I like to sleep.
I think sleep is important and in no way am I one of those people who think “sleep is for the weak” or “you can sleep when you’re dead”.
One of the books I worked through recently was “The Sleep Revolution” by Arianna Huffington. And while I didn’t finish it completely, I have learned so much about just how important sleep is.
Basically, stop skimping on sleep people!
In no way do I think have insomnia or any real sleep problems, but like a lot of people I go through phases of sleeping really soundly, to getting up four times a night, and then other times when it takes me a few hours to fall asleep.
For me, there’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and going “I didn’t wake up once!"
Like many other situations in my life, I decided to pick up a few books and start reading more about sleep in hopes of making my time in bed better.
So, today I wanted to share some of the things I’m trying to implement in my life to achieve more sleep.
One of the biggest things for me was realizing I needed to give myself more time to slow down before bed. Instead of going from whatever it was I was doing, jumping into bed and just expecting myself to fall asleep right away.
One of the hardest (but most important/helpful) things for me has been implementing a no technology an hour before bed rule. I can’t tell you the number of times I would either scroll through social media or watch YouTube videos up until the point I wanted to fall asleep. It doesn’t work.
This means no laptop, no phone (and if you have a TV, none of that either). I’ve also been trying to avoid my phone first thing in the morning too. We’re all guilty of picking up our phone first thing to avoid actually getting out of bed. I’m working to knock that habit too.
Instead of technology that last hour I’ve really been enjoying reading before bed. I just picked up two new books from the library, and I’ve found that reading makes for a much smoother transition for me.
I would say these things have had the biggest impact so far, and it’s been very noticeable. I’m sleeping so much better almost right away.
There are plenty of ways to wind down before bed sans technology. I really enjoy hot baths, taking the time for my skincare, brushing, flossing and all that fun stuff.
Every now and then Michael and I will close the blinds in our bedroom on a particularly bright night (we live in the city). This helps a lot in falling asleep but I wish they would automatically open with the sunrise because that’s the best way to wake up I’ve found.
Now, two things I do during the day that I think have also helped with my sleep: limiting my caffeine and exercising.
A long time ago I set myself a 'one cup before noon' rule when it came to coffee (my caffeine of choice). Not only does this help me sleep better but if I’m consuming too much caffeine I can feel much more anxious, which is never good.
And I really do find that I just feel all around better when I’m getting outside and active more often. Exercise is a great way to blow off extra energy as well as stress.
Now I know if you have actual issues with insomnia and sleep you’re going to scoff at this list. But I wanted to make this for the average person who’s not getting great sleep but not suffering either.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is the importance of keeping technology far way from bedtime.
What have you done that’s helped you sleep better?