10 Tips For a Better Night Sleep

10 Tips For a Better Night Sleep

So I have had a lot of trouble sleeping in my life and while this still does happen from time to time, I found not that 90% of my horrible nights of sleep are just a result of my evil upstairs neighbor’s desire to stomp the yard and listen to music at 1 am during the work week.

Literally my life:

As someone who spent most of her last semester of college unable to sleep, I know first hand how a lack of sleep can really take it’s toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally. So here are a few tips to help you have a better night sleep, a better morning and just better all around life.

Guided Meditation 

I got into meditation about 3 years ago. It wasn’t a tactic to get to sleep, it actually was a result of my anxiety. It was one afternoon after work and I was dating this guy who loved to ignore my messages and just pretty much treat me like crap (this “relationshit” was short lived) but I had sent him a text hours ago about something important and he hadn’t replied. In an attempt to not send him a “crazy” text I thought oh I’ll try this YouTube meditation for letting things go. Well, it did prevent me from calling him because I fell asleep. This is when I discovered that for me meditation was a good way for me to shut down my brain and sleep.

 Reading 

This is something I suggest with a small side note because depending on the person and the book this might not really do much to help you. I have had nights where reading a good book before calling it a night relaxed me and helped calm my mind. I also had nights where serious shit went down in the book I was reading and I ended up staying up later because “I JUST have to finish the next chapter!” So I think as long as you don’t get too excited, can close the book at the time you are supposed to and are reading a good old paperback copy instead of something off your phone you might find it more relaxing and less stimulating to your nervous system than watching television.

Strip

Have you ever had to sleep in a ridiculously hot environment? Like maybe being in the south in the middle of summer and having your air conditioning go out (I’ve been there done that twice…not fun). It was hard sleeping with my body was running so hot. It’s a proven fact that at lower temperatures you sleep better. So turn down the thermostat and strip down because less clothing is more comfortable than more clothing.  

Know the difference between a nap and asleep!

I remember during college my sorority had to attend this seminar about being a healthy young woman. I remember the speaker saying that the ideal amount of time spent taking a nap was 20 minutes! I told my friend, “That’s not a nap, that’s a tease!” She then told me, “That is a nap. Those 2-hour things you do are ‘sleeps’.” As much as I hate it it’s true. There is a fine line between a quick refreshing nap and a mid-day sleep that makes you wake up feeling groggy and unfulfilled. Another problem with taking sleep instead of naps that make you feel refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of the day instead they throw off your whole day and make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Try to keep naps less than 30 minutes and at least 4 hours before bedtime.

Blame it on the alcohol

If you know me you know I’m a huge lover of the spirits. I’ve said on more than one occasion, I like wine more than I like most of the people I know. But there is no doubt that alcohol affects the way you sleep. Try to limit the amount of alcohol you have before bed. Every person is different so you have to learn your body and know your limits. I can have ½ a bottle of white wine and my sleep won’t be bothered at all but if I have anything more than 3 beers, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night feeling over heated and unable to sleep.

One huge mistake I see with people who have trouble sleeping is they figure a few drinks will put them to sleep and while that may be true, usually once it runs it’s course it will wake you up as quickly as it knocked you out.

Caffeine Schedule 

This is another tip that is person specific. Personally, I try to limit my caffeine intake to 2-3 doses a day, usually a cup green tea and either a cup of coffee or an energy drink. I also try to stop drinking anything with caffeine at 3:00pm during the workweek.

Often we don’t get the jolt of energy we hope for when drinking caffeinated beverages so we just keep drinking them hoping they will work their magic. Instead, they tend to lay in wait and then keep you up when all you want is to sleep. Figure out what is a good time for you to stop drinking and be sure to check beverages for caffeine, often caffeine is found in places you’d least expect it.

Limit liquids

Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages aren’t the only liquids that can keep you up. Thanks to the limited space in our bladders (some of us have less than other) drinking liquids too close to bedtime can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night with the urge to go.  I try to limit my beverages to 9pm since I try to be in bed around 11:30. If I’m super thirsty I try to sip water versus chugging it so it can really get into my system instead of automatically passing right through me.

Have a plan for the morning.

This may sound silly but waking up and having everything ready to go just helps me wake up in a better mood. I can sit in my bed, take some time to let me mind adjust to consciousness and just relax instead of starting my day rushing and stressed.

Earbuds

Oh man have my earbuds become lifelines! Besides my neighbor upstairs (who I can still hear through them) I tend to be a bit of a jumpy sleeper, especially since my apartment got broken into 2014, any normal little creek can rattle me. While they don’t keep everything out they do help me not be jolted away by perfectly normal sounds like the floor settling or air-conditioned kicking on.

ZZZQUIL

I’ll admit I was nervous to try a sleeping pill. Sure I’d tried melatonin and to be honest have taken benadryl before to help me sleep but I figured taking a real sleeping pill (over the counter or not) was one step away from Ambien and a bottle of wine a night (Thanks for the perception, Hollywood). Luckily that’s not the case. Zzzquil is non-habit forming and just to help you sleep. I don’t use it every night but every so often. I find it works better if I take it and then lay down within half an hour instead of just waiting to feel like it’s kicked in.

 

So what is your go to run for good night sleep? What just doesn’t work for you? What do you plan on trying from this post? Tell me below!

49 comments

  1. Jenni

    I am a big fan of ZZZquil. Haha. Also, I heard that shutting off or dimming the lights half an hour before bedtime can really help as well. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Candy

    Nothing to eat or drink an hour before bed time. One chapter in a book some tea. Time to relax hit the pillow.

  3. Rebecca

    I have trouble with naps too. I like 2-3 hour naps, but then my whole day is gone! Those 20 minute things just don’t seem to do the trick. Maybe I’ll retry the short nap.

  4. Jenny

    I actually prefer to be really warm when I sleep. If I get cold, I’ll wake up. Drives my husband crazy! As long as I’m not too into the book, reading before bed is good.

  5. Carol Cassara

    I am such a bad sleeper and it really is the midlife thing. i have tried every trick in the book.

  6. Cori

    I’ll overheat during the night sometimes, and have to remove clothing to cool off again. Not something I’ve done until recently.

  7. Paola

    I totally see myself in that video too. These are great tips and very realistic.
    I have a glass of bailey’s with ice and go to bed.

  8. Falon

    I need to do all of these! I have a hard time falling asleep at night, and I definitely do a lot of the “just one more chapter” game!

  9. Cait

    Great tips!

  10. Jenny

    These are all so important! I have trouble sleeping some nights too.

    xoxo, Jenny

  11. Zully Hernandez

    Having a plan for the morning is huge for me. But I also use chamomile and ginger tea on evenings I need to calm a bit more before bedtime.

  12. Dia

    Oh wow. That is the first time I’ve ever heard of anyone being too cold to sleep. That sucks.

  13. Dia

    I’m curious if you have trouble with the falling asleep or the staying asleep? For me it’s the falling.

  14. Dia

    Hope it helps!

  15. Angie Scheie

    Great tips, Dia! I hadn’t heard of ZzzQuil before! And I had seen that video before and it’s so hilarious!!! I’m going to try to use some of these techniques when I need to relax too. Sleeping usually comes far too easy lol.

  16. Lisa

    Great read! Been working on trying to perfect a good evening routine (and get to bed earlier)
    Another helpfull tip is to unplug at least 1/2 hour before bed instead of staring at the phone or laptop.

  17. Terryn Winfield

    I have been reading to put me to sleep lately and it is working wonders. I also use essential oils in my diffuser.

  18. Liz Mays

    That ZzzQuil is pretty awesome stuff. I’ve used it many times and it helps a lot. I hear you with turning the thermostat down too. It’s important!

  19. Logan

    The pregnancy insomnia has definitely kicked in and I haven’t slept in 2 weeks, so I needed to read this. Of course, my lack of sleep has more to do with baby boy kicking me all night. haha Great tips!

  20. Heather Denniston

    I love your tongue and cheek approach to this subject. All of your points are great. Some I hadn’t thought of and I am writing a book on the subject! Well done!

  21. Renee

    Great tips. I used to have a fear of going to bed because I would lay there awake and restless. I’ve recently been trying guided meditation and it has TOTALLY transformed my sleep patterns. BEST. SLEEP. EVER!

  22. Courtney

    Great tips! I am such a finicky sleeper. I know that I can’t sleep if I’ve had alcohol or coffee and I always have to get up in the middle of the night to use the washroom. I’ve found that reading helps but so does closing the door to my cats lol

    La Belle Sirene 

  23. Cassandra

    All of these suggestions are fantastic! I take Magnesium before bed every night and I always sleep so soundly when I do.

  24. jehava

    These are really great and helpful tips! Reading and not drinking before bed help me so much. A good book or doing my devotions are the key to unwinding for me! Thanks for sharing!

  25. GiGi Eats

    LOL – I read “strip” and I thought… Does Dia want me to give my bed a little freaky strip-tease of a show?! 😉

  26. Chrisy @ Homemade Hooplah

    I need to get my husband to read this list! He always has trouble with sleep and I can see him being guilty of MANY of these.

  27. Dia

    It’s easy to slip up. “Oh a glass of wine will relax me after work” then it turns into 3 or you lose track of time and have a coke for a pick me up at 4:30. I hope he starts getting sleep.

  28. Dia

    If it helps you sleep! lol

  29. Dia

    One I want to try is writing 3 wins for the day and then writing what you want to accomplish tomorrow.

  30. Dia

    That is one I haven’t tried. I’ll have to check it out.

  31. Dia

    One of my coworkers keeps getting woken up by her cat and I feel so bad because she is pregnant.

  32. Dia

    Meditation is such a life saver.

  33. Dia

    Lol I tend to be a cheeky speaker/writer. I like to have fun in all things I do.

  34. Dia

    Logan I’m so sorry my coworker is going through the same thing. I can’t imagine just being uncomfortable for months.

  35. Dia

    I get really hot in my sleep, it’s a must.

  36. Dia

    I love my humidifier with essential oils. I got some new ones last week.

  37. Dia

    For a while I had a no laptop after 10:30 rule but since I started going back to the gym after work by the time I get to my laptop it’s hard to cut it out that quickly. I do stay off of social media that late.

  38. Dia

    I can sleep like a champ in the middle of the day and night a whole different story.

  39. Dia

    Ginger tea also helps me with my heartburn.

  40. Dia

    I hope they help!

  41. Dia

    I was guilty of this Monday night but it was because I was right at the end of the book lol

  42. Dia

    Thanks Cait!

  43. Dia

    Haha my upstairs neighbor is the worsr

  44. Dia

    It’s a huge help!

  45. Dia

    If you can limit yourself to one chapter I commend you!

  46. Dia

    I can on;y take long naps on the days I’m off work or else I can’t fall asleep later.

  47. Justine Y @ Little Dove

    Oh my gosh, that video was HILARIOUS!! I am sorry about your upstairs neighbor though. Thanks for the other tips! And I totally hear you on reading a book, sometimes helpful, sometimes not so much.

  48. Dia

    I feel like I could have made that video lol

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