We all want better sleep. It can be the one factor that instantly ruins our day if we wake up exhausted and have to spend the next nine hours at work. However, it’s more achievable than you may think.
As someone who is the ultimate grumpy person without a full eight hours of sleep, I understand the importance of a good night’s sleep. During pregnancy, my normal eight hour need actually increased closer to ten, which is why I made sure I had my night time routine down. If you’re struggling with sleep, this is the post for you.
How can I sleep better at night naturally?
The best way to sleep better at night naturally is to get into a routine. As silly as it may sound, set yourself a bedtime and stick with it. Your body will begin to learn your routine and start getting tired around that time each night. Keep in mind, it takes time to get ready for bed and fall asleep. Therefore, if you’re goal is to be asleep by ten every night, then your nightly routine should start around nine or nine-thirty, allowing yourself time to change, shower, wash your face, clean up the kitchen, or whatever you need to do before crawling into bed. Then make sure there’s still time before ten to actually lay down and drift off to sleep. As you practice this routine nightly, it will become easier to fall asleep and get a better night’s rest.
Why am I not sleeping well at night?
- Noisy atmosphere
If you sleep with the TV on, pets in your room, or have roommates, then you may find yourself waking up throughout the night. In fact, many other scenarios can cause this, because the noise in the background can interrupt your sleep. I will wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of one of my dogs walking around the room or bumping the doorknob with her nose. The best atmosphere we can create is one with as little to no noise as possible. Turn the TV off before bed and consider shutting your door at night if you have roommates.
Lights can be a distraction that alter your mind’s readiness for sleep. This not only refers to the TV and screens, but it also refers to the street lamp shining in through your window or the bright lamp you always forget to turn off. Create as dark of an atmosphere as possible to encourage the natural rhythm of bedtime.
- Room Temperature
Do you find yourself waking up in a sweat in the middle of the night? Does the fan ever have you grabbing for more covers? The room temperature affects the quality of your sleep, because it can cause you to wake up in discomfort, whether too warm or cold. Different research shows a range of optimal room temperatures for a good night’s rest. However, I would advise making small adjustments to the temperature of your room, until you find what allows you a full night’s sleep without any hot or cold interruptions.
- Blue Light and Screen Time
A lot of sleep specialists advise not watching TV or using your phone within an hour of your bedtime. There is more to this than people simply thinking we are addicted to technology. Instead, the blue light that is put off can affect your sleep in the most negative ways. Its effects include delaying the production of sleep-inducing melatonin, cause you to wake up a little bit by making you more alert, and in return making it harder for you to fall asleep at night. You are affected by the blue light from other’s phones and screen as well, so if you are laying in bed to sleep, but your partner is watching his or her ipad, then consider setting boundaries that involve no screens in the bedroom after a specific time.
How do you clear your mind before sleeping?
- Attempt meditation
Meditation is a practice that works for many people. Of course, it takes time and dedication to reap results. However, implementing time in your nightly routine to have a little sit, whether three minutes or twenty, can instill a healthy practice to clear your mind and control your thoughts better. You can learn to focus on your breath, allow thoughts to come, but also let them go as quickly as they present themselves. There’s myriad research regarding the health benefits of meditating, so this may be an appetizing option to you.
- Read rather than scroll on your phone
As mentioned above, the blue light from your phone is not ideal before bed. Instead, if you’re struggling to clear your mind at night, attempt reading until you’re at a point that you can fall asleep. Keep a book on your nightstand for those restless nights, and who knows, it may become part of your bedtime routine.
- “Brain Dump”
Lastly, my favorite way to clear my mind is by grabbing my journal or any piece of paper and doing what can be referred to as a “brain dump.” I write down everything that is on my mind, from short items that need to get done to longer thoughts that are rolling through my mind. There doesn’t have to be any aesthetic beauty to this process, it’s solely a way to get it all out of your head and onto the paper. Mine often looks like a list that does not all belong on the same page. Some thoughts come out in sentences, and others are single words or fragments. The end result consists of a relief knowing that it’s all right there, and you no longer have to worry about remembering everything.
A good night’s rest can determine the course of our day. If you’ve been struggling to maintain quality rest, start implementing these strategies. Set yourself a bedtime, create a nightly routine, and extinguish your distractions. Don’t let noise, light, room temps, or the blue light from screens keep your body from being able to achieve sleep. Turn off your mind by incorporating meditation, reading, or nightly journaling to clear your thoughts. Create an atmosphere and routine that best fits you, so that you can achieve the best night’s sleep.
If you liked this post or have sleep tips of your own, please comment below to share them with me!
About the Author:
Jarid is a 24/7 family woman, who has an amazing husband, daughter on the way, and two energetic German Shepherds. She is also the owner of the blog A Minimalist Mom who shares tips on minimalism and making smarter financial decisions. Check out Jarid's blog here!