Sydney-based sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo has updated her signature bedtime routine, and the results are honestly quite astounding.
Sleep: it’s free. And we all want more of it, so why is it so hard to get? Specifically – that consistent, restorative, uninterrupted, eight-hours-a-night kinda sleep. Which is why we’ve enlisted Sydney-based sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo to solve our myriad of sleep concerns with our Sleep Well Wednesdays series. Check back every fortnight and you’ll be off to the land of nod before you know it.
Not only is it the number one strategy I recommend for those looking to sleep better, 100% of my private clients – yes, each and everyone – have used it and seen improvements in their sleep in less than seven days.
For those with bedtime anxiety, or who find it hard to switch off in the evening, this is a game changer – so here is the new and improved version for you.
A few notes before we begin: while it has similarities to the OG signature bedtime routine, I’ve used greater specificity here – so you have even better results.
Next, it’s not about doing one or two of the steps – you need to do all of them, consistently, over the course of a few days, to see significant change. That said, best results come after a few weeks, or even a month; once your brain has come to associate each step with sleep.
With that in mind, I challenge you to practice this for at least three days in the coming week – I have no doubts you’ll be sleeping easier.
1. Block out blue light for two to three hours before bed
Light is your number one zeitgeber – factor to control the circadian rhythm. This means if there is one thing you can do to sleep better, it’s to control light. To do this, I recommend blue light blocking glasses such as Swannies or Block Blue Light – they block 100% of the harmful light rays which can otherwise keep you up.
Regarding timing, this depends on your chronotype: Lions should block out blue light for two hours before bed; Bears for two and a half hours, and Wolves for three hours prior.
2. Take lavender capsules
A 2010 study published in academic journal Phytomedicine noted that lavender oil capsules could improve sleep quality by 45 per cent, and reduce anxiety by 59 per cent – ideal for those who can’t switch off in the evening.
3. Have a goodnight phone alarm
One hour before bed – for all chronotypes – have an alarm that reminds you to disconnect from tech. To make it even more helpful, label this alarm ‘sleep better’.
4. Take a shower
By emerging from a steamy shower to a cooler bathroom; your core body temperature drops and sleepiness hormone melatonin is produced – as noted by a 2019 study lead by The University of Texas at Austin. Ideally, this is one hour before bed too.
5. Take a magnesium based sleep supplement
A 2017 paper by The University of Leeds highlighted magnesium could reduce anxiety by 31% – which can otherwise contribute to bedtime resistance. Here, I recommend an oral supplement featuring magnesium glycinate, di- or bi- glycinate, or chelate – these are the most helpful forms for sleep.
6. Meditate or read
Meditation can be extremely beneficial for sleep. A 2000 study by La Trobe University, Bundoora found that experienced meditators have higher levels of melatonin immediately after the practice, compared to nights they do not practice.
However, if you’re not experienced, I recommend reading; a 2009 study by the University of Sussex found this can reduce stress by 68 per cent, with the effects starting in just six minutes. My book recommendation has to be my own – Bear, Lion, or Wolf, (naturally!).
7. Wear an eye mask
Remember – blocking out light is the number one way to improve your sleep, and that includes through the evening. I recommend a 100 per cent light blocking mask, such as Dreamlight.