Hey Guys! How are you today? How have you been sleeping? I want to share some tips on how to get a good night’s sleep! I’ve been researching this because my new Fitbit tells me how much I sleep – or really how much I don’t sleep. I am the worst sleeper! I am a total night owl, but I also have to be up early in the mornings. Since I got my new Fitbit, it shows that I had been averaging around 5 hours a night. That’s not enough sleep for anyone! And most nights it’s 5 hours with two or three times awake and 15-20 times restless. That makes it really hard to get up in the mornings and get going.
I have started getting up a little bit earlier and focusing on healthy ways to start my day. (5 healthy ways to start your day – tomorrow’s post!) I used to hit snooze and stay in bed until the last possible second. But I was never asleep. I was just too tired to drag myself out of bed. I usually wake up long before my alarm goes off, so I would just lay there and wait until I absolutely had to get up. Since it was so hard for me to get up in the mornings, I started trying to go to bed earlier. That didn’t really work because I might lay down at 10, but I would still be wide awake at 12:30. I have a hard time winding down and falling asleep and an even harder time staying asleep. So, I started researching ways to help you sleep better at night and I thought I would share what I have been trying.
Here are some things that I have been trying, and I hope they help you get a good night’s sleep too!
Start a routine – Remember when you were a kid and had a bedtime? There was a reason for that! Give yourself a bedtime now and try to go to bed at the same time every night. Then try and get up at the same time every day. This helps to train your internal clock and will help you develop a regular sleep routine. Try to avoid sleeping in; this can mess up your internal clock. Also try to avoid naps during the day. These can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
Try not to eat after 8 – In the evenings, try to avoid eating close to bedtime. If you eat or drink close to bedtime, this can cause digestive issues, indigestion, heartburn, or leave you feeling too full to sleep. Try to avoid eating a big meal, sugary foods, and caffeine. Caffeine can cause sleep problems up to 10-12 hours after drinking it! (I read this on the National Sleep Foundation website.) If you do need a nighttime snack (it’s hard to sleep when your stomach is growling), here is a list of some that can help you sleep: turkey, granola, yogurt, plain toast, or a banana.
When I eat a big meal at night, I have weird dreams that keep me restless all night. When I used to drink pop, if I had one after noon, I would have a really hard time sleeping that night.
Take time to wind down – Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode. Try to start a relaxing bedtime routine that helps your body start to wind down. Take a hot bath, relax with your feet up, read a book – do something that relaxes you. Try to go offline (no tablets, phones, computers, or even TV) an hour before bed. Those things stimulate your brain. Going offline will help your brain to wind down so you can sleep better.
I read books on my phone, so I turn the brightness down all the way.
Make your room sleep friendly – This one is super important! You should eliminate any noise or distraction that can disrupt your sleep. Try blackout curtains, ear plugs, an eye mask, or a fan. I also like to use a humidifier or a white noise machine. Try to block out any light, like your clocks or streetlights. When it’s time to sleep, make sure your room is dark.
We had to get rid of an alarm clock in our room because it started making some kind of humming noise. We didn’t hear it during the day, but once everything was quiet at night it was super loud! It kept me up all night once.
Exercise – Getting into a regular exercise routine can help you to sleep better at night. You should also move a lot during the day and don’t sit for more than an hour. This can help you to sleep better. You also want to make sure that you finish all of your exercises at least 3 hours before bedtime. Stretching or gentle yoga can be helpful at night to help you wind down.
I have been trying these for a couple of weeks now, and I am sleeping better. I have been going to bed around the same time, and I have been able to start getting up earlier. I am staying active during the day, so that way by the time I sit down late in the evening, I am tired. The thing that really helped me was to give myself time to wind down. I started relaxing on the couch and reading a book before bed and staying offline. This helped for me to shut my brain down. Usually I will lay in bed for hours with my mind racing, but giving myself time to wind down has really helped a lot with that.
What do you do at night to help you sleep?