How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Illustration of a man rubbing a foot

New year, new yawwwn. If your resolution is to finally get a solid eight hours of rest (or, let’s be realistic, 6½ to 7), this pillow talk from Real Simple readers could help.

I love snuggling with my husband, but he’s no match for my miniature pinscher, Bandit. Every night, I make sure that this 11-pound ball of mush is securely tucked under the covers with me. It’s so comforting and relaxing to have him there. Plus, he doubles as a heating pad!

Sarah St. Pierre

Blacksburg, Virginia

My loving husband gives me a foot massage. It relieves any discomfort I feel and puts me in a relaxed state. In no time, I nod off— and don’t wake until morning.

Tammy Small

Wayne, Pennsylvania

I get up and throw a load of laundry in the machine. I go back to bed knowing that one little thing in my life is being accomplished. It never fails to soothe me.

Susan Popoff

Liverpool, New York

In our house, my husband and I have established a rule: Do not mention stressful topics after 9 P.M. We can’t pick bones with each other, talk about family finances, attempt to solve the world’s problems, or debate politics. When the evening ends pleasantly, it’s easier to get a great night’s sleep.

Corrie Stevens

Fort Collins, Colorado

I taught my children how to deal with nightmares without waking me up. Instead of yelling for help, they turn on a flashlight, look around the room, and tell themselves, out loud, that everything is fine.

Allison Loyer

New Paltz, New York

My saviors are earplugs and a sleep mask. The mask blocks out the hall light that my kids want left on, the numbers on my alarm clock, and the morning sun on weekends. The earplugs dull the noises of our apartment building and help me stay blissfully unaware of my husband as he gets ready for his morning run.

Valerie Long

Crozet, Virginia

To quiet my mind before a tough day, I lay out my outfit before I go to bed. If I don’t do this little task, I wind up lying under the covers, worrying about the morning.

Ann Wilkinson

Rochester, New York

When my mind won’t stop spinning, I listen to a recording of The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I’m usually awake when Mary finds the key, but I almost never hear her cousin Colin enter the garden.

Jacey Eckhart Herndon, Virginia

Sleeping in a different room from my husband. He and I first tried this new arrangement when I was expecting my second child and really needed quality sleep. So we decided that after we cuddled and talked in bed for a bit, he would go to the guest room so that his snoring wouldn’t disturb me. This routine made such a difference that we decided to keep it up post-pregnancy. I sleep better without the snoring, and he sleeps better without my nagging him to stop snoring.

Jennifer Lu

San Gabriel, California