How to Set Yourself Up for Better Sleep
Recently, my doctor told me that I was exhausted. I knew that, but how did he know that?!
I had taken on too much. I was unhappy with myself in so many ways, my performance with my work, my eating habits, my lack of exercise. Every day I felt like I was ridden hard and put up wet.
My doctor told me that I needed to get my diet right, which was already in progress. I needed to not go to the gym at 4 am if at all, for the time being, and I needed to sleep at least 10 hours a day to allow my body to recover. 10 hours?! I thought he was mad.
While that was a lot to process. It made sense. I was miserable in every way imaginable. I wasn't accomplishing what I wanted to because I was too damn tired all of the time. In addition to adding some supplements like melatonin and adrenal support, I put his plan into action, and I have to say I am seeing a dramatic difference.
If you're not sleeping well, the rest of your life suffers, too. There are few things better or more satisfying than a good night of rest. However, getting deep, restful sleep can be challenging. Life circumstances can disrupt sleep, and we can't control everything going on in our lives.
But we can control our bedroom. Make the most of your sleeping environment and give yourself the best chance to sleep like the royalty you are.
Here's some advice on how to get the sleep your body and mind are craving:
- Mattress. Finding the right mattress is a pivotal part of getting a good night of sleep. There are so many options that it's easy to feel overwhelmed. If your bed isn't comfortable, head out to the store and try out a few mattresses. If you can't afford a new mattress, get a mattress topper that gives your bed a makeover at a fraction of the cost.
- Light. For most of us, the darker, the better. Minimize the amount of light in your room. Controlling light is especially important if your schedule requires you to sleep during the day. Ensure that your electronic devices don't put out too much light. I had to buy little black plastic discs that you put over the random lights from electronics. My humidifier had a bright blue light that distracted me whenever I went to bed.
- Noise. As little noise as possible is the best option for most. However, some people prefer to fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean, rain, or white noise. I thought I was noise adverse, but I asked Alexa to play ocean sounds, and she sorted me out right away. Figure out what works for you. If you're forced to sleep in a noisy area, earplugs can help.
- Keep water handy. If you frequently find yourself needing a drink in the middle of the night, keep one available so you don't have to get out of bed and further disturb your sleep. You might also want to limit eating near your bedtime, as this is a common cause of thirst during the night.
- Psychological comfort. What do you need to feel comfortable? A locked door? Closed windows? A weighted blanket? My dog AJ wants to lie alongside me under the covers, and when he does, I am down for the count. Create a bedroom situation that is most conducive to you sleeping comfortably.
- Temperature. Each of us has a perfect sleeping temperature. Studies show that a cool room works best for the average person, but you might not be average. (I know you're not basic.) Experiment and discover what works best for you. An extra blanket or a small adjustment to the thermostat might make a big difference. I use a weighted blanket, which means I do have to be a little more mindful of the temperature in the summer.
- Electronics. Clocks, phones, tablets, and TVs can all contribute to a miserable night of sleep. Keep the electronic devices to a minimum. Ideally, put away all the electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime. You'll find it easier to fall and stay asleep.
- Create a nighttime ritual. I created a one-hour-before-bed routine. I light a candle, brush my teeth, take care of my face, and start preparing my clothes for the next day. Having this constant pattern to my day soothes my soul. It is something I make the time for every night. It's even blocked off in my daily planner.
How well do you sleep? Are you making the most of your sleeping space? It's easy to think that any mattress in a room is enough to sleep well. And, that's true for some. However, most of us would benefit from making a few changes to our bedroom and our nighttime routine.
What are your tips for getting the rest you need to conquer the day? Let me know in the comments below.