Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who falls asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. It can take me over an hour to fall asleep if I don’t properly “prepare” for bed. Over time, I’ve adopted a few healthy habits that have a positive impact on my sleep routine and keep me from reaching for sleeping pills to fight off insomnia.

Here are 8 of my personal tips for better sleep.

  1. Avoid caffeine, theine and cocoa

Did you know that the effect of caffeine can linger for over 8 hours after consumption? Trust me: I love all three of these pleasures, but I avoid them after 3pm because I know they interfere with my sleep. I like to replace chocolate with carob, have decaf coffee, or opt instead for herbal tea.

  1. Create a “dream room”

The bedroom should be a quiet and cool place. Creating a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom will help you relax and unwind before bed.

First, opt for soft lighting. I love the golden light given off by my salt lamp. Some prefer lanterns. Light stimulates the brain to secrete active hormones like serotonin. In contrast, darkness signals our brain to get into night mode by secreting melatonin, adenosine, and orexins.

Next, why not put on some relaxing music! Pick the same album or playlist, or create your own bedtime playlist. Consistency is key: after listening to the same music night after night, your brain will recognize the mood you’re setting right from the very first song. The music you choose should be very calm, but mostly, it should be pretty abstract to avoid having a song stuck in your head on repeat!

For an extra bit of ambiance, you could also diffuse essential oils: lavender, chamomile, marjoram… so many options are available to facilitate restful sleep and to create a pleasant scent in your room. Warning: before using any essential oils, please read their precautions carefully. Learn about aromatherapy from a qualified naturopath rather than online.

Lastly, it helps to have a little corner in your room where you can relax and unwind. I always have plenty of reading on my bedside table. You could, for example, have a corner to knit, draw, or meditate – anything that has you looking forward to hanging out in your bedroom when the day is done, away from screens and devices, lights, and your to-do list!



  1. Take a bath or shower at night

Most people take their daily shower in the morning, in a rush. But taking a shower or bath in the evening is extremely calming. Heat soothes muscle tension and promotes relaxation. Studies have shown that taking a bath or shower 1 to 2 hours before bedtime can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep by an average of 10 minutes.

Your choice of soap is also important. Take this opportunity to use aromatherapy in your bath routine. Find handmade soaps with real essential oils for a soothing scent. Lavender, for example, is known for its calming properties.

Recently, I discovered a lavender and rosemary soap made by Savons Milca. The designer says, “Something that makes a huge difference for me is the sense of touch. Nothing feels better than skin that’s soft and well hydrated, especially when you slip on your pajamas after a good bath!”

  1. Warm up the bed – and your feet!

When your feet are warm, blood vessels dilate and blood circulates better. This tells the brain that it’s time to sleep. You can’t fall asleep when your feet are freezing cold! A hot compress is a great way to warm your bed, especially the bottom of the bed where our feet lie. Another trick is to warm up your feet by massaging them gently.

  1. Shut down your phone and grab a book

It’s no secret that bringing your phone into the bedroom is bad for sleep… You won’t be able to turn it off as easily as you might like; there’s always one last message or post to read, a last video to watch, or a news headline that captures your attention. But this kind of stimulation prevents us from actually feeling tired and greatly interferes with our sleep. Leave your phone out of the bedroom or activate flight mode before bed. Open a book instead, and I guarantee you that sleep will come much faster than with your phone in hand!

  1. Use a sleep mask or ear plugs

Sleep masks and ear plugs can help you relax and focus on your breathing. Plus, they cut out irritants like light and noise. Don’t be afraid to fall asleep with a mask or earplugs. If they bother you overnight, you’ll probably end up removing them without even noticing. Tip: have a few extra plugs around, in case you lose them overnight. Our therapeutic masks filled with pearl barley and lavender are much more relaxing than simple eye masks.

  1. Clear your head

When we’re overwhelmed, our brains have trouble taking a break and winding down. We think about the meeting we have to prepare, our kids’ lunchboxes, the projects piled high on our desk, or a brilliant idea we hope not to forget by morning! But don’t fuel that hamster wheel at bedtime! Plan your day and make your to-do list before going to bed to clear your mind. Your brain can then relax and fall asleep more quickly.

  1. Meditate

Meditation is very helpful for falling (and staying) asleep. Meditation mostly involves proven techniques such as visualization and controlled breathing. There are many apps available to help get you started with 10- or 15-minute sessions. You can also sign up for a class at a yoga studio.

I hope these tips help you create your own sleep routine, because there’s nothing better than waking up feeling refreshed and ready for the day!

Which of these tips will you try?


Marie-Jeanne Gauthier

Designer et Co-Fondatrice

Amma Thérapie