If you’ve ever experienced a sleepless night, then you know how important getting your Zzzzs is. For me, one bad night seems to take me three to recover. Some nights I have trouble falling sleep, while others I see to constantly toss and turn. Both mean that I will be tired, cranky and generally unpleasant the next day. Here are 10 tips that have helped me get a good night sleep.
1. Go to bed at the same time every night. Just like having a regular wake up time can help you be more productive during the day, the same bedtime each night can help your body know when it’s time to wind down.
2. Wind down early. Take the time to establish a ritual before turning off the lights. Mine includes changing into my pyjamas, taking off my makeup, writing in my journal and reading a little. By the time I get to the book, my eyes are already starting to get heavy. Then it’s just a matter of time before I’m off.
3. Avoid caffeine after dinner. I used to be one of those people who could have a double espresso and sleep like a baby. Now that those days are long gone, I try to avoid tea or coffee after dinner. Same goes for alcohol. My limit is usually one; more than that and I’m looking at a night of tossing and turning.
4. Reflect on the day. In my post about 10 morning habits for a happier day, I mentioned how I start the day by writing in my Five Minute Journal and setting my positive intentions for the day. At the end of the day, I complete the last section of each page by listing three amazing things that happened that day and one thing that I would change if I could go back. It’s a great way to be mindful of the events that occurred that day and seek the positive in a day that may have been a little less than perfect. It also helps you get rid of any negative thoughts that could continue to swirl around in your head while you sleep.
5. Unplug. I know you’ve heard this before, but the light from your phone/iPad/laptop/TV signals your brain to stay awake. If you’re lying in bed pinning your little heart away wondering why you can’t sleep, step away from the boards, turn off your device and replace it with a book.
6. Wear socks to bed. This might sound weird, but I swear it works. I recently began wearing thick knit socks to bed. It started as a way to pamper my feet – I would apply a thick cream and slip my cozy socks on eventually just fall asleep with them still on my feet. But then something wonderful happened – I had the best sleep. So I tried it again the next night, then again, and again. Each time, I slept amazingly! Turns out that the aded layer helps to improve circulation, thus helping you fall asleep more quickly. Try it and let me know of it works for you!
7. Take a bath. There really is no better way to relax and unwind. Add a few drops of essentials oils and sprinkle in soothing bath salts and let the stress of your day just melt away. Take the experience one step further by dimming the lights and playing soft music. The heat of the bath will help calm your body and let’s face it, there’s no better feeling than slipping into a warm bed afterwards. Pure bliss!
8. Use a sleep mask. If you’re like me, even the faintest light can mess with your sleep. I eventually decided to get a sleep mask and my only regret is not having bought one earlier. The combination of the complete darkness and having something soft and soothing on my eyes really helps to unwind and fall asleep. If you can find one that is lavender scented, even better!
9. Sip some herbal tea. I am a big tea drinker. In the morning I like oolong tea, green tea takes my through the afternoon and I end the day with herbal tea. One I am loving at the moment is the Organic Sweet Dreams tea at David’s Tea. It contains a blend of chamomile, lemongrass, hibiscus and rose petals and is the perfect drink to help me drift off into sleep. I also love Apple Custard for those times when I have a bit of a sweet-tooth. As long as it’s caffein-free, I’m all over it.
10. Stick to your routine. Our bodies get used to routines and adapt accordingly. Having your own nighttime routine and practicing it regularly is the perfect way to end the day on a positive note and ensure you’ll wake up feeling energize, productive and happy.
What are your nighttime rituals?
[Photo credit via Pinterest]