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How to Set Up Your Day for Your Best Night’s Sleep

We all have our different bedtime rituals, whether you like to unwind with some yoga and meditation or prefer to doomscroll through Twitter for an hour. (Okay, so some routines are healthier than others.) What you may not know is that good sleep habits start earlier than bedtime. What you do throughout the day affects the quality of sleep you get at night, both positively and negatively. From the best time to work out to when exactly to pop your Uleva CBD, we’ve built out a daily itinerary — follow these steps, and you’ll be snoozing as soon as your head hits the pillow.

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Be consistent with your alarm

If you know a self-proclaimed “morning person,” chances are they just figured this one trick out before everyone else. Being consistent with your wakeup times can help you wake up more easily, fall into predictable sleep patterns, and help train your circadian rhythm for when it’s time to sleep. This is even true on the weekends — turns out, your usual Sunday evening insomnia stems from sleeping in that morning. In addition to the consistency, though, getting sun exposure when you first wake up (more on this later) can promote wakefulness and result in better sleep later on. So go easy on the snooze button and throw open the blinds ASAP.

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It feels intuitive: if you’ve ever had a long day of moving, you know that physically pushing yourself during the day leads to deep sleep at night. Working out may feel draining when you’re doing it, but working up a sweat can actually increase your wakefulness during the day as well, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep. Timing matters, too — exercising in the morning can be like a hot shower that helps you wake up. Elevated core temperatures and released endorphins tend to get you going, so working out late in the day isn’t recommended.

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Get plenty of sun

Circadian rhythms aren't very smart. They pretty much tell your brain “light = daytime = stay awake” and vice-versa. This means that the brighter your days, the easier it’ll be to shut that brain off at the end of the day. Plus, getting vitamin D from sunshine is a key element to being well rested. For best results, take that walk at lunch time, or schedule your workout outdoors. You’ll feel the difference when it’s time to hit the hay.

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Stop drinking caffeine

You don’t need to quit drinking coffee to get a good night’s sleep, but if you’re re-upping your cups to get through an afternoon slump, it could still be in your system by bedtime. The half-life of caffeine (that is, the time it takes for your body to metabolize half of it) is longer than most people realize: 5.7 hours. That means if you drink two cups of coffee at 5 pm, you’ll still have about one cup’s worth of buzz by 11 pm. Most experts recommend having your last cup between 2 pm and 3 pm.

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Limit your drinks

Just because you can “sleep off” a few extra drinks, that doesn’t mean you should. Too much alcohol in your body will interfere with melatonin, your body’s natural sleep hormone. Plus, it can prevent REM sleep, the most restful phase. Although the relaxation from a cocktail or two can help you fall asleep faster, it won’t actually charge your battery. For the best possible results, the Sleep Foundation recommends that you cut yourself off at least four hours before bedtime.

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Get in the right headspace

There are some simple steps to take just before bedtime that’ll make a huge difference. In order to trick your circadian rhythm into entering sleep mode, it’s recommended that you shut off your electronics an hour before sleeping. That’ll cut down on the blue light your eyes see before bed, allowing your body to adjust to the dark. Plus, getting away from the stress and excitement of social media doesn’t hurt. If you can’t turn off the screens, apps like f.lux can adjust the lighting to be less harsh on your eyes.

At night, there are a variety of supplements you can try that can help people fall and stay asleep. Some people swear by chamomile or lavender to relax, but melatonin has a proven track record. Uleva’s Sleep Capsules combine melatonin with full-spectrum CBD, to help you relax and reach deep sleep easily. They even feature time-released melatonin, calibrated to help you fall asleep, and then stay asleep. For best results, take it just before bedtime.

Immediately before getting into bed, make sure to get in the right headspace. Whether you take a relaxing bath, do some meditation, or read a book, clearing your mind will jumpstart your sleep cycle and help you avoid tossing and turning throughout the night.

Any cannabis products referenced above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The writer is not a medical doctor, and their experience is based on personal use, the results of which may not be typical or intended. The legality of cannabis products varies by state, and readers are encouraged to check their local laws before purchasing and using cannabis products. Nothing in this article should be construed as advice regarding the legal status of cannabis products. Any views expressed in this article by a third-party sponsor are those of such sponsor, and do not necessarily represent the views of Thrillist.