For years, sleep has been a struggle for me. Last year, it was identified as one of the symptoms of a larger health issue. Not wanting to depend on prescription sleep medications, I’ve made it my mission to try to get better sleep naturally. Though I can’t say I wake up refreshed every morning, I can tell you that the things below have helped to bring me back from the dead that I once felt. If these can help me (someone who has a medical condition), then there’s definite hope that it can improve your nocturnal struggles as well.
Top 5 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A sleep schedule
Though I haven’t perfected this, I do tend to go to bed around the same time (11pm), plus or minus 30 minutes. My morning routine starts at 7am, since I have to get Brooke ready for school. This puts me at around 8 hours. Apparently, sleeping on a schedule helps to reinforce your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, which results in better sleep.
This is definitely something I switched up this year. I did a complete overhaul on our bed. I got a new pillow, new pillow covers, and new sheets. You wouldn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it really did. My new curved support memory fiber pillow helps to alleviate my neck pains. My new 1000 thread, 100% Egyptian cotton sateen pillow cases feel so luxurious, soft, and oh so comfortable. I also turn the heat down around bedtime (most people tend to sleep best in a slightly cool room, around 65° F), to ensure that my bedroom doesn’t get too hot. I do whatever it takes now in order to feel like I’m slipping into pure comfort.
Winding down and De-stressing
Lately, I have started to read before bed. For some reason this makes my eyes tired, which makes my body feel ready for bed. Bret has found me many a nights with the book half open, and me snoring right next to it. Another thing I do to wind down, which I do when I am feeling particularly stressed out, is write down all the thoughts that are rushing through my head. If I’m going over my to-do list in my head, I will write it down. If something is bothering me, I’ll write about it. Knowing how I am, I’m not able to fall asleep if my mind is being flooding with these types of thoughts, so getting them out of my head onto paper has proven to be helpful for me. There are many different ways that you can wind down, such as taking a warm bath, doing easy stretches, or listening to soothing music. Doing these types of activities before bed are beneficial in helping you fall asleep easier and more deeply.
Notice the word limiting. I am not saying to get rid of anything, because I myself could not get rid of some of my favorite vices, but just limiting them. As many of you know, I drink coffee daily. Whether I brew it myself, or head on over to the Dunkin that is across the street, I only allow myself to drink coffee until 4pm. I probably could drink it a bit later than that, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I have spent one too many nights, laying awake in bed, cursing at myself for having that one last shot of caffeine. No thank you! Also, another dear friend of mine, alcohol, badly affects my sleep. I can go to bed at a reasonable hour after having some drinks, and it will cause me to toss and turn all night. I feel hotter, and I wake up more often. Though my glass of wine is not something I am willing to give up in the name of a good night’s sleep, I have definitely cut down on my drinking over the years, and my sleep schedule thanks me.
Eat better and Exercise
This is something that is always a work in progress with me. I wish I could say that I am the beacon of health, but that is far from the truth. What I can say though is that changing up my eating habits did aid me in getting a better night’s sleep. In an effort to be off any prescription sleep and pain meds, I have cut down on gluten. In an attempt to keep my belly happy, I have cut down on lactose. In general, in an effort to keep my body happy, it has resulted in better sleep. If I am in less pain, I sleep better. If my belly isn’t bloated, I sleep better. It is a no brainer that what you eat will affect your sleep. Exercise has the same positive affects on sleep. For me, exercise is more challenging to incorporate into my daily life, but when I manage to get the hang of it, I look forward to enjoying even better sleep.
I hope these are helpful to you if you struggle with getting good sleep.
Is there anything specific you do in order to help you get a better night’s rest?
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally, and believe will be good for my readers.