It’s not just your bedtime routine but also your daily lifestyle habits that can ensure you get the slumber you need. Take a cue from Michelle Drerup, PsyD, director of behavioral sleep medicine with the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, and you’ll be counting sheep before you know it.
1. Ditch some tech…
While light of any type can suppress secretion of melatonin, blue light (the kind emitted from your handheld tech) has a short wavelength that affects melatonin levels more than any other. Smartphones and tablets should have a bedtime too. One way to implement this is to not keep them on your bedside table overnight where they will be more tempting. That being said, I often use my smartphone to listen to audiobooks or meditation apps at night, but keep in mind this does not involve looking at the screen or engaging with material on my phone.
2. …and embrace other tech
I use mindful meditation practices as well as guided-imagery strategies for both myself and my children at bedtime. I really like the Insight Timer app because it’s free and it has many options – you can select the type of practice you want to do based on the time and situation. I also like the Calm app for its descriptive, non-plot-driven stories – they’re like bedtime stories for grown-ups.