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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
San Gabriel, California
The minute before my head hits the pillow, I write out a list of everything I have to do that pops into my brain—work duties, errands, and so on. When I’m done, I put the pen and pad on my nightstand and breathe a sigh of relief that nothing will be lost while I’m in dreamland.
Ocean Beach, California
After I turn out the light, I review all the things that I’m grateful for, starting with my cozy bed. This ritual helps me feel at peace with the world and signals to my mind and body that the day is over.
Santa Rosa, California
Nothing calms me like imagining my future—thinking about the kind of man I might want to marry someday, the type of business I would like to start, and how I wish to spend my retirement. I “walk” through the scenes in my mind, picturing every detail. I think this works because when I envision my future in the way that I want it to be, all my anxiety slips away.
Charlayne C. Gray
Before I hit the hay, I sit on the floor and hold a yoga pose for five minutes. It’s so relaxing that sometimes my husband has to wake me from it to go to bed.
Cary Sue Lavan
When I can’t fall asleep, I match my breathing to my husband’s. The rhythm helps me nod off.
Concord, New Hampshire
Socks! When my feet are warm and toasty, I sleep through the night.