Sleep Doctor’s 9:30 p.m. Routine to Prevent Insomnia Revealed

Dr. Funke Afolabi-Brown is a triple-board-certified sleep medicine physician who overcame insomnia by setting strict bedtime boundaries. Learning from her experience and guidelines may help you overcome your own sleep issues.

With an ongoing sleep struggle since she was in medical school, Dr. Brown suffered from a combination of sleep deprivation and insomnia. After having children, losing her parents, and becoming a physician, her sleep issues got worse.

When Dr. Brown made the connection that her anxiety and burnout were connected to her sleep, she began to utilize a self-taught cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

Setting boundaries with family, work, and friends was the starting point for creating order leading up to sleep. Learning to say no to obligations and focusing on increased physical activity while spending time outdoors all became part of Dr. Brown’s regular routine.

Two things that often get in my way of good quality sleep are stress or anxiety, especially combined with inactivity.

Dr. Brown’s Sleep Stats

  • Average hours of sleep: 7 hours
  • Ideal bedtime: 10 p.m.
  • Ideal wake-up time: 5.30 a.m.
  • Nightstand essentials: Keep a glass of water by your bed, along with a sleep mask, journal, and blue-light-blocking glasses.
  • Favorite place she’s ever slept: Reclining chair in her living room.
  • Sleep bad habit: Eating late can cause restless sleep.
  • Caffeine consumption: She drinks a 10-ounce cup of coffee around 8 a.m.
  • How she tracks her sleep: Dr. Brown uses an Apple Watch to track her sleep

Sleep Routine

Creating a sleep routine is the key to success. Let’s check out Dr. Brown’s routine for a weekday evening.

8:50 p.m.: Spend time with her family and update her next day’s to-do list.

9 p.m.: Reminder goes off at this time to remind her to wind down and finish up any work, texts, etc. This has been a life-changing boundary change for Dr. Brown.

9:10 p.m.: She gets a glass of water, turns on the dishwasher, and heads upstairs to prepare her clothes for the next day.

9:15 p.m.: She starts her bedtime routine by brushing her teeth, taking a hot shower, and doing her skincare routine.

9:30 p.m.: She sits in her bedroom recliner near a dim lamp with her blue-light-blocking glasses on and reads a book.

9:50 p.m.: Dr. Brown prays, meditates, and journals on gratitude.

10:05 p.m.: She gets into bed, puts on her sleep mask, and falls asleep.

5:19 a.m.: She wakes up before her alarm, which is set at 5:30, and quietly observes how she feels. After that, she does some stretches to get her circulation going.