I feel like the older I get, the more I value sleep. When I was younger, not getting enough sleep was annoying, but not completely and utterly debilitating in the way it is now. And you know those days when you come home so tired that you lie down to take a nap, but actually end up sleeping through to the next morning? Well on those days, I feel like I’m living my BEST life. It’s just so damn indulgent (sorry to anyone with kids!).
Even if you do get enough sleep, mornings are still a panicked rush for most people. As someone who is always scrambling to get out the door, here are some essentials to buy and tips you can implement that will make going to bed a breeze and lessen the sting of that dreaded AM buzzer.
ALL THE ESSENTIALS
1. Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
- This silk pillowcase was one of those things that I didn’t think I needed, but now I can’t imagine living without it. Natural silk (not satin!) pillowcases minimize friction, which results in less bedhead, hair breakage and facial wrinkles. Oh and it feels amaaazing! I recommend one that is Mulberry silk (because it’s the best) with a minimum weight of 19 momme.
2. Mulberry Silk Sleep Mask (Silk-Filled)
- I mostly use my sleep mask for travel and I’m so happy that I replaced my cheap satin one with a mulberry silk one. The one I chose is also silk-filled, and feels like a luxurious, pillowy dream to slip on!
3. Lavender-Scented Pillow Spray
- Instead of lighting a lavender-scented candle (which you will have to remember to blow out before bed), I use a lavender-scented pillow spray! Choose one with natural ingredients so that you aren’t inhaling a ton of chemicals—bleh!
4. Silicone Socks
- Going to bed with super dry feet is like… ugh, I can’t even (if you know me, you know how much I actually can’t stand it!). On nights when my feet need a little extra TLC, I slip these on with some thick lotion and within a few hours they are baby soft! I like these ones because they are silicone-lined (vs. fabric) and cover the whole foot (vs. just the heel).
5. Sleep Supplement
- Natural Calm seems to be a permanent fixture in every blogger’s bedtime routine, but I just couldn’t stick with it. It’s an exceptional product that really works, but drinking it before bed makes me need to get up to pee (which is ANNOYING and exactly the opposite of a good night’s sleep). So on nights when I need extra help, I prefer to pop 2-3 of these melatonin gummies, and in 30-45 minutes I feel my eyes start to droop.
6. Philips Wake-up Light
- I cannot stress how much YOU. NEED. THIS. Especially during the winter months, when getting out of bed in the dark is nearly impossible. It mimics sunrise by gradually increasing from a soft orange to bright yellow light, which helps your body wake up naturally. I forego the “natural wake-up sounds” in favour of a morning radio show, since I find the talking and upbeat music is more helpful with easing me into consciousness. I have this model, but any of them will do.
TIPS & TRICKS
1. Time iPhone’s “Bedtime” feature to sync with your sleep cycles!
- A sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and while waking up between cycles is when you feel most refreshed and alert, waking up in the middle of one leaves you feeling tired and groggy. Input your wake-up time into the Sleep Calculator to figure out your ideal bedtime, and sync iPhone’s “Bedtime” feature to match that. The “Time for Bed” notification is very helpful in reminding me to wrap things up for the night. No iPhone? Set a recurring alarm 30, 45 or 60 minutes prior to your ideal bedtime.
2. Turn on the “Night Shift” feature on your devices
- Did you know that the blue light your devices emit can mess with your melatonin production and circadian rhythms? Apple’s “Night Shift” feature lets you move the display towards the warmer, yellower part of the colour spectrum during a set time range. Soon you won’t even notice it’s on—just remember to turn it off when taking or editing photos! Android users may have a “Night Mode” setting or can use apps like Bluelight Filter.
3. Install the f.lux app on your laptop
- F.lux is like Night Shift, but for your desktop. Once you set your time zone, it will sync the gradual colour shift with your location’s sunset and sunrise times. Similar to Night Shift, the colour settings are completely customizable, so set them as warm as you like (the warmer the better).
4. Set music based alarms for your morning routine
- I read somewhere that if you create an AM playlist, you can track how much time has passed based on what song is playing. GENIUS, but a bit too labour-intensive for me! Instead, I set alarms with specific songs/ringtones: I have one for when I need to start getting ready, one as a 5-minute warning, and one to make sure I’m out the door on time. Try picking songs where the lyrics match what you’re doing! I have Fergie’s “Glamorous” play when I need to start getting dressed 😉
5. Prep and bring what you can for the entire week
- Do as much or as little as you want! If setting everything out each night of the week is too big of an ask (yes, yes it is…), try packing what you can for the whole week on Sunday night. I like to pack a week’s worth of gym outfits, breakfasts and afternoon snacks (but not my lunches). Yes, I look like a pack mule on Monday morning, but then I have a few less things to worry about for the rest of the week!
6. Tape a pad of Post-its to your door (and keep a Sharpie nearby!)
- Write down anything important that you need to do/bring so that it will stare you in the face on your way out the door. This has been a LIFE SAVER for me and is more effective than leaving your keys next to an item you need to bring (what if there is more than one thing?
7. Clear your mind of any last minute notes/reminders
- Don’t waste valuable brain power, get it out of your head and onto paper (or your phone)! Use a to-do list app to create tasks for anything that doesn’t need to be done immediately. I like Wunderlist because it seamlessly syncs between my iPhone, iPad and desktop.
Do you have any bedtime/AM essentials or tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them! Feel free to comment below!