Whether it is stress, caffeine, menopause, or a dozen other reasons keeping you from sleeping, these 20 simple tips to can help you get your best sleep ever.
Do you have trouble sleeping? I know I do. It takes a while for me to drift off to sleep, and once I finally do, it’s difficult for me to stay asleep. I am a light sleeper. Noises, night sweats, and trips to the bathroom (the joys of being over 50) wake me up numerous times during the night. Needless to say, getting a good night’s sleep can be a challenge for me.
And that is a problem because getting enough sleep is essential to your overall health and well-being. According to a National Sleep Foundation study, adults between the ages of 27 and 64 need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Thankfully, I’ve found some things that are working for me, simple ideas that can help you get your best sleep ever. Incorporating these tips into my bedtime routine has made all the difference in the amount and quality of sleep I get. I find I fall asleep faster now and, for the first time in a while, I get a full night’s sleep.
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20 Simple Tips for Getting Your Best Sleep Ever
Create a Dark, Quiet, and Comfortable Space.
1. Light Blocking/Noise Reducing Drapes – Adding light blocking and noise reducing drapes can make so much difference in the way you sleep. You want to look for curtains that completely block out the light and say noise-blocking on the label. I chose the Sun Zero Oslo Theater Grade Extreme 100% Blackout Curtains and couldn’t be happier with them. They look great, are well made, and are incredibly affordable. These curtains do block out the light and darken your bedroom. Plus, I’m amazed at the amount of noise they reduce.
2. Eliminate the secondary “blue light” in your bedroom – Electronics, like your tv, cable box, printer, or computer, can emit a light that shines bright enough to interrupt your sleep. Turn off all electronics in your room. If you can’t turn something off, then cover the light with a piece of painter’s tape so it doesn’t shine into the room.
3. Add white noise – Use a sound machine or a white noise app on your cell phone to drown out noises. I use the “Rain Downpour” sound on the free Rain app. I recently discovered that by using my Bose Bluetooth Speaker I can fill my room with the sound of rain and block outside noise even better.
4. Set your thermostat to a lower temperature – According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleep is between 60-67 degrees. That temperature is a little too cold for my husband, so we compromised at 72 degrees. It works for us because I purchased the items listed in tips #5 and #6 below.
5. Cooling sheets, blankets, pillows, and pillowcases – (aff link) I honestly didn’t know if cooling sheets, blankets, pillows, and pillowcases would work, but they do. If you have night sweats, you need to add these to your must-have list.
My favorite product though is this cooling blanket I purchased recently. I can’t believe how well this works for me. It keeps me cool through the night. I like it so much I also bought the twin size blanket to take with me when I travel.
6. Cooling pajamas – Another item to add to your must-have list if you have night sweats are cooling pajamas. They wick away moisture and keep you cool throughout the night. Plus, they are incredibly soft and comfortable.
Things You Can Do to Fall Asleep Faster and Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
7. Melatonin – Melatonin is a hormone which signals your body when its time to sleep. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try taking a low dose of a melatonin supplement a few hours before bedtime.
8. Magnesium and Zinc – adding the minerals Magnesium and Zinc can help you relax and fall asleep. A 2011 study in Italy found giving a combination of Melatonin, Magnesium, and Zinc to insomniac residents at a nursing home, greatly improved their sleep.
9. Don’t take energy producing vitamins at night – Vitamins designed to boost your energy, such as your B’s and D’s, can keep you from sleeping.
10. Drink an herbal tea – Hot herbal teas can help you relax and make you drowsy enough to fall asleep.
11. Skip late-night snacking – Eating too close to bedtime can create digestive issues that can disturb your sleep. For that reason, it’s best not to eat anything 2-3 hours before you go to bed.
12. Reduce caffeine – While drinking a cup of coffee in the morning can be a great pick me up, too much caffeine later in the day can keep you up at night. Don’t drink caffeine four to six hours before going to bed.
13. Take a warm, relaxing bubble bath – Add some lavendar foaming bath soap to your bath water for extra relaxation.
14. Turn off electronics – Turn off your tv, laptop, e-reader’s no less than an hour before bedtime. The light from these screens can disrupt your internal clock and cause sleeplessness.
15. Relax – Lower the lights and turn on some soft, calming music a half-hour (or more) before bed.
I recently discovered Abide, a Bible app with music, stories, and mediations to help you fall asleep quickly. I debated whether I should spend the $39.99 for the 12-month subscription but I’m glad I did. I’ve been blessed by the stories and it has helped me to relax and unwind.
16. Essential Oils – Applying Essential Oils like Lavender, Cedarwood, and Roman Chamomile can help you relax and fall asleep. Spray a little lavender on your pillow or try diffusing a sleep blend in your bedroom. Your room will smell nice, and you will benefit from its calming effect.
17. Exercise daily – Regular exercise can help reduce insomnia. But don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may have more trouble sleeping.
18. Establish a sleep schedule and stick to it – Go to bed and wake at the same time every day. Even if you have trouble sleeping at night, still try to wake up at your regularly scheduled time. Also, don’t take an afternoon nap. Napping will only make falling asleep at night more difficult. Developing a strict sleep schedule that coincides with your body’s internal clock will vastly improve your sleep experience.
19. Check Your prescriptions – Certain prescription medicines can cause insomnia or difficulty sleeping. If you are taking a medicine that has insomnia listed as a side effect and you are having trouble sleeping, let your doctor know.
20. Ask your doctor – If, after trying these suggestions, sleep still eludes you, talk with your doctor. There can be medical reasons for your insomnia.
I hope these suggestions will help you to get your best sleep ever. Do you have a great idea that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear it. I’m always on the lookout for ways to sleep better. Please share in the comments below.