I’m a night person. In the morning it takes me forever to come alive. But at night, after everyone goes to bed, that’s when I’m at my most creative. After midnight is when I usually do my best work. That’s when I write.

But because my mind is so active at night, there are times when I have a tough time falling asleep. These are my top 5 ways to get a better night’s sleep — without drugs or counting sheep.

1. Music – I have an iHome on my bedside table. It’s an alarm clock and iPod speaker in one. I often play relaxation music when I first go to bed. It helps me unwind. I usually drift off before I get to the end of an album, especially if it’s one I listen to often. Some of them have my body trained. I hear the first song and I’m out.

2. Meditation – I love to meditate before bed. I put on my ear buds and listen to a guided meditation. If I wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, I often meditate and that does the job. You can read more about my meditation practice here. I’ve even recorded some of my own meditations, which you can listen to on my YouTube channel.

3. Planning Tomorrow – I like to recap my day and plan out the next day before I go to bed. That way I can put my mind to rest without worrying about all the things I have to do. Sometimes this comes in the form of a simple to-do list. Sometimes I write out elaborate notes for the next day. Either way, it helps me start the day knowing exactly what to work on first.

4. Reading – Ernest Hemingway suggested that after you finish writing for the day, you should read. Otherwise, your mind will still be living in your created world. Reading takes you to another place so you don’t keep getting up in the middle of the night to jot down ideas for your book. I love to read before bed. It gets me to stop fidgeting as I settle down in another world.

5. My Crystal Pyramid – I have a Himalayan salt crystal pyramid lamp that I use as a night-light. It is supposed to ionize the air. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it emits a soft amber glow which I find very soothing. I use it every night.

So there you have my 5 ways to get a better night’s sleep. If you have any tips you’d like to add, please share in the comments.

Pleasant dreams.