If there's one thing we all agree on, it's this: Sleep is good.
There's no feeling quite like tucking into bed at the end of a long day...
...and snuggling under the covers for a long, restful night.
But if you're tired of waking up like this...
...and wish you were waking up more like this...
...then let these 12 (unofficial) sleep experts tell you how they started getting their best Z's.
1. Up 'n' at 'Em
"Try exercising in the morning! When I exercise after work, I get kind of amped up, but when I exercise in the morning, I'm more alert throughout the day and out like a light at night."
2. Write, Think, Repeat
"As a child and into my teen years, I was a terrible sleeper; I struggled with OCD and found it so hard to find the 'right' position for my body. I give a TON of credit to meditation and journaling for helping with that. For me, and I think so many people, it can be hard to turn off your mind and actually fall asleep, whether you're fixated on your body feeling 'right' or just letting the carnival of your mind open for business right when you want to fall asleep. To quiet the mind and build a dam for your thoughts is very helpful to fall asleep."
3. Some Light Housekeeping
"I'm less likely to get anxious if my bedroom is a Sleep Palace, so I put away all potential stressors: dirty laundry, makeup, my work computer. And I try to make my bed whenever I can. I also try to switch up my sheets with a new color or pattern, buy cute lamps, so I feel like I'm sleeping in a fancy home décor catalog."
4. Go Out Walkin', After Midnight
"I love the effect that quiet, meditative night walks have on my sleep patterns. If I'm coming home late, I'll often get off my bus one stop early, just to give myself an extra few minutes to walk and breathe in the quiet. Something about that, followed by cozying up under the covers, always improves how I sleep and feel in the morning."
5. Au Naturel
"As a long-time insomniac, melatonin has turned my life around. And I gave up coffee for two years, so that also helped."
6. Work on Your Night Moves
"Exercising gently before bed helps me immensely, even if it's just light work on a mat on your bedroom floor for 10 minutes."
7. Slumber by Number
"I read this somewhere, and it totally works: Instead of counting sheep, you count things that matter, like all the countries you can remember. Or go through the alphabet and name a song/movie that starts with each letter. Usually when I get stuck at a letter, my brain has had enough and decides that rather than make this effort, it's ready to fall asleep."
8. ASMR-You Asleep Yet?
"Ever since I started listening to and watching ASMR videos before bed, I found that I can transition into a deep sleep much easier. Usually, I lay in darkness for an extra hour thinking about the cringeworthy things I did that day or stressors of tomorrow and end up with mini panic attacks. Watching ASMR takes your mind off things without having to focus 100%, and it's a great way to drift off."
9. Dress for Sleep-cess
"I wear proper PJs and not just an old ratty shirt. I don't have research for this, but I think the ritual of putting on an outfit you only wear to sleep helps to reinforce the idea that it is now bedtime."
10. Go Long
"I find gentle stretching before bed helps me to sleep better. My favourite stretch is laying on the bed flat on my back and hugging one knee to my chest then the other knee."
11. Big (Sleep) Mood
"Setting the mood is important. I turn off my TV at least 30 minutes before I fall asleep, try to read a few pages or a chapter of a non-addictive book — you know the kind that makes you say, one more chapter, and then you're up until 3am — turn my rock salt lamp on and count back from 30, taking deep breaths in the process. I usually don't make it to the single digits!"
12. Chill Out
"I sleep best with about three different air machines running, including a fan blowing directly in my face. Something about being able to get under a warm blanket in a cold room always knocks me out."