Sleep Strategies For The Constantly Drowsy


I'm writing you from bed today—something I do a lot more than you might expect. Writing from bed is one of my worse habits, not because it bothers me but because it bothers sleep scientists. If you're looking to develop good sleep customs, your bed should be a sanctuary—where you sleep, not where you work every morning from 6-8:30AM. It's all about boundaries, apparently. Probably smart, given that sleeping well is so much harder than anyone likes to admit. Take me, for instance: I fall asleep within 20 minutes of hitting the pillow because I'm working on a cool 7-to-10 years of sleep debt. But, that sleep is tainted with lots of night-tossing, brief stints of wakefulness, and more mouth-breathing than I'd like to admit. Noise, light, temperature, and I'm sure a whole host of other things are getting in the way of achieving max REM each night. Given that I am a busy person and not the most health-focused, I'm not investing in blackout shades and a CPAP machine quite yet. Instead, I've got these five relatively low impact solutions that help me feel refreshed in the meantime. I think it's working?

1. Night showers

I knew I had to stop showering in the morning when the hot-water-induced tranquility would lull me back to bed at 7AM for a quick 20-minute snooze. It was doing no good for productivity or punctuality. Showering makes me sleepy! Sue me! Now I lean into it with This Works Deep Sleep Shower Gel. Its combo of lavender and chamomile essential oils are stereotypically soothing, and the soap doesn't strip, leaving you calm and more moisturized than you'd expect from a shower gel.

2. Clean pillowcases

You know why I can't sleep? Because I'm too busy worrying about acne. Stop worrying and change your pillowcases instead. Right now I'm using this set from Ettitude. It's 100% bamboo, which means they stay cool all night. Also, they feel like silk (but are machine washable).

3. A bigger mattress

Mainly if you're sleeping with a partner and that partner takes up too much room. It Happened To Me™. Don't stress; don't break up. Just get some more space. And if you're going to go bigger, also go better. The Tomorrow Sleep mattress is the millennial direct-to-consumer Tempurpedic, all foamy and supportive, yet surprisingly affordable. I've been very happy on it because I wake up without back and neck aches for the first time in a long time. (The sheets are a dream, too.)

4. A deep breath

Air quality is important, as are your sinuses. Falling asleep only to have your mouth drop open can make you feel dried out in the worst way. My trick? A tiny humidifier (I kid you not, I have this one) that I load up with water and eucalyptus essential oil. Point it towards your face and feel your nasal passages open sesame.

5. Something to look forward to

To sleep—perchance to dream. Or to wake up and have a really bomb cup of coffee. Dripkit is perfectly suited to those who are obsessed with pourovers but too disorganized to get their Chemex game down. It's a single serving of coffee-house-fresh coffee, all in a start-up-y pouch. Looks good on Instagram! Looks even better in your La Mer mug.

—Emily Ferber

Photo via Getty.

Better yet, sleep AND defeat acne. Here's how.