03/03/2013 09:52 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Can't Sleep? The Bedtime Rituals That Help You Doze Off

While we've all heard counting sheep can help combat those wide-awake nights, sometimes the "baas" are more disruptive than soothing.

We've already investigated the sleep remedies you relied on as a kid, and, as it turns out, mom was right about some things. Those lullabies she used to croon before bed? Check. One study found that listening to soft and slow music pre-shuteye promotes better sleep. Drinking a warm glass of milk, however, probably won't do the trick for most adults.

We were curious about other sleep tips more reliable than milk. So, we asked on Facebook and Twitter for the bedtime rituals you rely on when stressful days keep your brain churning waaay past bedtime. Below are some of your best-kept sleep secrets. Next time you're struggling to reach dreamland, try one of the tricks below:

Soaking in the tub.
(Photo: Shutterstock)
"Epsom salt bath or magnesium supplement."
-- Katie Baker

"A warm bath!'
-- @nancycasanova

A centering practice.
(Photo: Shutterstock)
-- Marilyn Mckay

"Mentally list all the things I am grateful for. It has a very calming effect!"
-- Christine Weddle

"I say a mantra. Simple. Repeat it three times before falling asleep."
-- @peterarp

A good (or not-so-good) book.
(Photo: Shutterstock)
"Reading a boring textbook in a warm bed."
-- Mirna Pacheco-Walker

"Read a badly written novel. Will fall asleep right away."
-- Shaley de la Torre

"I read (a must) until my eyes start to close."
-- Dianne Hunziker March

"Read until a theme feels good, then go to sleep pondering it."
-- Rock Conner

A gentle melody.
(Photo: Shutterstock)
"Listening to some good music."
-- Tina Stepro

"Read a book for about 15 minutes while listening to Mello Cello on songza."
-- Sarah Gibson

Putting your final thoughts on paper.
writing in bed
(Photo: Shutterstock)

"I like to write out all of the tasks I need to [get done] the next day."
-- @JaysonFlores92

Soothing scents.
lavender candle
(Photo: Shutterstock)

"Lavender drops on the pillow."
-- @SamJMassage

(Photo: Shutterstock)

"Leave your mobile in the other room."
-- @aubsclark

"I just bought a real alarm clock as per @ariannahuff's advice. No iPhone! I get AMAZING sleep now."
-- @MiriamDanielleB

Let's keep up the pillow talk: Tell us about your bedtime rituals in the comments section below, or tweet @HealthyLiving with #sleepsecrets and we'll add you to our slideshow.


For more on sleep, click here.