My Tried & Tested Rituals for A Better Night’s Sleep

sleep aid

Over the years I’ve constantly tried to improve my night-time habits to make sure I get the most restful, peaceful and restoring sleep – but it’s not always that easy!! Here are all the things I’ve learnt that really help – my total guide (lifestyle, food and some before bed rituals!) to a better sleep! I hope it helps xx



  • Commit to 8 hours of sleep: This week you need to go to bed 1-2 hours earlier to ensure you get your 8 hours of rest. Preferably get into bed by 10pm.
  • Social media boundaries: Phone off by 7-8pm each night this week. Avoid all screens and technology after 8pm if possible. I find TV is ok and promotes sleep for me personally. Laptops and phones can also affect your ability to fall asleep.
  • Don’t look at your phone as you wake up: Wait until AFTER your morning routine.
  • Enjoy a social media free day or half a day on Sunday if possible.
  • Avoid high intensity exercise in the afternoon: swap to yoga or a nature walk (or exercise in the mornings preferably).



  • Coffee: My golden rule – Limit caffeine to 1x coffee a day and before 10am. Swap your 2nd, 3rd, 4thcup with decaf chai tea, any herbal tea or dandelion ‘coffee’.
  • Avoid caffeinated tea after 3pm: Instead, try my homemade chai tea with frothy hot almond milk and vanilla stevia hits that coffee needing spot in the afternoons for me.
  • Incorporate a high-quality protein into your dinner: It helps encourage a deeper sleep and will keep you feeling satiated/keep your blood sugars stable so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night hungry! A small handful of raw almonds with a spoon of Greek Yoghurt is a great evening snack too.
  • Also, eat more cooked meals as opposed to raw foods at dinner time. Enjoy soups/slow cooked meats/sautéed veggies in coconut oil – they are so nourishing for the nervous system.
  • Alcohol: Avoid it for 1 week and see if your sleep improves. I have discovered that red wine significantly seems to worsen sleep for people. Whiskey/gin/vodka and rose seem to be better options for sleep however they can still cause disruption to natural sleeping patterns.
  • Drink chamomile tea during the evenings: 2 cups is good.


Extra’s for healing:

  • Take magnesium citrate or dyglcinate – ask your healthcare practitioner about dosage for your individual needs. (about 500-800mg is a good dose)
  • Enjoy an Epsom salt bath this week – most health food stores stock them. Great to relax your muscles and nervous system.
  • Less social stress! Say NO to any social commitments when you need to. Example on Saturday night, perhaps you need a night in with tea, a book, a bath and a movie – DO IT!


Before bed rituals for you to try this week:

  • A hot bath or shower with lavender oil
  • After your bath – put your legs up against the wall for 10 minutes and breathe deeply
  • Jump into bed and enjoy decaf chai tea with cinnamon and warm coconut or almond milk or chamomile tea in bed with your book.
  • 20 belly breathes every night before bed.


If your sleep still has not improved after doing the above – melatonin and sleepy herbs are your next step. My advice is to consult an integrative doctor about melatonin and a naturopath about some sleep herbs ( e.g. valerian/lavender etc. are great for promoting restful sleep).


What are your tips or rituals for a better night’s sleep?





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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.