Getting good sleep is a key component to our quality of life. A few years ago, I began to struggle with insomnia. I found myself waking up every 2 hours, and it was nearly impossible to get back to bed quickly. My doctor was able to prescribe me sleeping medication, but that still didn’t fully take away my sleeping troubles.
This past year I have tried numerous things to help my bed time routine, and slowly but surely I have been able to get better rest. These six things have been crucial components on my journey to restful sleep:
One recommendation I found repeatedly in my research was the use of blue light blocking glasses. It is common knowledge that it is best not to stare at screens in the hours leading up to bed time. Not only can screens keep you awake, blue light of any kind can make it harder for your brain to get ready for sleep.
After a quick search on Amazon, I came across this inexpensive pair of glasses. I’ve made a habit of wearing them for an hour or two before bed, and the difference has been night and day. I have noticed myself getting sleepier near bed time and have fallen asleep quicker.
2. Strict Sleeping Schedule
I can not stress enough how important it is to get on a consistent sleeping schedule. Not only does having a set time keep you from pushing bed time later, your body will also benefit from getting into a routine.
I personally try to be asleep by 10pm, and I set my alarm in the morning for 6-7am. In the past I would sleep in late, but this new schedule has allowed me to be extra productive on a daily basis. If you are interested in starting a set morning routine, I suggest you read The Miracle Morning to learn how to take advantage of those precious early hours.
3. Wind down
When it is getting near bed time, it is a good idea to get your mind ready for sleep. I love to play sudoku, read books, and drink a hot drink before I make my way to the bedroom. Another useful tip that I have used is to keep a notepad near your bed. If you find yourself stressed out or concerned about your long to-do list, write down everything you need to attend to in the morning. Laying in bed stressing about tomorrow will do you no benefits.
Speaking of winding down, I have found yoga to be a peaceful way transition before you head back to your bed. Through yoga, you will slow down your breathing, practice gentle stretches, and end your day on a note of gratitude. If you aren’t sure where to begin, Yoga With Adriene has wonderful bed time videos on Youtube. These bedtime videos range from 5-25 minutes and will be worth the extra time.
5. Don’t lounge around in bed
It’s best to keep your bed for mostly sleeping. I find that this helps my brain recognize it is time to fall asleep, rather than laying in bed for hours before it is my actual bedtime.
6. Wear pajamas
I grabbed this little tip from Shauna Niequist, who grabbed it from her dear friend. In Present Over Perfect, Shauna relays this helpful piece of advice: Wear actual pajamas to bed. Not yoga pants. Not lounging shorts. There is something comforting about wearing a pair of matching pajamas and having clothes specifically for night time. I can’t say if this has helped me sleep better, but it has certainly made me more excited to bedtime and is a little way to practice self care.
Let me know if you have any other tips for getting a good nights rest!