10 Tips For Better Sleep
The days are shorter and darker. The air is colder. I absolutely love Fall, but this time of year can really take a toll on our mood, making a good night’s sleep even more important. Speaking as a girl who has experienced insomnia at its worst, I’ve learned a thing or two about catching better z’s. It starts with consistency – having a similar bedtime and wakeup call each day – along with these 10 personal tips, can help remedy those seasonal blues. Now, snuggle up under the covers and have a good sleep!
10 Tips For Better Sleep...
1. Listen to your body. Meaning, go to bed when you’re tired. If you push through that first drowsy period, you’ll eventually get a “second wind” – it’s a real thing – and falling asleep tends to be much more difficult and restless.
2. Stay cool. Our body temperature drops to initiate sleep and regulating the air temperature in your home can speed up the process. We have our thermostat programed to drop the temperature to a comfortable 65 degrees at bedtime every night.
3. Invest in aromatherapy. I prefer a roll on version made of 100% natural essential oils and it’s literally called Sleep. But if you’d rather try a diffuser or spray, check out the entire line of Sleep products made by my preferred brand, 21 Drops. Or make your own spray by adding 2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol, 10 drops of any lavender essential oil, and 6 Tbsp. distilled water to a spray bottle, shake to mix, and lightly shake before each use.
4. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Avoid bright lights – like watching TV while you fall asleep or looking at your phone right before bed. In fact, I keep my phone facedown and in “do not disturb” mode at night. But, if you’re like me and can’t handle pitch darkness, plug in a night light. Plus, that eliminates having to turn on any overhead lighting if you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, etc.
5. Keep quiet. This is actually a new preference for me. I used to hate silence and being able to hear every creak and crack of our house while lying in bed. But after I came home from the hospital last year, I slept in our guest bedroom for a while to catch up on much needed rest. There was no TV and the silence grew on me. Now, it’s kinda tough because Brad likes to fall asleep with the TV on (clearly tip 4 isn’t for him). But we compromise with a volume that’s almost non-existent and it works for both of us.
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures for anything."
6. Just breathe. Deep, intentional breaths can do two things – relax your mind since you’re concentrating on breathing and release any tension you may still be holding on to in your body from the stress of the day. You will feel yourself melt deeper into the mattress with each breath.
7. Countdown. When I find my mind racing as my head hits the pillow, I often use a self-guided countdown meditation for distraction. Simply counting down from 10 to 1 repeatedly can calm wandering thoughts, relaxing you more each time until you eventually fall asleep.
8. Find comfort. I have this freebie Victoria’s Secret blanket that I like to curl up with under the actual bed covers. It’s like my adult version of a security blanket – zero shame. Whether it’s your favorite blanket, a body pillow, or even a stuffed animal, if it brings you comfort and a better night’s sleep – don't feel silly – use it.
9. Change scenery. Sometimes we have those nights where we just seem to be fighting sleep. I’ve found going into another room (besides your bedroom) and doing something relaxing – like reading – until you feel tired can help.
10. Make the bed. This isn’t just advice from a self-proclaimed clean freak – The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey, finding we sleep better and longer when our bedrooms are clean. It doesn’t mean you have to put every single throw pillow back exactly as it goes. Maybe just pull the sheets and blankets back up neatly, tucking them in, so your bed looks appealing when you’re ready to climb in at the end of a long day.
These days, my sleep patterns are back on track. That’s thanks to these tips I’ve found to be personally helpful – and I hope you do, too.
Good night, sleep tight...and sweet dreams.