products of choice to do their thing.
Side note: It turns out the entire BW team has a background in dance. We all still shudder a bit at the thought of the heavy stage makeup — the nightly facewash was a lesson learned early…
Create an evening routine.
Cultivate a few night habits that will anchor you for bedtime. E.g. You probably know how much I love a nighttime bubble bath. It’s the perfect time to decompress after a full day. I love sprinkling in Epsom salts and some CBD crystals. I also dive into a chain of routines like skincare, brushing my teeth, etc. All of this lets my brain know it’s time to wind down for bed.
What makes you feel cozy and at ease? Set that up for yourself so you feel your most cozy and relaxed before bed.
- Get the room temperature just right
- Light a candle or turn on your diffuser an hour before sleep,
- Fluff those pillows
- Put on a hoodie
Basically, set the mood for a date with sleep. Sarina from my team has this on lock and she’s inspired me with some of her ideas. I might also be sourcing the perfect hoodie for Ralf… Just saying…
For the overthinkers like myself, I highly recommend meditating before sleep, or to put on ambient noises. (Ocean Sounds are my favourite.)
Sleep has a huge bearing on how we show up in our day-to-day lives. Life is never going ot be perfect, but I know I’m a much better person to be around when I’m well-rested.
I’d also be keen to know your tips for a better night’s sleep. Pop them in the comments below.