What is the secret to getting a better sleep? Sure, there are days when our minds are going a million directions and days that deadlines and maybe even kids keep us up. I don’t get too hard on myself when I can’t sleep properly. Instead, I just accepted it and hope that the next night will be a better one. Then there’s my good friend, coffee, that keeps me chugging along.

I’m sure we’ve all had friends and family give us advice. Turn off your devices before bedtime, don’t have caffeine after dinner, yada yada. But do we listen? Maybe if we’re hitting the wall! But recently some great tips on how to get a better sleep came to my attention and I thought it was worth sharing.

Alanna McGinn is the Canadian Founder and Sleep Consultant of Good Night Sleep Site and serves on the faculty of the Family Sleep Institute. For over 10 years, Alanna and her staff have helped countless people from children to adults, to overcome their sleep challenges. In partnership with Dermalogica for their recent launch of the Sound Sleep Cocoon Transformative Night Gel-Cream (link to my review), she’s shared some simple tips to help us improve our bedtime routine to get a more restful sleep.

ESTABLISH A CONSISTENT SLEEP PATTERN: This is where I need a lot of work on as schedules are not my thing. But McGinn says it’s important to go to bed and wake up in the mornings around the same time to keep your body clock in sync. When we keep constant sleep schedules we are able to achieve the best restorative sleep possible. Sings of a healthy sleep include; falling asleep in 10-12 minutes an not needing an alarm clock to force you awake. (okay, that’s actually me most of the time)

PRACTICE A CONSISTENT BEDTIME ROUTINE:  My bedtime routine always involves stretching at the end of the day and a nice warm bath, either lavender, eucalyptus or almond based. McGinn tells us it’s a good idea to prepare your body and mind to sleep with simple bedtime activities like changing into pj’s, reading a book, meditating and and practicing a nightly beauty regime. Sleep is a crucial part of maintaining our health and wellbeing, but it’s also important for our skin.

“To ensure your skin get the benefits of sleep, invest in a great night cream like Dermalogica’s
Sound Sleep Cocoon. This revitalizing night gelcream is a win-win for your skin as it not only
works with the skin’s natural overnight repair and recovery process, but it also helps you fall
asleep more soundly. It includes essential oils such as French Lavender, Sandalwood and
Patchouli, which I would recommend to any client,” says McGinn.
PROTECT THE AMOUNT OF SLEEP YOU NEED:  Adults typically need 78 hours of restorative sleep per night. We all have a certain amount of sleep our body needs each night. When we don’t meet this need on a regular basis we accumulate a “sleep debt.” This is the amount of sleep you owe your body. Determine your wake time and base your bedtime on that.
Understand What Tech Can Help You Sleep and When to Turn Tech Off: I’ve actually thought I’m okay with this as I also sometimes listen to audiobooks on my iPhone. But McGinn tells us it’s best to give yourself a tech curfew, and turn off tech 60 minutes before bedtime. Bright screens can  trick your brain into being awake. As this 60 minute mark is approaching, these tech devices and tools can help you get ready for bed. Also, we here at AuburnLane.com also like devices including the Kobo Aura H20 reader automatically adjusts to the time of day and dims when it’s darker to help ease into your nighttime routine, something, we’ve found really handy. 
There are amazing Sleep Apps and mediation Apps available out there – we’ve checked out the Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon widget that includes step-by-step instruction for a good night’s sleep, and a restorative sound therapy playlist by NuCalm. Handy tips on there as well!
Aromatherapy diffusers also help to create relaxing and calming environments but make sure you find the blends that are good for sleeping. You don’t need Liquid Sunshine necessarily at the end of the day although it’s one of our favourite citrusy happy scents!
And what about tips to help with the two time changes that occur each year for us here?
McGinn’s suggests to set up your bedroom for time changes
REDESIGN YOUR SLEEP SANCTUARY:
Keep your bedroom dark. Darkness promotes our natural sleep hormone melatonin.
Expose yourself to bright lights in the morning to help wake you up.
Sleep (and sex) should be the only activities you do in your bedroom. Clear out the
clutter to strengthen the association between sleep and your bedroom.
To adjust to the Spring time change, you can adjust your wake time a few days before
the clocks change to 15 minutes earlier each day OR keep your wake time and bed
time the same using the new adjusted time. It takes about a week to adjust.