Magic for Modern Life: How to Conjure a Good Night's Sleep

Magic for Modern Life: How to Conjure a Good Night's Sleep

Julia Brenner
Jan 16, 2017
(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Getting a good night's sleep is necessary, yet often elusive. According to the Mayo Clinic, we should be getting between 7-9 hours each night—something many of us struggle to achieve. Let's see if a little modern day spin on a sleep spell might help conjure Hypnos so we can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

When our Projects Editor, Dabney, asked if I'd be up for contributing to the new "modern home spells" series, I felt like an out-of-shape crime fighter when they get the call that they're needed back on the streets. You see, for a misguided six months of my life when I was 16, I tried very earnestly to be goth, which in my local scene meant following around a self-declared teen Wiccan, Moorgan (she added an extra o so it was spelled like moor, because moors are gothic, you know), who wore black lace gloves and told me she laughed in the face of daylight. My dalliance with the teen dark arts was short-lived, however, as I was banished from the crew for "not taking a seance seriously" (Pro tip: when lighting candles before a seance, be careful not to set pillow fringe on fire—it, uh, doesn't end well).

Skip ahead many personal evolutions later and here I am in my 30s, finally, finally getting the chance to rekindle my brief foray into spells and potions in a useful home wellness series. Circle of life, guys.

While I couldn't get my hands on any Sleeping Draught to test out, the wizards over at the National Sleep Foundation offer a fantastic(al?) recipe for sleep: a relaxed human + well-suited mattress & pillow + an environment that is dark, cool, and quiet. And wizards generally know what they're talking about. Warlocks on the other hand...

A Modern Day Sleep Spell:



  1. Begin by calming your senses—taking a warm bath or shower has been shown to help ready the body for sleep, as do relaxation techniques.
  2. Prepare room: make as cavelike as possible (dark, cool, quiet) using any of the above ingredients that work for you.
  3. If reading or spending time in your bedroom before sleeping, dim lights or switch to lighting that promotes sleep.
  4. If possible, set thermostat to between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature for sleeping.
  5. Banish use of electronics—as the "blue screen of death" is harmful to achieving deep sleep.
  6. If you do use a tablet or phone for reading, switch your screen to night shift mode, which conjures warm light and repels the harmful-for-sleep blue light.
  7. Employ essential oils as desired and settle into your freshly-scented sheets.
  8. **Optional: I did find an actual "spell" that I think sounds nice, if you want to go full-on spell casting: "Where I am is safe and warm, I am hidden from the storm, I can close my eyes and breathe, Let all my worries leave." Sounds like something my yoga teacher might say!

PS: I also found a spell to summon an elemental wolf. Just in case.

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