The Simple Ways I’ve Been Getting Better Sleep

By DeAndrea Douglas
how to get better sleep

I cannot stress to you enough the importance of good sleep. To have a healthy and productive life you must get enough deep, restful sleep. A night of deep, quality sleep can revitalize your body, sharpen your mind, and boost your mood. It serves as your body’s natural restorative process, repairing damage, facilitating growth, and refreshing your energy reserves for the next day. Good sleep also enhances your memory, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and focus, fueling your professional and personal productivity. Physically, great sleep supports critical functions such as immune health, heart health, and weight management. And on top of all of that, good sleep allows you to regulate your mood, helping to ward off stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s safe to say that choosing to prioritize getting good sleep is choosing to invest in your health and overall quality of life.

Getting a good night’s sleep can be elusive at times. I have a full-time job and a side hustle I’d love to turn into my full-time gig so it seems like there is never enough time each day to get enough done. I can only imagine what mothers have to deal with. I’ve learned not to let my busy schedule get in the way of getting good sleep for all of the reasons I just mentioned. As much as I want to constantly work late into the night and run on 3 hours of sleep, the next day I’m no good. When I’m sleeping well I have more creative ideas and the energy to execute them so it’s highly important that I set myself up for success come bedtime.

These are a few habits I have to help myself get consistently good sleep. Consistently is the keyword in that last sentence. If you get good sleep sporadically it’s not helping much. You want to try to get good sleep every single night.


Exercising powerfully influences your sleep patterns by regulating your body’s internal clock, known as your circadian rhythm. Physical activity triggers your body’s stress response, which in turn increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. However, your body counteracts these effects by producing endorphins and other hormones that promote relaxation and drowsiness once physical exertion subsides. Moreover, exercising also helps combat anxiety and depression, which are common causes of bad sleep habits. I might not get in a workout every single day, but I aim for 5 days per week. I love doing yoga at home so I have no excuse to not get at least 15 minutes in.

Take My Vitamins

My overall health has improved since adding a daily supplement to my routine. A good daily supplement will be rich in vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, antioxidants, and plant extracts. These ingredients can provide sustained energy, reduce cravings, and support your overall health.

I also take an additional magnesium supplement because magnesium may help to promote relaxation and stress reduction to improve sleep. Magnesium citrate can support a healthy digestive system, enhance nerve function, boost energy during exercise, and assist in brain function and mood regulation. Just know that it can cause what I heard Dave Chappelle call mud butt so ease yourself into it. I want to set myself up for success so I get close to my daily value of magnesium daily.

Blackout Curtains

Getting blackout curtains was a request from Chanston. Light used to not bother me when I slept or at least that’s what I thought. if you don’t know, blackout curtains are designed to block out any external light infiltrating your room, creating an ideal dark environment that is conducive to sleep. The human body is biologically wired to respond to darkness by producing melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Therefore, by using blackout curtains to eliminate light from your bedroom, your body can naturally follow its circadian rhythm, allowing you to fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper and more restful sleep.

Our bedroom curtains (the exact ones are linked) block 95% of the light coming from outside. It’s mostly moonlight, but it still goes a long way, especially on nights when there is a full moon. We can still see light peeking through in the middle of the day when we decide to take an afternoon nap on the weekends, but closing the curtains makes it dark enough to feel like dusk. If you don’t have blackout curtains consider upgrading.

No TV in the Bedroom

Watching TV before bed can be mentally stimulating, making it harder to relax and fall asleep. Plus, TVs emit blue light, which can disrupt your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle by suppressing the production of melatonin. Removing the TV from your bedroom creates a more conducive environment for sleep, promoting relaxation and helping you to wind down more easily before bedtime.

I always liked the idea of not having a TV in my bedroom so when we finally got a couch for the living room the TV came out of our room the same day. While we will still watch TV before bed some nights, physically moving from the couch to the bedroom helps my mind know it’s time for bed more so than just turning off the TV.

Sleep Mask

I know I have blackout curtains so this might be overdoing it to some, but a sleep mask does more for me than block out light. My absolute favorite sleep mask slightly dampens sound because it covers your ears and is made of silk so it’s nice to my skin. Wearing it keeps me from tugging on my face in the middle of the night when I shift in my sleep so it’s for beauty too. Plus it helps me to focus on my breathing or prayers I’m saying as I fall asleep so I’m not thinking about my to-do list.

Down Pillow

Having grown up having to take whatever pillow was given to me I never paid attention to how important having a high-quality pillow is to getting good sleep. A good pillow gives your head proper support and alignment for your neck and spine. It will help you maintain a neutral position so you don’t strain your muscles and wake up with a crook in your neck. As I’m getting older, “sleeping wrong” can mess up my whole week with unnecessary neck and back pain. A comfortable pillow helps you relax and makes it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Right now, I’m loving these down pillows. I sleep on two of them and enjoy fluffing them each morning as I make the bed.

Melatonin Spray

A friend of mine brought melatonin spray to my attention and I’ve never looked away! It’s been the perfect addition to my nighttime routine. I spray it on my pillow right before I get in the bed so I get a good whiff of it as soon as I lay down. It has a calming blend of melatonin, lavender, and chamomile essential oils that help calm my mind for a good night’s sleep. When I’m exercising and minding my sleep and wake times (more on that later) it never lets me down. It’s like I smell this and my body and mind completely understand that it’s time to go to sleep.

Bamboo Sheets

I tried bamboo sheets years ago and haven’t wanted anything else. They are luxuriously soft and silky smooth so you don’t have a lot of friction and thus heat as you settle in for the night. Bamboo also has temperature-regulating properties that keep you comfortable all night long. If that doesn’t convince you to upgrade your linen situation I don’t know what will. The ones I linked are on my bed right now and are just as good as other luxury brand sheets but cost a fraction of what they cost. Luxury doesn’t always have to be expensive.

Sleep Aid

When I’ve gotten off of my routine I use a sleep aid as a last resort. I like to keep Zzquil handy in case I just can’t go to sleep.

Set Bed Time and Time to Wake Up

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps regulate your circadian rhythm. Having a regular sleep schedule reinforces your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up leading to better sleep quality over time. When your body gets used to a regular sleep schedule, it can enhance the efficiency of your sleep, ensuring that you get enough restorative rest each night. This means no snoozing your alarm when it goes off in the morning. Even on the weekends.

I should note that this is probably virtually impossible when you have young children. They don’t care about your schedule.

No Phone On the Nightstand

This is similar to not having a TV in the bedroom. Not putting your phone on the nightstand forces you not to scroll as you’re trying to fall asleep. You aren’t missing anything by not seeing what’s happening on TikTok or Instagram, but you are being robbed of good sleep and the thief is you. I put my phone on the dresser across the room so I have to physically get out of bed to turn off my alarm in the morning, forcing me to think about getting back in bed.

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