In case you missed it, we’ve summed up the key takeaways from our Instagram Live with Larissa Hildebrandt, founder of luxury pillow brand Henrie. Larissa began her journey with Henrie back in 2020 when she was suffering from burnout and seeking to invest in her wellness through better sleep. When she struggled to find a pillow that would bring her a great night’s sleep without falling flat, she set out to design a pillow that would keep its shape, last long, and was made from materials that she could feel good about. Here are some of the key tips for better sleep from her discussion with Loba’s founder, Kate Bouchard.
Set aside the time to wind down
Many of us wish we could simply switch off our brains as soon as we hit the sack, but that’s simply not reality. This is where winding down before bed comes into play. Things like dimming the lights, taking a bath, meditating, or simply turning off our devices can all help prepare our bodies and minds for the sleep ahead. Larissa recommends creating a wind-down ritual that you look forward to. Try treating yourself to simple things like aromatherapy, comfy bedding, or calming music. It’s all about looking forward to sleep.
Stick to routine
Just like with the supplements we take, consistency is key to seeing results. In the same way we need to train ourselves to remember our medication at the same time each day, we need to train ourselves to stick to a bedtime routine. Proper sleep hygiene, for example keeping a consistent bedtime and wake up time, is going to set you up for success in the long run. Just remember that sleep hygiene is a practice: the more you practice, the more it becomes a habit. Larissa reminds us not to be too hard on ourselves if we fall off the wagon. A late night or two isn’t going to throw off all of your progress. Just be kind to yourself and get back on once you can.
Nurture your own self
When we’re nurturing others, it’s easy to preach the importance of sleep. If other people in our lives aren’t sleeping well, we might offer some of the tips we’ve just talked about. When it comes to ourselves, however, we often forget. Larissa suggests setting wind-down and bedtime alarms for yourself, similar to your morning alarm for waking up. It’s a reminder to “put yourself to bed” and tuck your own self in. You’re worth it (and your future self will thank you).
Our pillow is impacting our sleep quality
Most of us choose our pillow based on personal preference, but Larissa reminds us that a key factor in quality sleep is how well our neck is supported. When our neck is in a bent position throughout the night, we can end up with neck and shoulder pain — something we’ve likely all experienced at some point or another.
In order to achieve the best fit, side sleepers need the most support (or the highest loft) out of the three sleep types. Stomach sleepers should aim for the lowest loft, and back sleepers will be somewhere in between. Even within the sleep types, each person will need a different fit, making it difficult to find the perfect pillow on a shelf. When testing a pillow in a store, we might be trying it on a softer or firmer mattress that doesn’t replicate our real-world sleeping conditions.
If you’re unsure about how your pillow is fitting, Larissa recommends setting up a tripod or having someone take a photo of you lying on your pillow in your typical (or most common) sleeping position. This will let you see more clearly how your neck is positioned throughout the night. What you want to look for is a neck that is in a neutral position, creating a straight line to your spine.
This individuality of pillow size is at the core of why Henrie made a completely adjustable pillow, letting each sleeper find their perfect size. If you’re still struggling to find a good pillow for you, Henrie has a short guide about how to choose a pillow including photos on finding your alignment.
We hope these tips can help you begin building the sleep routine of your dreams.