Many of the “recipes” for successful sleep focus on broad issues—pathways to which we have attended in previous essay. These are matters regarding healthy habits–such as exercise, diet and stress-reduction. There is a second set of pathways that bring us much closer to bedtime. These are the pathways that we may choose to take in preparation for sleep.
In a CNN article, Sandee LaMotte (2023) writes about living 5 years longer with high quality sleep. She cites research done at Harvard University regarding this important relationship. Furthermore, LaMotte notes that preparation for sleep is an invaluable way to ensure this high quality: “Set up a sleep routine, with no [computer] blue lights or distractions at least an hour before bedtime. Try meditation, yoga, tai chi, warm baths—anything that relaxes you is great.” What are some of the “anything” initiatives that one might take in preparing for sleep?
I provide some suggestions in this essay and begin by offering a chart summarizing findings from my Pathways to Sleep project. This chart lists some of the sleep preparation pathways, as well as ratings by experts and users, as well as costs and accessibility. In each case, a rating of “3” is high and a rating of “1” is low. A “v” indicates that this pathway is controversial (wide variation in ratings—high variance score).