16 Tips That Will Have You Sleeping Better Tonight
Sleep, for most Americans, is evasive, leaving you guessing every night just how much you will actually get (if any at all). There has been so much research done on sleep over the past several decades, that looking for a solution can be daunting. In fact, stressing about how you will get to sleep just might be one of the reasons you’re not getting any sleep!
The following tips are compiled from people who have struggled with sleep for years and who have finally found relief. You may have tried some of these things before, but some might be new. Even if you have tried all of these ideas, it never hurts to try something again. So much of our health is impacted by variables, (what you eat, what you think, etc.) that something may have not worked in the past simply because of something else you had done that day.
For most people, it’s a combination of things from the list below that lead them to a restful and restorative sleep. Ready to see for yourself? Try these tips below consistently for the next two weeks and see what happens!
- Stop Taking Late Afternoon Naps. Although we may envy the Spanish concept of a siesta, unless you are needing to stay up until two o’clock, this little nap could prevent you from sleeping well at night.
- Get a New Pillow. You know that gross yellow one that wouldn’t fluff if you tried? Yeah, it’s time to upgrade. A better pillow actually does its job, supporting your head and neck while you sleep and allowing you to do just that - sleep!
- Invest in PJs You Love. Something as simple as buying a comfortable or luxurious pair of pajamas can help you look forward to bed and, if you choose right, can help you sleep better too. Try to get something that is light and breathable - or, just sleep naked!
- Actually Make Your Bed in The Morning. Maybe your mom was on to something. Studies show that by making your bed in the morning, you help your brain look forward to sleeping the next night. Plus, getting all those sheets back to where they belong makes climbing in tonight that much more enjoyable.
- Try Guided Meditation. Many people swear by nighttime guided meditations, designed to help your body and mind relax. There are tons of options available, from apps to subscriptions, free YouTube videos and more. If you’re new to meditation, don’t judge right away. Stick to at least 10 days of consistent practice before tossing in the towel (or, hopefully, hitting the hay!)
- Say “No” To Nighttime Blue Light. Blue light is the light emitted from those devices we have a hard time putting down (cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) There is a lot of evidence that blue light messes with your circadian rhythm (your sleep/wake cycle), telling your brain it’s time to be awake when in reality you’re trying to sleep. The more time you can have before bed sans blue light the better, but you should try to get at least 30 minutes of blue-light free time before bed.
- Try P.M. Yoga. Like guided meditation, P.M. yoga is designed to help you mentally and physically unwind. And, no, you don’t have to drive to a yoga studio or gym in order to get the benefits. Find a DVD you like or subscribe to a service that offers a selection of nighttime yoga classes to choose from. Most of these practices are very gentle, making them a great place to start if you’re brand new to yoga.
- Use Nature Sounds To Fall Asleep To. The sound of rain falling on your roof, a thunderstorm, ocean waves … nature supplies us with soothing vibrations that can be helpful to lull ourselves to sleep. Apps, sound machines, CDs, and soundtracks are all options to help bring some naturally peaceful sounds to your bedroom.
- Use Essential Oils To Relax. Lavender is the essential oil most commonly associated with sleep and relaxation. Several companies offer special blends that are designed to aid sleep as well. Try putting a drop on your pillow or rubbing a few drops on your temples before going to sleep.
- Stick To A Bedtime Ritual. We are adamant about baby’s sleep schedules and yet seem completely opposed, or at least undedicated, when it comes to our own. A scheduled ritual can help trigger your brain that it’s time to go to sleep. Stick to the same ritual for at least a week before making changes, because it takes time for your brain to adjust.
- If You Sleep With A Partner, Buy Two Sets Of Blankets. Lots of couples complain about waking up in the middle of the night because of the all too common sheet war. This tug of war of sheets and blankets can be solved by buying two sets, rather than sharing one. Sounds strange at first, but it can really work.
- Use A To-Do List During Your Day. A to-do list is a helpful way to keep track of your thoughts, organizing them so there is less to worry about at night. It’s not a bad idea to keep the same list or a journal by your bed as well so you can write down any thoughts that come to mind, preventing you from feeling like you have to try to remember everything.
- Use A Sleep Tracker. Sleep trackers monitor your sleep cycles so that you aren’t woken up during your deepest sleep, which can leave you feeling groggy and the opposite of rested. There are several options in a range of prices to choose from - just be sure to read the reviews so you don’t waste your money on something that doesn’t do its job.
- Try A Weighted Blanket. Weighted blankets help people relax, making them feel safe and preventing an anxious mind. Think of it as a soft reminder to be still and let go.
- Find A Natural Sleep Supplement That Actually Works. So many people who struggle with sleep end up reaching for over the counter and prescription sleep aids, many of which can be addictive and even dangerous. There are lots of natural supplements that really work, but you have to know what you need. For many people, a natural sleep supplement that contains magnesium, melatonin, and calcium is the most effective option.
- Don’t Give Up. Too many people suffer from sleep deprivation and feel like there’s nothing they can do about it. Sleep is crucial to your health, affecting your body and mind. Sleep specialists exist in the world to help people learn what they need in order to get a full night’s rest - don’t hesitate to reach out to a specialist if sleep is something you have struggled with for a long time.