Beat the Bedtime Blues: Relaxation Techniques for Better Sleep

Homeblogbedtime advice

Cilliers Marais


Bedtime is fast approaching. You drag your feet to the bedroom because you fear that you’ll be lying awake again. Or you simply ignore the fatigue and start another episode, scroll some more, or queue for another game.

Know the feeling?

If you struggle to fall asleep or to get into a consistent pre-sleep routine, then you should keep reading. In this blog, Kooi gives you some tried and tested tips on how to beat the bedtime blues. 

Preparation is Key

Preparing for bed is more crucial than you might realise. Many of us rush through the day, trying to squeeze in family, friends, exercise, and work, leaving our bodies like a wrung-out rag at the end of the day. And then we often socialise late into the night, with no specific bedtime. Different people, different places and various sleep times just confuse your body and make it harder to fall asleep. 

Without consistent signals to indicate that it’s time to start winding down, your body might struggle to recognize when it’s time to sleep. 

Here’s how to improve your nighttime routine for better sleep and refreshed mornings.

Set a Consistent Bedtime

Research shows that maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake-up time improves sleep quality. As such, you may want to consider easing off on the nighttime socials and get into bed around the same time every night.

  • Decide on a specific bedtime and stick to it, even on weekends.
  • Setting an alarm to remind you when bedtime is approaching can help, especially if you have a busy nightlife.
  • Prioritise rest over social activities. Although it might seem challenging at first, the benefits of consistent sleep far outweigh the occasional late night out.

By sticking to a regular sleep schedule, you will find it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Avoid Screens Before Bed

top view of a laptop, planner and an iPhone. Try to put these devices away before bedtime.

Maybe you are not a late-night socialite but prefer to stay in and binge-watch your current favourite show. Or maybe you just browse the internet and scroll through social media until you fall asleep. However, exposure to bright light from screens before bed can be counterproductive. The light stimulates your eyes and brain, making it think it’s still daytime.

  • Refrain from using screens at least an hour before bedtime.
  • If you need to read or view something, opt for a paperback book or a magazine instead of a screen.
  • Use soft lighting to help you become drowsy more quickly. Candles work wonders.

If, on the other hand, avoiding screen time isn’t possible because you need to finish that report, consider using an app that filters out blue light from your screen. Most modern smartphones have built-in blue light filters, but if yours doesn’t, several apps are available on your preferred app store. You can even download blue light filters for your PC or laptop.  

Reducing your screen time or at least the amount of blue light you take in close to bedtime may help you to fall asleep faster.

Watch Your Intake Before Bedtime

The substances you consume before bed can significantly impact your sleep quality.

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks up to five hours before bed. While five hours might seem like a long time to go without coffee or soda, it can make falling asleep easier.
  • Limit alcohol consumption before bed. Although alcohol might make you drowsy initially, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night and reduce the amount of restorative sleep you get.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to avoid drinking anything for at least an hour before bed to minimise disruptive midnight trips to the bathroom. Make sure to empty your bladder before you go to sleep to ensure a more uninterrupted night’s rest.

Create a Relaxing Pre-Sleep Ritual

Establishing a pre-sleep ritual can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, but once again, consistency is key.

  • Consider taking a warm, relaxing bath before bed.
  • Reading a paper book can also be an effective way to reduce stress.
  • Doing relaxing breathing or stretching exercises before bedtime can help you to fall asleep more easily. 

Whatever your ritual, the goal is to create a consistent pattern that helps trigger your body’s natural sleep cues. Over time, this routine will help your internal clock recognize when it’s time to start winding down, leading to falling asleep and waking up at consistent times. This consistency is exactly what you need for a better night’s sleep.

Sleep Better With Kooi

If all else fails, maybe it is time for a new mattress. If your bed is too old, that can play a significant role in how quickly you fall asleep, and how well you sleep. Check out our top-of-the-line mattresses here to improve your sleep.