I’ve had my fair share of sleeping issues, from being exhausted but not being able to fall asleep, to waking up a few times a night. I’ve even experienced bouts of insomnia. Throughout my struggles I’ve found a few things that help me get a good night’s rest.
Dim lights before bed
Dimming lights before bed may help you sleep better. Studies found that if you keep the lights on before going to bed, it decreases the production of melatonin, which makes it harder to fall asleep. Once I’m ready to start my bedtime routine, I like to limit my exposure to light by turning on my Himalayan salt lamp.
Read before bed – skip the TV
I’ve been trying to limit the amount of technology I use after work and especially before bed. I’m on the computer all day long, so when I get home I make sure to put my phone away in my room and go downstairs to have dinner. I feel like this gives me the break from technology that I need (even if I watch TV during dinner) and gives me the ability to just disconnect. Since we have a TV in the bedroom (which I don’t recommend) I feel like we tend to watch TV before bed. I’ve recently joined a book club, so I’ve been trying to read before bed instead of watching TV. I feel like it helps me get sleepy and sleep better.
Diffuser with lavender
If anyone has ever experienced some insomnia, they may know that anxiety may come hand in hand with sleeping. When I was experiencing my bout of insomnia, I would start to get anxious before bed thinking and worrying if I’d be able to fall asleep. I recommend a diffuser with essential oils because it helps me relax before bed and helps calm my mind. Having something that soothes you is important to get your mind off of worrying and overthinking, especially if you struggle with sleep apnea.
Black out curtains – I got mine from target
Am I the only one that loves sleeping in total darkness? I got my black out curtains from Target, which block out 99% of the light in my room. I honestly feel like this has really improved the quality of my sleep because I sleep longer if I need to, especially if it starts to get light super early (like the summer time). I also like to block out any little lights around the room. (maybe I go a little over board…but I like it that way!)
Don’t eat dinner too early or too close to bed
Food gives us energy, which is why eating too close before going to bed is a no-no. However, eating dinner too early also may leave us too hungry to fall asleep. Try to time your dinner a few hours before bed, and if you get hungry, have a snack. (Apples are my go-to before bed).
Limit or get rid of caffeine
So I’ve had a love-hate relationship with caffeine and coffee. I quit coffee a couple summers ago, but would still have it occasionally. But, I noticed that I would end up falling back into the habit (because coffee tastes amazing) and would experience anxiety from drinking it and then difficulty falling asleep. Some people have absolutely no issue with caffeine & they are LUCKY. I’m not one of those people. If you have trouble sleeping and haven’t cut back on caffeine, I would try it. Try having it only in the morning, try green tea and if that all fails like it did for me, cut it out completely. I went through an intense withdrawal period when I quit caffeine, but it was well worth it because I was able to stabilize my energy throughout the day and now I sleep better. Since I miss the taste of coffee, I substitute it with Dandy Blend. It doesn’t taste exactly like coffee, but it has similar qualities and I love it.
Start a bedtime routine
Bedtime routines are so important because they prepare your body and mind for bed. Having a bedtime ritual creates a constant routine, so I feel like it helps your body know that it’s time to wind down for the day and it’s time to get sleepy! I love taking a bath before bed, doing some light stretching and reading or writing in my journal.
Have you ever experienced any issues falling and staying asleep? What has helped you?