I’ve struggled on and off with Insomnia since I was about 17. When it hits, it affects pretty much every part of your life. If you’re not getting restful sleep, you can’t be your most productive, you’re probably tired and probably a little grumpy or not in the best of moods.
Quality sleep is essential to so many of our bodies functions. When we sleep, our brains are helping to regulate our emotions and filing away memories for long term storage. Our skin is renewing itself and producing collagen, our muscles are building themselves up. So here are some tips that I hope help you finally get that quality sleep you need!
1. Turn off all of your screens
Put the social media down for the night. I try to aim to put it down 2 hours before bed, but I’ll be honest, this is my goal. It doesn’t always work out that way. Make sure the TV/Desktop computer is black as well.
2. Get an essential oil diffuser
These are great to add a little bit of relaxing aroma to your bedroom to help you wind down. I particularly like a combination of Lavender and Lemon, or Lavender and Orange.
3. Listen to white noise
White noise can be very soothing, especially if you’re a person who prefers not to sleep in silence. It’s not distracting or entertaining at all, just right.
4. If you’re laying down for more than an hour, get up for a bit and try again after a little while.
If you’ve been in bed for over an hour just thinking about how much you’d like to sleep and can’t, try getting up and taking your mind off of it for a little while. I personally would go to my living room and read a book for a while, or go to the bathroom and paint my nails, and then give it another try. Sometimes the more we think about sleeping, the more we’re unable to.
5. Make sure it’s a good temperature in your room
According to an article I read on Sleep.org, the ideal sleeping temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, or between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius. I’ve personally found this to be true, and if you’ve ever tried to sleep in a hot room in the summertime, you know exactly what I mean.
6. Try meditating a little while before bedtime
Mindfulness Meditation has been shown in different studies to improve Insomnia, including in this study, which Harvard Health Blog goes into more detail with. If you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, this is a safe way to try curing it, and it also has many other health benefits.
7. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea has been shown to reduce anxiety, make you sleepy, and reduce stress. Plus, just the act of having a nice warm cup of tea sounds like it would get me in a restful mood.
8. Airplane mode
Notifications going off and making a sound, vibrating, or even your phones screen lighting up can be a distraction. If you can, try putting your phone on airplane mode so you won’t get distracted by them and you can focus on getting some quality rest.
9. Set a regular bedtime and time to wake up
Once you’re on a set sleeping schedule, your body will follow suit and you’ll start to get tired at a more reasonable hour.
10. Comfier sleepwear
If you’ve been wearing the same thing to bed for a while, try something new out. If you usually sleep in a tee shirt, try out a soft robe or nightgown and mix it up. Reserve that clothing only for bedtime.
11. Try putting Blackout Curtains in your bedroom
If you’re often kept awake by lights outside from streetlights, signs, or the moon, these may be great for you. These are also a lifesaver if you work a second or third shift and have to sleep during the day at all. I used to have a pair when I was working a third shift job, and they made a huge difference.
12. Start a journaling habit before bed time
If you find yourself unable to sleep because of worries, or going over your to-do list in your head, this one is perfect for you. I used to pull out my journal about ten minutes before shutting the lights out, and just scribble down whatever was on my mind. Just get it all out, it doesn’t have to be a nice list, just write freely until you feel like you’ve gotten it all out. This has helped me on many restless nights.
13. No caffeine after 1/2PM
Even having a soda or a coffee too late in the day can mess with you and make it a little tougher to wind down at bed time. It’s usually recommended to cut the caffeine out around 1 or 2 pm if you’re having a hard time sleeping.
14. Try Headspace Sleepcasts
I started using Headspace Sleepcasts about a year ago. They’re basically bedtime stories designed to help you fall asleep. They have a wide variety of them to choose from, and each one begins with a “Wind Down” exercise to help you forget about the day and relax.
15. Take a shower or bath before bed time
I love taking a nice hot bath before bed, wash the day off and get in bed feeling clean and comfortable.
16. Is your bedding comfortable?
Pillows too soft or firm? Sheets not quite right? Invest in something new that’ll help you get a quality night of sleep.
17. Avoid drinking alcohol
I mentioned this in an earlier post, 10 Reasons To Give Up Alcohol, but in a nutshell, alcohol prevents us from being able to reach REM sleep. REM sleep is vital because this is when our brain is storing memories, improving our cognitive function, helping us with learning and retaining information, and REM sleep also helps us feel the most rested in the morning
So if you’re really looking to get a good night’s sleep, maybe refraining from having a drink may help you out more than you may think.
18. Is your room messy?
I work from home, and I have for about the last year or so. Unfortunately, with limited space, my office is a corner of my bedroom. What I learned in the last year is that if your space is messy, your mind may feel messy too. I was so much more productive and I slept so much better when everything was clean and organized.
19. If you’re going to be on your phone/laptop/tablet, consider a Blue Light Filter
Mot devices these days have a blue light filter feature you can turn on to prevent the blue light from keeping you up at night. On iPhones, you can even set it to automatically turn on and off at certain times.
20. Also, Blue Light Glasses are a lifesaver
I got a pair of these for Christmas because I was having a lot of eye strain from staring at a computer all day. They are fantastic, I would highly recommend if you spend a lot of your time looking at screens.
I’ve been wearing them for about 7 months and they have held up very well and always done my eyes good.
21. Try listening to Binaural Beats
I originally started using binaural beats as a last resort when suffering from migraines. I soon found that there’s a binauaral beat for just about everything. They can be found all over YouTube, and one in particular quite literally helped me fall asleep within 10 minutes, which I was shocked to find when I woke up. I’ll link it there and see if it’ll help you out as well 🙂
22. Temporarily using Melatonin to get back on track
Melatonin is a great supplement that you can use to get your sleep schedule back on track if you’ve gotten it mixed up.
23. Avoid naps
This is my biggest downfall when it comes to insomnia. If you’re a nap taker, which a lot of us with Insomnia are, try to fight the urge for a day or two You may very well end up getting much better sleep that night.
24. Make a nighttime routine
This one will help you get reminder that it’s time to start winding down for the evening. I personally would consider adding a bath, reading for half an hour, a skin care routine, maybe listening to calming music
25. Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are fantastic to help calm your nervous system and feel more relaxed. I personally inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and exhale for 8. It works like a charm for me.
26. Weighted Blankets
If you suffer from anxiety, weighted blankets may be a great way to help you relax and destress around bed tine.
27. See your doctor
If all else fails, it might be time to see your doctor. They may be able to help with some recommendations for natural supplements, and give you some testing to make sure your insomnia isn’t a symptom of an underlying medical condition.