When it comes to sleep, humans seem to fall into two main categories. 1. annoying people whose head hits the pillow and they fall asleep instantly and 2. folks whose brains start working overtime when they’re supposed to be going nigh-nigh.
We know that having a good night’s sleep is crucial for our overall health and mental wellbeing, but it’s an elusive, mythical creature for many of us — which leads us on never-ending quests to find the ultimate sleep routine.
There’s been the lettuce water craze and the military sleep hack thanks to SleepTok, and people also have their own specific sleep routines to help them nod off.
For me, it’s a double strength magnesium tablet, a sip of a herbal sleep supplement, and layering a rain sounds app with a Harry Potter audiobook.
I chose this book series because I’ve read it so many times it acts as background noise and I’m not too invested in the story itself — I found that brand-new audiobooks didn’t work because I’d fight sleep to hear the plot unfold. (Plus the dulcet tones of Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter are just so soothing.)
It’s taken me literal decades to hone my particular sleep hack, and it really works for me. So this got me thinking: what do other people use as their foolproof trick? I asked people in the Pedestrian Group office and they had some genius ideas.
How To Fall Asleep: 15 People Share Their Tips
“I use a sleep app that allows me to create a soundscape (layering sounds that I like). You set a time — I usually do it for 30 mins/one hour as I try to fall asleep. It records and tracks your sleep. I’m finding the routine of it all helps, and the rain sounds are relaxing as hell.” – Georgia
“Rain sounds, fan on blast (even in winter), big doona, second pillow for spooning (even though I live with my gf – second pillow is main bae).” – Jenna
“I always get good sleep when I wake up early and therefore feel tired by the end of the day, have a shower before bed to feel extra cosy in bed, get a lot of sun during the day and do a sufficient amount of walking so that my body feels tired. I play a podcast if my brain is being really noisy – this usually does the trick.” – Raveena
“I usually have an Ashwagandha + Magnesium supplement every night about an hour and a half before I intend on sleeping, go in for a nice hot shower, pop my phone on charge and try not to use any tech apart from my Kindle the hour before I sleep.” – Vaish
“My routine is pop a melatonin, put on a YouTube video or The Office and hope for the best.” – Linley
“Mine is pretty niche… I watch calm cafe videos or camping vlogs. The little ice cubes hitting the glass or rain sounds falling on the tent puts me straight to sleep. Also lavender essential oil in a diffuser will knock you out.” – Karli
“I use a meditation app and the woman sounds like a young Meryl Streep. Meryl-ing has become a verb in my house, like “I better Meryl, I’ve got an early start in the morning.’” – Amie
“I use a silk eye mask with contours so I can open my eyes, a silk pillowcase, lavender pillow spray and a specific sleep sounds track that makes it sound like I’m in space. And I keep the blinds open so I can wake up easier in the morning with the sun.” – Ally
“Four or five episodes of Below Deck seems to do the trick for me.” – Zara
“I spritz magnesium spray on my feet and put socks on.” – Amber
“I’ve read plenty on good sleep hygiene that says no screens an hour before bed, but half my hobbies involve screens so I’ve vetoed that option and got a pair of blue-light glasses. I have to say, they work a treat.” – Mateus
“Ancient Aliens – never gone past 15 min of any episode!” – Maya
“I always read before bed, and my old therapist taught me a system: you imagine a random grey dot when you close your eyes and each time you breathe it gets larger until you fall into a deep sleep. It’s quirky but it works every damn time!” – Lachy
“Lengthen your exhale and count your breath, no caffeine after 12pm, no food after 7.30pm (hard one, but def has an impact).” – Brad
“Exerting myself so much throughout the day I literally cannot keep my eyes open when it’s time for bed.” – Izie
If you’re struggling to sleep at the moment, give one (or 12) of these hacks a go for maximum Zs.