How to Get MORE Sleep
Do you struggle to go to sleep every night? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep immediately? Try these suggestions to help you sleep more.
1. Stop drinking caffeine at noon. Some people are sensitive to caffeine and that affects their sleep and they don’t realize it. Experiment to see what works for you — maybe you just need to stop at 4 pm or maybe you’ll find that you sleep better with no caffeine at all.
2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps set your internal clock.
3. Take a relaxing bath before going to bed.
4. Keep your bedroom as quiet as possible. If that’s not possible due to heavy nearby traffic or other factors, try using a fan or a sound machine.
5. Use your bed only for sleep to associate it with, well, sleep. Don’t do work or pay your bills in bed.
6. Exercising regularly, even just 20 to 30 minutes daily, can help you go to sleep faster. If you don’t have time for an exercise session, a leisurely walk around the neighborhood before going to sleep can help. So will stretching or even some yoga positions before bed.
7. If your mind just refuses to quit when it’s bedtime, grab a paper and pen and write everything down that you’re obsessing over. Write up a to-do list tomorrow, jot down some feelings you’re harboring about your boss, or doodle some crafting ideas you’re got floating around in your mind. Whatever it is, get it out and save it for tomorrow.
8. When you wake up in the middle of the night, focus on relaxing your body rather than getting frustrated that you’re not going back to sleep quickly.
9. Naps are great for some people, but for some others it can cause insomnia. If you’ve been taking naps and having sleep problems, try skipping that nap to see if your sleep improves.
How to Get BETTER Sleep
Maybe you can’t find more hours to sleep, but you can make sure that the sleep you do get is QUALITY sleep. This means deep sleep with no interruptions. Here are some tips to try to get deeper sleep.
1. Block out all the lights in your bedroom, including the tiny ones. Night lights, the light on your alarm clock, a TV that’s left on all night — they all can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin, which helps you sleep deeply. Or better yet, wear a sleep mask.
2. Lavender can help you sleep better. Try rubbing lavender essential oil on your feet or temples, or maybe a lavender candle will do the trick.
3. Some research shows that 65 degrees is the ideal sleeping temperature for people and helps them sleep more deeply. If that sounds too cold for you, experiment with your thermostat and find your perfect sleeping temperature.
4. Make sure your bed is comfortable. Do you wake up with a sore neck or an aching back? You might benefit from a new mattress or pillow.
5. Avoid eating a big meal right before bedtime. An early dinner time is ideal, but also make sure you don’t go to bed hungry. Some people do great with a light snack before sleep so they don’t wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. If you want to experiment with a bedtime snack, try these snacks.
6. Alcohol may help you go into dreamland faster, but it reduces your sleep quality. Skip that nightcap and try a bedtime snack instead.
7. Find the perfect sleeping position for you. Check out this graphic for some good suggestions!
8. Try to figure out how many hours of sleep makes you feel at your best. Some people may need 8 hours while others do better with 6 hours. Experiment with bedtimes and find the right bedtime that helps you wake up naturally at the time you want to wake up. Here’s some more advice on this.
I hope you’ve found something here that helps you. We spend a LOT of our lives sleeping, so let’s make it work for us. I’m going to try wearing a sleeping mask — what are you going to try to improve your sleep?
“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.” Please check out my blog What the Vita!”