5 Ways to Upgrade Your “Grown-Up” Nightstand — and One Way to Drag It All the Way Down

published Feb 27, 2021
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What you keep in and on your bedside table can be as personal as it is practical. Maybe your nightstand is where you stash your passport and other important documents, or perhaps you’re like Marie Kondo, and opt for fresh flowers and a vibe-enhancing crystal next to your bed. No matter your preferences, there are some nightstand additions that can support your sleep hygiene — and those details might be more important than ever, given the way the past year has impacted people’s sleep habits.

Ahead, find five ways to upgrade your nightstand from “good enough” to “grown up.” Though age might be an arbitrary marker of success, these additions will help give you peace of mind when you close your eyes every night, and more capable when you greet the day each morning. Here’s what to invest in… and one crucial detail to ditch for good.

A Dedicated Alarm Clock

Your phone’s alarm clock app might be convenient, but keeping your phone next to you as you sleep might be encouraging some less-than-stellar habits. Luckily, there are plenty of alarm clocks at various price points, each designed to help a variety of sleepers. So go ahead — upgrade your wake-up call. (Alternatively, invest in a charging system for your phone that is ideally on the other side of your bedroom, and turn the volume up.)

Something to Help You Keep Track of Your Thoughts

Avid bullet journalers swear by keeping their BuJos by their beds as a way of reinforcing their habit, and plenty of people have kept diaries or journals somewhere on or inside their nightstand. Whether you keep an entire notebook or a few post-its close at hand, you can jot down things you forgot to complete on your to-do list and all of those middle-of-the-night strokes of genius you might forget by morning.

One (Just One!) Glass of Water

As the spokesperson for people who accumulate multiple beverage vessels in any room they inhabit, I am here to tell you: You don’t need all of them. Really!

To break my habit, I put a single coaster on my nightstand — it serves as a mental barrier because if there’s already a glass on the designated spot, I have to swap it out with my new glass. You can also invest in a fancy bedside carafe set, like this $15 option from CB2, if you wake up thirsty in the middle of the night.

Personal Accessories that Affirm Your Body and Its Desires

If you’re into it, t’s worth investing in sex toys and other accessories that feel good to your body (with or without a partner!). Whether it’s lube, condoms, contraceptives, a vibrator, or a combination of these and more, there are plenty of innovative brands dedicated to supporting what your body wants — just be sure you’re also following safer sex habits and after-sex cleaning habits.

Whatever You Need to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life

Maybe that’s a luxurious silk sleep mask (and a no-snag scrunchie or two to match), or a soothing playlist or meditation app. I personally keep a bottle of melatonin in my nightstand — though you should always ask your healthcare provider before adding medication or supplements to your routine — and swap out eye masks so that I can wash them and avoid acne.

… And it’s finally time to ditch the clutter accumulating in the bottom of your drawer.

Hey, it happens: You get sleepy and stash something in your nightstand, only to forget about it the next morning. Or, you stack a pile of mail you need to “deal with later” inside the drawer for safekeeping… only to find it several months later when it’s no longer relevant. It’s time to sort through everything you have inside and on your bedside table, toss what you don’t need, and organize the rest. You’ll sleep soundly knowing the task is done.