Sleep is something that I am fascinated by. I find it so intriguing that one of the best parts about waking up in the morning is checking my sleep tracking app, Sleep Cycle, to see the previous night's graph. I know I am not the only one who craves bed time and is especially thrilled for it after an especially long and tiring day. I mean who doesn't love a morning when no alarm is set and you seem to have endless hours to catch up on some shut eye? Sounds like a dream. Unfortunately, for most of us we instead must fall into the habit of going to bed at a decent hour so that we aren't half present the entire next day.
The other night I slept horribly. I am not sure if it is because I had ample sleep the previous weekend or what but I was awake from 2:00 until 3:00 and seemed to be tossing and turning the rest of the night. This behavior is so unlike me as I tend to fall asleep nearly instantly and the next time I am awake is when my alarm is going off in the morning. I so wish I could pinpoint why I slept so horribly the other night but since I can't I decided to put together a post for y'all of my best tips for a better nights sleep. As I am sure you are all aware I am no scientist and although some of these tips may be scientifically backed I am speaking solely from experience on here!
workout (but not too close to bed time)
I find that I always sleep so much better if I have worked out on a given day. Since working out gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy (and happy people just don't shoot their husbands… legally blonde anyone?) I would definitely advise against working out right before or even a couple of hours before bedtime. Using up energy in the day by working out helps me to fall asleep faster and feel more accomplished/better about my day.
limit day time naps
If allowed I would take a nice long nap every single afternoon. I have a feeling however, that I may come across as a bit lazy if I did that but I am sure y'all feel the same way. The only downside to a nice lengthy afternoon nap is that it can mess up your sleep schedule making it more difficult to fall asleep when bedtime comes around.
eat dinner earlier
Eating dinner earlier not only gives your body more time to digest your food but it also helps you to avoid too much afternoon snacking. We usually eat dinner at home anywhere from 6:30-7:10ish and my internal schedule seems to be a bit thrown off when I eat a lot later.
form a bedtime routine
Consistency is key with so many things and forming a bedtime routine helps to get your body into the idea that sleep is on its way. Shower, brush your teeth, turn down your bed… whatever the routine is I think it is really beneficial to have one to help transition your body to prepare for some shut eye.
I am an absolute sucker for cute pajamas and my home decor board on pinterest definitely receives the most TLC from me so this would have to be my favorite tip. Getting comfy for me involves putting on pajamas (ideally a matching set) and arranging the pillows on my bed to form a bit of a bunker (we are talking 8 pillows that trap me in my bed). This could even mean putting on a pair of socks or curling up with a book depending on what you prefer.
I LOVE sleeping in the cold. I have always thought of this as the ability to add more blankets if needed whereas if you kept it hot you could only shed so much. Dropping the thermostat a few degrees and flipping on my ceiling fan are must dos if I am going to sleep well.
turn off technology
So, this is the one I tend to fail at. This is due partially to the fact that I usually write my blog posts at night and enjoy checking social media but I am slowly going to start transitioning my habits so that I have more screen free time before bed.
take time to wind down
This sort of goes along with a routine but I love reading a book before I go to sleep for the night. I have even gotten to the point that I put on a book light instead of a lamp so that I am preparing myself even further for bed time as you'll discover with my next tip.
total darkness & white noise
I used to hate sleeping in complete darkness but I have now gotten to the point that I can't have it any other way. Once the lights are out I flip on my sound machine (since too much silence can be a bit eery) and am completely ready for bed.
resist the urge to snooze
The snooze button and I have become a bit too friendly as of late and I am slowly trying to rid myself of that habit. I am fully aware that if I just wake up the first time my alarm goes off instead of fighting for 5 minutes of crummy extra sleep I will be doing myself a favor but my brain isn't aware of these facts so early in the morning. As I mentioned earlier, I use the app Sleep Cycle to track my sleep and it has an amazing feature that allows you to set your alarm for a time (say 7:30) and the app monitors your sleep movement and wakes you up in the 30 minute time frame of your alarm (between 7:00-7:30) when you are in your lightest sleep. This helps you to wake up happier and more energized instead of overly groggy which definitely happens to me when I hit the snooze button a couple of times.
I would love to know what tips you may have for getting a better nights sleep! If you have any great ones that I haven't mentioned definitely leave them below. Also, if you have any post requests I would love to hear those as well as I begin to schedule out my month!