A few nights ago, I had a dilemma – should I start watching a 2-hour movie, although I know that I should be sleeping in an hour? I decided that I will watch just a half of the movie, and I will watch the rest the next day. Great plan, isn’t it?
The movie turned out to be so interesting, that I couldn’t stop watching. Eventually, I turned off the TV 15 minutes after my bedtime. I closed my eyes and I kept thinking about the movie. Wondering how it will end.
I tried not to think and just fall asleep, but it just only got worse. Do you know that feeling, when you want to sleep so badly, but your brain recalls all possible memories and makes you think about them all at once?
I got very annoyed by the fact that I couldn’t sleep, which made me even more awake. It was cold, it was hot, not comfortable on any side, so I kept turning around to find a perfect position. You may imagine, getting up in the morning wasn’t easy.
The next day I decided I have to finally change something. Here are some methods I tried to get a better sleep. Some with a better result than others, but I think all of them are worth mentioning and trying.
1. Sleep at least 7-8 hours.
I know it’s sometimes just too difficult to find those 8 hours. You have to get up early in the morning because of work, kids and everything else. You want to do as much as you can before you go to sleep. A day has only 24 hours and even if you really, really want to do everything, it’s hardly ever possible. Balance and prioritization is the key. While changing your kid’s diaper can’t be postponed, it’s absolutely fine if you leave dirty dishes in the sink from time to time.
2. Turn off all electronics.
I don't know the science behind this, but I noticed that looking at the screens of my TV and phone makes me more awake, especially when there’s a lot of action, sounds and rapidly changing pictures.
3. Use an alarm clock which analyzes your sleep phases.
There are a lot of free apps, that analyze your sleep phases. You choose the time when you want to be awakened, for example between 6 and 7 a.m. and the alarm will go off when you’re in your lightest sleep phase. It makes getting up a little bit easier.
4. Don’t drink too much directly before going to bed.
There’s a risk that you’ll need to go to the toilet in the middle of the night and have a problem to fall asleep back again.
5. Don’t eat too much directly before going to bed.
Feeling full and bloated doesn’t help to have a good night sleep.
6. Meditate or pray.
It’s a really good way to calm yourself. Even if you’re already in bed you can close your eyes and try not to think about anything, and focus on your breath.
7. Have a to-do list for the next morning.
Most of the time we just have things to do. If you don’t have a plan, you may end up worrying about how you’ll tackle all of them and it may prevent you from falling asleep.
8. Use lavender, Melissa or orange essential oil.
Those essential oils have calming effects and I noticed that I actually have a better sleep at night with those. Here’s my other post about using essential oils: How To Use Essential Oils
9. Drink melissa or chamomile tea 2 hours before sleep.
Those herbs have a calming effect as well. If it’s cold they’ll warm you up. Drinking it 2 hours before sleep is ideal because you’ll still have time to go to the toilet.
10. Clean your bedroom.
Most of the time my bedroom is cluttered (still working on that). When I clean it, I really can see the difference, and it gives me unexplainable joy and calms me down.
11. Don’t use anti-smoking plasters at night.
I know this tip is not for everyone, but I think it’s really worth mentioning. When I left a plaster on for the night, I had the most realistic and strange dreams in my life. I was amazed, sometimes shocked that my brain could come up with such plots. It happened almost every time, it also happened to my fiance, later I found some people posting about the same experience on the internet, so it’s definitely a thing.
12. Wear comfortable pajamas
Find whatever makes you feel good. I really like freshly washed 100% cotton pajamas.
13. Have a good quality bedding
A bedding made out of natural fabrics is not much more expensive than not natural, and it makes you more comfortable. Also, remember about airing your bed and beddings.
14. Mark your territory 😊
If you sleep with somebody the best solution is to have a bed big enough so you don’t wake each other up, while turning on the other side. But that’s not always possible, so the other great idea is to have separate duvets. You’re still close to each other, but have your own space at the same time.
15. It the morning – don’t use the snooze button.
I know that urge when you hear the alarm, you want to stay in the bed just for another 5 minutes. But the longer you delay getting up, the more difficult it is to actually get up.
And please, don’t repeat my mistake. I know there are plenty of articles like that. I’ve read many of them. Usually at nights when I couldn’t sleep. The next day it was as usual: remote control in one hand, phone in the other, eating salty, greasy snacks. If you want to make a change, try those methods at least once and then you can honestly say if it worked or not.