My Celebrity Life

Self-Confessed Great Sleepers Share Their Bedtime Routines

If you’re struggling to sleep during the pandemic and regularly utter the phrase “I’m so tired” then it’s likely that you classify yourself as a ‘bad’ sleeper. According to one survey, more than a quarter of people in the UK sleep poorly on a regular basis, with more than a third getting only five to six hours of sleep a night.

The long-term effects of poor sleep include difficulty concentrating, low productivity and mood disorders, yet despite this, almost half (49%) of those surveyed said they had never taken steps to alleviate their sleep problems.

In comparison, the benefits of a good night’s sleep include boosted immunity, reduced stress and a healthy heart, meaning there is probably a thing or two to be learned from those of us who sleep well. So what are those who claim to be good sleepers doing before bedtime?

We picked the brains of 11 well-slept people to find out just how they do it. Click through to hear the ins and outs of their dreamy nighttime routines.


Jessica, 2
7What’s your bedtime routine?

Before I go to sleep, I always do my nighttime skincare routine. This consists of cleansing my face, steaming my face with a hot flannel (I do this three times) and then massaging serums and moisturisers into my skin. At the same time, I am listening to Bach, Mozart or Yann Tiersen with my headphones in. I then put on my pyjamas and slip into bed where I meditate for 10 minutes, which includes listening to guided meditation on the Calm app followed by two minutes of breathing to get my heart rate down. Once my head hits the pillow and I close my eyes with my silk eye mask on, I’m in the land of nod.

How long do you sleep for?

According to my Fitbit watch, I am getting at least 6-7 hours of sleep each night. It cleverly records how much sleep I get, how long I am in a deep sleep or REM and how restless or calm I am by measuring my heart rate at this time. I’ve noticed over the last year or so that I am really prone to REM sleep – which is what causes my reaalllly vivid dreams – then I fall into a deep sleep before I am subsequently woken by my dreaded alarm. But I always feel well rested when I wake, which is how I know I am a good sleeper.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

Ever since I mastered the art of my routine, which in addition to the above also includes a decaf sleep time tea and a glass of water, I have been able to drift off to sleep with no issue. I’ve also made sure I give myself enough time to get to sleep as I have to be up for work super early.

Have you always slept well?

I haven’t always slept well. I suffer terribly from anxiety and depression so I always used to suffer from crippling insomnia or I’d keep waking up in the middle of the night with night terrors.


Ellinor, 26
What’s your bedtime routine?

My bedtime routine starts with dinner! I’m quite sensitive when it comes to what I eat and when, so I try to have dinner early – I eat most days by about 7.30pm. I’ve heard it’s also not great to make your body too hot before bed as it sets off something ‘awake’ in your system so I shower before 9pm. When I’m in bed, my routine is pretty simple; I put my phone away at 10pm and settle down with a book until 11pm. I think this has been the single biggest shift in my sleep. Being off screen for an hour before bed cannot be undervalued!

How long do you sleep for?

I sleep pretty deeply from 11pm until approx 7.30am. I love it when you wake up just before your alarm because of your body clock. I feel really clear-minded in the morning. It’s SUCH a good feeling to wake up knowing you’ve had enough sleep.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

A lot of it has to do with diet, my sleep can fluctuate vastly if I’m not eating the right things. For example, if I eat too much dark chocolate in the day, I can’t sleep at all (important side note: I’ve never drunk coffee so my caffeine tolerance is a flat zero). But the same thing happens with a lot of sugary food or cheese actually. For me, it also has to do with routine. I’m a creature of habit so having a regular routine is really important to me, my body knows what to do and when. I have the same bedtime every day where possible and try to stick to similar wake-up times. Learning to meditate has played a big part in the change in my sleep routine too, figuring out not to be stressed if you can’t get to sleep is a big step.

Have you always slept well?

No! In my early 20s I used to sleep terribly. More late nights, my mind was running all the time, my diet was shitty and I was on my phone/laptop all the time.


Georgia, 2
8What’s your bedtime routine?

As early a dinner as possible, peppermint tea, bath if possible, lavender body oil, socks on, lights off by 11pm latest if my boyfriend’s not staying over.

How long do you sleep for?

I usually get 7-8 hours a night, never wake up in the middle, and don’t sleep for longer at the weekend.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

I don’t look at my phone or watch anything before bed, and use the time to do beauty things like a face mask and body moisturise, and read books/magazines/papers, as it feels like respite from my computer-focused job.

Have you always slept well?

Yes, never had an issue with sleep.


Anna, 29
What’s your bedtime routine?

I don’t really have one, I just get super tired! If I want to wind down I will have a herbal tea and sit in bed, maybe listen to an audiobook, but there’s danger in this as I’ll fall asleep too quickly – with or without the tea in hand – and miss all of the audiobook (thank you sleep timer though).

How long do you sleep for?

I was a terrible sleeper as a child but the stresses of adulthood clearly embedded themselves into getting tired and sleeping through. I sleep for about 8 hours, usually from 11-7, even on weekends. I don’t like lie-ins.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

I just get really tired and am definitely a morning person, not a night owl. It works against me though as I hit a wall at 10-11 when I go out!

Have you always slept well?

No, as a child I was borderline insomniac and used to rearrange my whole bedroom at night. I also relied heavily on tapes and CDs (Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry was my saving grace for sleepless nights). If I didn’t have my plastic headphones with the spongy pads and my personal tape player, I got very upset as a young child. Bless.


Alya, 30
What’s your bedtime routine?

Leave my phone in the other room on charge, skincare etc and get into bed. Then I write in two diaries – one in which I fill out a short passage on my day, the second is a gratitude diary which asks questions such as: What was your good deed today? How can you improve and what three amazing things happened today? Then I set my alarm and turn my lights off. Depending on what time it is and how tired I am, I then either go straight to sleep or watch an episode of something on my laptop until I do.

How long do you sleep for?

I usually sleep for 8 hours if time allows, and sleep deeply and right through the night.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

I take steps before I sleep to clear my mind. Also just lucky, I think.

Have you always slept well?

Yes. Other than during a break-up, weirdly.


Fay, 24
What’s your bedtime routine?

Journal, talk to a loved one, drink lots of water, never sleep later than midnight.

How long do you sleep for?

From midnight to 6am during workdays, plus a 60-90-minute nap after work. Polyphasic sleep cycle works best for me, as I need to recharge after work and I like to stay up a bit later at night. I sleep very deeply most of the time, especially because I use a lot of pillows to properly support every part of my body (neck, knees, shoulders).

Why do you think you sleep so well?

Having a fixed routine definitely helps. My body automatically knows when it’s time to sleep once I start my routine. I also keep very busy during the day, which helps me fall asleep faster at the end of the day.

Have you always slept well?

No, I used to be a very light sleeper.


Catherine, 32
What’s your bedtime routine?

Go to bed between 10.30-11pm, sometimes later at the weekend. Sleep 9-10 hours, wake up around 8am (maybe 9am if I slept late but rarely later than that).

How long do you sleep for?

I sleep really deeply for like 9-10 hours pretty much every night.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

So many people ask this because I also drink tons of caffeine and at school I was such a bad sleeper that I would fall asleep at my desk, but it’s honestly so simple to fix – it’s routine. I have a little routine I always do: I always brush my teeth, clean my face and moisturise and get a glass of orange squash, and I would do this even after a night out. Then read a bit, then lights out and – this one is important – don’t check your phone! That includes when you wake up in the night; get a light-up watch if you need to know the time. Other than that I would just say I don’t sleep in super late even if I’ve been out ’til 3am because then I won’t sleep as well the following day. Boring tips but they work!

Have you always slept well?

No, until about 18 I was terrible. Then at uni I slept all the time (not much better)! Finding a routine sorted me out. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or involve hot milk or any cliche. But it makes my mind think ‘bedtime now!’


Fiona, 32
What’s your bedtime routine?

I don’t have anything I’d call a routine. Generally speaking I’m in bed by 11/11.30 unless I’ve gone out (now I’m pregnant it’s earlier) and I get into bed and pass out. I don’t avoid phones but we don’t have a TV so generally I’ll have been talking with my partner/reading/hanging out with my dog and they all tend to be quite calming things.

How long do you sleep for?

Outside of pregnancy, I sleep deeply and for about 8 hours. If I can get 9 or 10 hours, I’ll take it. If I get less than 8 over a few days, I feel it and my energy and concentration levels suffer. I don’t let the dog sleep in my room. I can sleep in awkward shapes or for short periods of time. But I have to be lying down – I can’t sleep on planes or trains.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

Cutting down on booze helped, having a good relationship, a calm house and low lighting has an impact. Most importantly I’m in a period of my life where anxiety levels are lower than they have been.

Have you always slept well?

No, there have been periods in my teens and 20s when anxiety (job, relationship, money, health) has messed with my ability to sleep and then I become a zombie.


Ruth, 30
What’s your bedtime routine?

I always read a book for about 10 minutes before bed to tire out my eyes. It works for me!

How long do you sleep for?

Usually 8-9 hours. I rarely wake up in the night and my husband jealously comments how I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow – I think it takes me around 5 minutes to actually drift off and then I’m out for the count until morning.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

I’m usually just very tired from the day! I also manage quite well at putting anxious thoughts out of my mind – being in bed naturally makes me feel relaxed and it’s like an off switch in my brain. The only time that’s not been the case is during a stressful period e.g. moving house/getting married. I didn’t sleep a wink the night before my wedding!

Have you always slept well?

No, I had insomnia as a teenager and used to take tablets for it. I used to lie awake feeling so stressed and anxious about school the next day, playing out scenarios in my head where I’d embarrass myself or think about how tired I’d be and how it would affect my concentration etc. My mum took me to a GP who basically told me that if I didn’t sleep, I could just have a lie-in the next morning and go to school later. I don’t know why but that sort of relieved the pressure I’d put on myself, even though looking back it’s not exactly groundbreaking advice! But I’ve slept consistently well since going to university so for around the last 10-12 years.


Sophie, 28
What’s your bedtime routine?

Go to bed at 10pm every evening (if possible).

How long do you sleep for?

I sleep ’til 6am (I normally wake once about 5, anticipating my alarm). I know I’m a good sleeper because as soon as I get into bed and my head hits the pillow I’m off, whereas my partner can stay awake for hours listening to podcasts trying to get to sleep.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

It’s definitely not because I am not stressed – I have lots of things on my mind. Perhaps a good routine? I’m an evening shower not morning shower person (early start) so I think perhaps having that routine of a hot shower and doing my skincare every evening gets my mind in the right place. My room is also dark and quiet and we always sleep with the window ajar (I get a headache if we sleep with it closed – my brain wants fresh oxygen apparently).

Have you always slept well?

I think so. At least in adulthood. There are obviously times when it’s bad (recently I had a really bad eczema flare-up and would wake myself up scratching – gross – then stay awake for ages) but I love getting 8 hours’ sleep and it’s something I really prioritise. If I don’t get enough sleep I feel like I’m not as good at work and that really bothers me.


Jess, 33
What’s your bedtime routine?

Watching something in bed, turning over, and staring at my phone until I fall asleep – which will normally take about five minutes. I’m aware this is not helpful advice.

How long do you sleep for?

I can sleep FOREVER. I could probably do 10-12 hours a day if society allowed me. I don’t understand people who can’t fall back asleep once they wake up in the morning. I literally have to get out of bed or I will just sleep on and on and on. My current medication does give me night sweats which is somewhat disruptive to my sleep but it’s done nothing to limit how easy it is for me to fall asleep.

Why do you think you sleep so well?

My doctors and therapists are always a bit confused at how well I sleep, considering I’ve suffered badly from anxiety for my whole life. My theory (and I have no idea if this has any scientific merit) is that maybe sleep is where my brain goes to switch off from worrying all day, every day. I hate getting up in the morning because as soon as you’re out of bed you have to start making decisions. When you’re sleeping there’s nothing to try to control or to fix or to doubt yourself on. It’s the only time that I literally can’t worry so I wonder if my brain does it as a self-preservation thing? Or I’m just super lazy. Who knows.

Have you always slept well?

Yes. Except on public transport. I’m terrified of flying and I’d love to be able to sleep through a flight but unfortunately that won’t happen without diazepam.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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