Do you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep? When I am gathering information from a new client this typically is one of the top 5 issues that needs addressed. And I completely understand why. After a few nights of not getting enough rest, every other function is compromised.
Without rest, you are irritable and grouchy. You have trouble concentrating or focusing. You spend most of the daylight hours in a fog. And because you need some energy and you aren’t thinking clearly, you end up eating a bunch of carb loaded garbage which brings about a whole other host of problems. And it doesn’t take too long until your immune system is worn down and you easily get sick.
Let’s look at some tips to improve your odds of getting a better night’s sleep. Maybe there are a few you haven’t thought of trying yet. Let’s take a look!
Keep your bedroom cooler. Experts recommend mid to upper 60s. This causes you to cuddle in and relax. A room that is too warm or too cold will interfere with quality sleep.
Write out a to-do list or brain dump. Help your mind rest because it doesn’t need to remember all the things you have to do or are worried about in the middle of the night! Keep a pen and notebook by your bed if you wake up in the middle of the night worrying. It really helps relieve your anxiety to write it down.
Have a regular evening routine. Help your mind realize you are preparing to sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. Don’t alter the schedule too much on weekends. You don’t want to confuse your natural clock.
Enjoy a warm bath or shower before bed. Make it a part of your evening routine! The warm water helps you to relax.
Increase your Omega 3 fatty acids (Fish, nuts, plant based oils). Along with all the other health benefits, they also increase the natural production of melatonin.
Try a weighted blanket. It’s like going to bed wrapped in a hug! (I love mine)
Limit caffeine. You would be surprised to know caffeine can affect your sleep up to 10 hours after you drink it.
Try white noise. We have a fan running, no matter the temperature, just for the noise. I used to fight it, but now I find myself looking forward to the sound. I also enjoy listening to some rain or ocean sounds. You can find all kinds of white noise sounds on YouTube that will play for several hours. I have a comfortable headband with earphones that I wear to bed.
Clean your bedroom. This is supposed to be your sanctuary, where you unplug from the world. Your mind can’t rest if it’s full of laundry and things that need to find a home. I don’t want to hear your excuses. Get it cleaned up! After we cleaned our bedroom really well a few months back, I could totally feel a different energy in the room. I’m serious! Give it a try.
Exercise early in the day for at least 30 minutes, but not before bed. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air if you can.
Meditate for a few minutes. Even 5 minutes of quieting your mind and focusing on what went well during the day will tell your brain there is no emergency happening and it can rest.
Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. Quietly lay in bed and breathe deeply. Complete a body scan starting at your feet and working your way up your body while intentionally relaxing each part. Even if you don’t fall asleep right away, relaxing will still rejuvenate your body. I like to use this method if I wake up in the middle of the night.
While everyone occasionally suffers from a sleepless night or two, if you find this is a constant problem that you can’t seem to improve on your own it is important to reach out to your doctor. They can assess your situation and recommend a treatment based on your specific needs.
I would love to hear what tips you try and how they work for you! And if you have found something else that worked for you, please share. You may help someone else get a better night’s sleep along the way.