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Sleep is something I think we all struggle with getting right. We either sleep too much or we don’t sleep enough.
Very few people that I talk to can say that they have a perfect sleep schedule and always wake up feeling rested and sleep through the night.
Although it may not be possible to always get a perfect night’s sleep. There are ways to help make your sleeping habits just a little bit better.
I for one am notorious for using my phone all the way up until bedtime. I even read eBooks in bed with my phone on a lot of nights.
I do have a blue light blocker on my phone that is supposed to help with the unhealthy screen time at night, but I could still do better.
I also have the habit of not waking up at the same time every morning. Since I don’t have a job where I have to be somewhere or online at a specific time, it makes it difficult for me to justify getting out of bed.
But just because I have nowhere to be, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have healthy sleeping hygiene.
I do unfortunately have a couple sleep-related issues including restless leg syndrome, which causes my legs to want to move all the time. It makes it difficult to stay still and get hard sleep.
Because of these issues, I take prescription medications to help me sleep better, but even those and taking melatonin, don’t always help me.
What does help me is a routine and certain healthy habits that I try to follow every day.
Ways to Create a Better Nightime and Sleep Routine
I made a list of some things that help me and others create better sleep habits. I hope that you can also adopt some of these habits to help with your own sleep.
- Turn off electronics
- This is a big one. Our minds need time to wind down and get away from the screen at night time. The lights that come from screens can affect our circadian rhythm, which makes it difficult to fall asleep and sleep soundly. Try something off-screen like reading a physical book, writing in a journal, or meditating. These can help you to wind down, slow your thoughts, and better prepare for a good night’s sleep.
- Drink some tea
- There are teas that you can purchase from your local grocery store that are specially formulated for relaxation and sleep. They usually contain ingredients such as chamomile, valerian, and melatonin. This one is delicious and really helps promote a calm and relaxing feeling. Try sipping on it while you read or write to aid in your bedtime routine.
- Essential oils
- It can help to use essential oils associated with relaxation at nighttime. I personally love using lavender at night, or when I need to calm down. I have it diluted in a rollerball with almond oil, where I can apply it to my pressure points. And I also put a couple drops into a diffuser in my room to fill the air with the relaxing scent of lavender.
- Take a bath or shower
- This is one of my favorite ways to relax. Filling up a hot bath with oils and bubbles, grabbing a book and some tea. And just soaking in the warmth. It really brings me to a calm state and helps me wind down after a long day. Try putting essential oils in your bath as well for an extra kick of calm.
- You can meditate literally anywhere. On the couch, at the table, in the bath, in bed. Wherever is comfortable for you. One of my favorite nighttime meditations is to lay in bed and do a body scan. This is where you focus on a certain part of the body, from feet to head, for a few breaths and try to relax it. After this, I will focus on my surroundings. What do I feel and what do I hear. Try to be as specific as possible. Then I follow it up with some deep breaths and clearing my mind. It really helps me sink into bed, get comfortable and stop racing thoughts.
- Regular exercise during the day can help wear your body out and allow you to sleep better. It helps to make it easier to fall asleep quicker and can lessen the chances of you waking up in the middle of the night. Not only does it help you sleep at night, but it can also help you get through sleepy lulls during the day by giving you a jolt of energy.
- I already mentioned this earlier but it’s worth mentioning again. at the end of the day, we all have thought racing through our minds. It can be helpful to sit down and just do a brain dump of anything you need to get out of your head. Make a to-do list for the next day, vent about how horrible work may have been, right about the projects that you want to get done, and whatever else might be floating in your mind that will keep you up at night. I also find it beneficial to write out a gratitude list. This helps you to end your day on a positive note and keep yourself thinking positively.
- Limit caffeine
- This one can be hard for some people but caffeine can really hinder our ability to have a good night’s sleep. Caffeine is absorbed and effective quickly but it takes a while to get out of your system. it has a half-life of around 5 hours, which means only half of the caffeine has left your body at the 5-hour mark. It can be very beneficial to your sleep if you make sure to limit any caffeine consumption in the afternoon and evening.
- Make your bedroom your own little haven
- Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and clean so that you don’t stress about the clutter and mess. It’s probably best to keep the blinds or curtains closed to keep it dark unless you sleep with the sun cycle. Try using essential oils to fill the air with relaxing aromas. Only use your bedroom as a place to sleep or other bedtime activities, so that your body associates it with sleep time. Try not to watch tv in your bedroom or have too many lights. Just overall make it a place you feel relaxed and comfortable so that you can drift off to sleep easily.
- Make a routine
- This is probably the most important one on the list. Our bodies and minds thrive on routine. It is what creates a habit in our lives and helps us stay on track. create an easy and relaxing nighttime routine that you follow every night so that you can prepare yourself for sleep and create the best environment for a solid night’s rest. It can also help to create a fun and upbeat morning routine so that you feel happy about getting out of bed and don’t want to just lay there hitting snooze for three hours. However simple or complex, create the routine that works for you and what you need.
These are just ten simple tips and tricks that can help you to get a better night’s sleep.
You can try all of them, or you can just pick one and see what works for you.
I recommend doing some research as well on sleep. You can learn a lot about how our bodies work and what they need and maybe you’ll be able to come up with some other ways to help you sleep better.
I found this really neat journal on sleeping that I think you guys might also like. It has information on sleep, guided journal prompts, and ways to help create a positive sleep and evening habit.
Take some time to think about your sleep hygiene habits and see where you can improve. What habits should you limit and what should you incorporate into your daily routines?
Whatever works for you is going to be different than what works for me or for other people. So don’t try one thing and then feel discouraged because it doesn’t work.
Try as many techniques as you can and cultivate the perfect nighttime routine for yourself.
Have fun with it and sleep well!