You don’t need a fancy health tracker to tell you if you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep. (You know.) But when you do have data from a wearable tracker, you can start to play detective—and track patterns—to find out what advice actually works and what’s not worth the effort.
Since I got my Oura ring about a year ago, I’ve really dialed in my sleep routine. And I’m seeing improvements not just in my daily scores but in my day-to-day energy, mental clarity, and mood, too. I proudly present: the five tips that turned me from a tosser-and-turner into a certified good sleeper.
Among our editorial team, mouth tape has ignited passions and converted skeptics. Who were skeptical for a fair reason: There’s very little research on mouth tape, and most evidence supporting its use is anecdotal. That said, a few of the girls swore they were sleeping better—but it wasn’t until a couple of us discovered dramatic differences in our sleep scores that we became true believers. I saw my sleep scores jump from the mid-70s into the low 90s. And I’m feeling that difference all day long.
I’ll admit that it took me a week to adjust to the feeling. The first few nights, I peeled the tape off in my sleep and woke up with it stuck to my hand. But once I got used to it, I actually started to love it: I’m sleeping through the night better. And no one told me this would happen, but because the tape holds my mouth closed, my jaw can really relax. I’m clenching less and holding less tension in my face overall.
VIO2Mouth Tapegoop, $24.95SHOP NOW
Hate to hear it, but going to sleep at the same time most nights and waking up at the same time most mornings is one of the biggest contributing factors to our sleep scores. If a late night or jet lag has thrown my schedule out of whack, I reach for a melatonin assist: Knock Me Out chews help get me back on track. I find it’s best to take one chew around 9:30, which has me asleep by 10:30.
goop WellnessKnock Me Outgoop, $30SHOP NOW
One theory behind why weighted blankets may help you fall asleep is that the added pressure signals to your brain that it’s okay to rest. (It has to do with how your parasympathetic nervous system calms your heart rate.) In my experience, it’s been a game changer for sleep latency: It feels good, so I feel comfortable faster and toss and turn less. And the deep, even pressure helps me nod off. For a single sleeper, 15 pounds is a nice place to start, but anticipate that you may graduate to something heavier. If you’re sharing with a partner, go with 25 pounds or more.
When I found myself waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to fall back to sleep, tracking my habits helped me identify the culprit: large, late dinners. It’s old advice, but it works. When I shifted my schedule so dinner could come earlier, my sleep scores improved. If I have to eat late, keeping the meal lighter helps minimize sleep disruptions.
A nightcap can help some people fall asleep faster, sure. But not necessarily sleep better. Study after study has shown that the second half of your sleep suffers from drinking—both from a rebound in your body’s energy and because alcohol’s diuretic effect means you’ll need to get up to go to the bathroom. The better nightcap? Tart cherry juice and a magnesium glycinate supplement.
Editors’ Picks: The Nightstand
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.