How To Sleep Better - My 6 Tips To Prevent Insomnia
Welcome back to the blog! I am here with another post that will hopefully aid us all in getting a better night’s rest - or any rest for that matter. If there is anyone that has suffered from insomnia, it would be this girl.
I’ll admit, I’m a night owl through and through, and I am one of those creatures that actually doesn’t like going to sleep at night and must force myself to do it. It kinda sounds like we’re talking about my toddler son, Uriah, right now. Ha!
Well, yes, I guess you could compare me to a toddler in that case. I ALSO need to be forced to sleep! I typically love to stay up late and work because it is during this time that I am most able to focus, have a clear head, and be productive without any interruptions. Mix that with being a night owl and a mom who values the freedom that only comes when her toddler is asleep, and there ya have it - an insomniac!
The real fun part in this whole cycle though is when I do want to go to sleep early, and I just can’t. *cue insomnia* It then becomes a game of strategy of how to get to sleep in time to get enough rest before the sun rises - and before Uriah wakes up! I am easily one of those people who can struggle with insomnia if I don’t actively and consistently take steps to prevent it. I am also one of those people who would probably google, “how to go to sleep”. If you clicked on this post, you’re probably one of those people too! Right?
That’s where this post comes in handy. In this post, I will be discussing tips on how to sleep better and prevent insomnia. Not to mention, these tips actually work. Trust me, they do because I’ve tried them! Let’s get started.
These points are mainly steps for breaking the cycle of insomnia, to begin with. For me, it comes down to correcting unhealthy sleep patterns that I have been accustomed to, which is caused by my overall disposition to be more alert and active in the evening hours. I am not 100% perfect when it comes to sleep, but this is what I have learned.
sleep at a decent time / Restart your sleep cycle
The first thing that you must do is restart your body clock or sleep cycle, and by this I mean STOP GOING TO BED LATE! Sorry for the all-caps but I just had to emphasize that. It’s so important to set a schedule that ensures that you are going to bed at a decent time and holding yourself accountable to a consistent and predictable sleep schedule.
Personally, I don’t like schedules, so this has been a tough one for me, but this is really important, and it has helped me so much in my mission to sleep better. I have found that when I sleep a lot earlier, I wake up way more rested and prepared to wake up at an earlier hour versus if I had gone to bed later and woke up later. Even if I had a solid 8 hours of sleep in both cases, I would still wake up feeling not so fully rested on the day I had gone to sleep at a later time.
Get a solid number of hours of sleep consistently
Have you ever experienced getting less sleep - we’re talking 4 hours - only to wake up feeling so vibrant and refreshed? Yeah, it’s crazy, but for some people, less sleep is more. The key here is to get a consistent amount of sleep every night so that your body is not feeling deprived. For some people, 8 hours of sleep is needed. For others, it is 6 or even 10! It just depends on you, so listen to your body and find the optimum number of sleep hours that you feel works best for your body.
For me, I can sometimes do really well with less sleep, but that only lasts so long until I start to feel drained again. I think my optimum sleep hours is 8, but I still need to work on this a bit more because I don’t always get the same amount of sleep every night to accurately determine the exact amount of hours I need. I feel like it just depends, so that’s where it gets tricky.
Create a relaxing sleep environment
I’m sure you’ve heard that the colors in your room directly affect your mood. It is very true, so make sure to be conscious of the way you choose to decorate your bedroom space. Instead of making it busy, keep it simple and as a space that is only used for sleep. Designate TVs to only being in your living spaces such as living room, family room, and areas of entertaining instead of in the bedroom.
One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that you have quality bedding and a premium quality mattress. These days, you can buy a luxury mattress at down-to-earth prices and have it shipped directly to your door. In most cases, you could order a mattress online and even try a mattress for free for several months before you dive in and splurge. Make sure to look at reviews before you make your decision because it will be one of the most important decisions you make in the quality of sleep that you receive for many years to come.
Another important thing is to make sure that it is completely dark and silent when you go to sleep. I have found that when lights are left on or when there is any noise, my body isn’t able to fully rest. It’s as if I am half awake when there is any type of sensory distraction, so I always make sure to turn everything off.
Leave your phone in a different room
I tried this several nights and it was a game changer! Leave your phone to charge in a different room and put it on sleep mode so that it won’t distract or tempt you. I’m telling you, my phone is literally one of the main reasons why I have insomnia on most nights. I often have the intention of going to bed at a decent time, then once I’m in bed and my phone is by my side, I either stay up browsing or pick up my phone after tossing and turning for 30 minutes because I can’t fall asleep. It doesn’t help that all of my best ideas come to me at night and I want to research all of them on my phone at 1 in the morning!
If you want to be a little more extreme, just ban your phone from being in the bedroom. It will do wonders and will solve more of your sleep problems than you know. I am still working on adhering to this self-inflicted policy, but I have tried it, and when I follow this rule, I have the best sleep a girl could ask for.
Get yourself relaxed and in “sleep mode”
Preparing to sleep shouldn’t start when you turn off the lights and lay down on your bed. It should start several hours prior to you getting into bed. This is the time when you will be mentally and physically preparing yourself for rest.
One of the first things that you can do is diffuse some relaxing essential oils like lavender throughout your home. Spray it on your bed sheets, pillows, or mattress or add it to a warm bath. Lavender is an effective natural sleep aid and remedy for insomnia along with chamomile, which is also another good way to get your body relaxed.
Prepare some chamomile tea and be amazed at how sleepy this gets you. I’m actually getting sleepy just thinking about it. I love chamomile tea! If you’ve ever tried Sleepytime Tea, well, chamomile is the active ingredient, and I grew up on that stuff. My mom used to give it to us all the time to get us tired! They even now have Sleepytime Extra, which I just discovered.
Magnesium is another amazing way to get your body ready for a restful sleep. It is known as the calming mineral, so it will help relieve any tension or stress within the body and mind. Magnesium can be found in different foods, but I prefer to just take them in pill form.
I have also found that CBD oil works amazing for insomnia. Whenever I have taken it, it gets me drowsy, and I have had the absolute best sleep without any interruptions. I have several articles on my experience using CBD oil, so make sure to check those out for its other benefits as well. If you suffer from other conditions that make it difficult to sleep, exploring natural options is worth a try.
Avoid caffeine and sugar throughout the day
If you want to do yourself a huge favor, just stay away from caffeine and sugar altogether. However, if you are like me and love green tea and need to stay alive during the day, then just drink that and stay away from coffee. Sorry, coffee lovers! The reason I say green tea is okay is because you won’t crash from it as you would with coffee. You will still be able to sleep, but of course, the best thing would be to give up any type of caffeine for the best results.
If you are still wanting caffeine alternatives, the best alternative to caffeine would be taking a daily Vitamin B complex. It works so amazingly well to boost energy levels, but naturally. A daily multivitamin can also do the trick. If you are one of the brave ones, try this apple cider vinegar drink. It is also a natural energy booster that I promise you works great when taken in the morning instead of coffee.
Well, that is it for now! I have a lot more to say on this topic, so I will be back again on the topic of sleep in future posts. I hope that these simple tips offer some very helpful ways that you can apply to help prevent insomnia and help you sleep better. Make sure to share your response to the question below in the comments!