If you've ever looked for sleep advice online, you'll find tips like "turn off screens that emit blue light" and "exercise in the morning", which are all well and good, but let's take it a bit farther.
- Take Vitamin A to strengthen circadian rhythm.
- Get outside at the same time every day.
- Write down what you accomplished that day to unload the mind and end on a good note. Write down anything you might forget or want to do later
- Give yourself a larger sleep window so you have more time to unwind, and it's not a problem if you wake up for an hour in the middle of the night.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night, consider snacking and doing something necessary but dull to help you drift back to sleep.
- Turn out all the lights in the house right after dinner.
- Make it boring in the evening
- Run cold water on your wrists for 2 minutes, shake off the excess, and get right into bed.
- Take a warm or hot bath and then get right into bed after drying off.
- Take collagen in your tea at night
- Eat enough all day, and eat fat and/or carbs at dinner
- Eat a small serving of a slow Carb - like a carrot or potato - before bed
- Don't power through your "fatigue window". If you're tired at 8, and the world won't end if you go to bed, then just go. Really, the world won't end.
- If small people need to be put to bed, see if you can take turns with the other adults in the house, and turn off the screens so the kids will fall asleep a bit earlier. If they enjoy staying up late to read, this is probably worth it if they stay in bed..
And the bigger question:
If you're choosing to stay up late, and pay for it the next day, when you could actually get enough sleep, assess your motivation. What are you getting out of it? Most of the time, it's alone time or couple time, which are both good things. Maybe not good enough to lose sleep every single night. Would better boundaries give you alone time during the day? Would babysitting or a movie give you couple time earlier in the evening?
A friend used to turn on a movie for her kids right before her husband came home (if they weren't playing outside), so the kids were engrossed and they could chat while she made dinner. This way they didn't have to wait several hours to have a real conversation.
Another friend would chat with her husband while she made dinner and he commuted home. That way they had covered all the logistics and news before he was even there.
There are many ways to get couple time and recharging time without sacrificing sleep.