If you feel restless and toss and turn at night, I have good news—you’re not alone.
And even better news—there’s something you can do about it.
Sleep is so important for the human body. In some ways, scientifically, we don’t even know why this is true. But we do know that when the body is rested, it feels better, so you experience life better.
Read: with better sleep, it’s easier for you to think thoughts that serve you, be in a good mood, and generally feel good about your day.
Too much sleep or too little sleep can negatively impact the body.
This is why it’s important to create healthy sleep habits.
What exactly are “healthy sleep habits”? I’m so glad you asked…
- Related: Breaking Bad Habits (podcast)
What Are Healthy Sleep Habits
Healthy sleep habits vary, but generally there are a few rules that you’ll likely find helpful…
Habit 1: Plan Your Sleep Ahead Of Time
Habit #1 is to plan your sleep ahead of time.
Planning your sleep ahead of time is a game changer.
When will you go to bed this week?
What time will you start your nighttime routine?
When will you stop eating?
When will you stop scrolling?
When will you turn down the light?
If you plan out when you’re going to do these things, you’re giving yourself such a better shot at actually doing them. Why? Because your primitive brain in the moment won’t want to do the hard thing (like stop scrolling IG). But if you planned it, and you’re accountable to yourself, then you my friend are in luck—you’ll follow through with your plan and be smooth sailing.
So, take the time now to create a sleep schedule where you decide in advance when you’re going to go to sleep for the next week. You could even keep a sleep diary to track your sleeping patterns. Then, repeat this weekly until it’s a habit (only making minimal exceptions).
Trust me when I say this, going to bed between 9pm and 10pm seven days a week 90% of the time is how I’m able to consistently have a sleep routine that serves me so well. I don’t ever experience sleep deprivation and never need sleep medicine to help me sleep. The results are me feeling better, managing my mind easier, and having great energy throughout the day. But this all stems from me creating a plan ahead of time to go to bed early and how to create my evening routine.
- How To Create A Morning And Evening Routine (blog post)
- Mental Chatter (podcast)
- How To Fix Your Relationship (free course)
Habit 2: Create A Lux Sleep Environment
Habit #2 is to create a luxurious sleep environment.
This is something you’re never going to regret because it uplevels something so ordinary and makes it quite lux.
The habit is that you make it a routine to feel lux about going to bed. You create and have great, luxurious sleep hygiene. You accept nothing less—even if you have little ones at home, they can be part of it.
The way to do it is to create a space you enjoy sleeping in, including your bedroom, sheets, lamps/lighting, and pajamas.
What pjs do you wear at night? Are they new and pretty or are they a little old and just what was at the top of your drawer?
What about your sheets? Have you replaced those with a higher thread count?
When you uplevel your sleep game, you uplevel your experience of sleep. You treat yourself and nighttime like an event, every single night.
I recently upgraded our duvet set, pillows, sheets—all of it. It’s so much softer, welcoming, and enjoyable to go to bed. Money definitely well spent (after all, you go to bed every night).
- Finding Pleasure (podcast)
- How Social Media Affects Mental Health (blog post)
- Overcoming Self Doubt (free course)
Habit 3: Avoid Light Before Bedtime
The third habit is to avoid light before bedtime.
Blue light from your screens is the worst culprit, but really, it’s all light.
When you reduce the light you’re exposed to, you tell your body, “this is the part where we sleep” so your body increases your levels of melatonin to prepare you for sleep. If you’re always around light, including at bedtime, your body doesn’t prepare for sleep the way it needs to.
Try setting a specific time where you limit screens close to bedtime (such as no screens 30 minutes to two hours before you go to sleep). You can also turn off lights in your home and simply keep a soft nightlight on as you get ready for bed.
When you adjust your environment so bright light is limited and there’s more dark light, you’ll likely find your sleep will improve.
- Related: Reducing Social Media (podcast)
Habit 4: Stop Eating Three Hours Before You Go To Sleep
Habit #4 is to stop eating three hours before you go to sleep.
This feels so un-American as I write this, but the reality is, it’s become ingrained in our culture to eat from sun-up to sun-down. Some studies say Americans eat for 18 hours per day (!!!).
We’ve basically habitualized eating all day.
Another reality: your body needs a break from eating.
If you give your body time to use the energy from the food you ate all day, your body will be ready for sleep at the end of the day.
I suggest three hours of no eating before bed, but really just having a set “this is when I stop eating for the day” rule will work.
Bottom line: don’t eat a large meal right before bed because you don’t need a boost of energy before you go to sleep; you need the opposite (to shut down).
- Emotional Eating (podcast)
- How To Stop Repeating Your Past (blog post)
- Scarcity Vs. Abundance Mindset (free course)
Healthy Sleep Tips
Aside from having the four sleep habits listed above, here’s a list of healthy sleep tips that I personally love and enjoy that I know can possibly help you, too.
Tip 1: Exercise earlier in the day (and exercise regularly).
Tip 2: Avoid alcohol and sugar.
Tip 3: Wear blue light glasses later in the day.
Tip 4: Limit media input (aka social media and TV).
Tip 5: Keep a consistent sleep schedule (so you go to bed at the same time every day).
Tip 6: Make sure you have the thermostat set at a comfortable temperature, so you’re not too hot or too cold.
- Creating An Extraordinary Life (podcast)
- How To Unwind After Work (blog post)
- Time Management Tools (free course)
A Final Note!
Creating positive sleep habits is something worth taking the time to do (particularly because it’s something you do every single day!).
While some people have serious sleep problems and disorders that require medical help, these tips above will no doubt help people who just simply feel a bit restless and who’s looking to optimize her sleep routine and uplevel her sleep experience.
I’m so grateful for my healthy sleep habits. I know getting good sleep regularly is why I’m so energized on a regular basis. Sleep, eating healthy, and moving my body are three simple yet often overlooked tools that will undoubtedly help me long term (and they can help you, too!).
I know speaking from personal experience that instead of rushing to bed, if I take the time to do my nighttime routine and lean into the experience of it, I enjoy it so much more.