Are you one of those people that goes to bed early, has their head hit the pillow and is instantly off to dreaming heaven? Nope… me either. I can go a week or two where I think I’m sleeping fairly well, only to realize that when I actually sit down and think about it that I am probably only getting five or so hours of actual somewhat quality sleep. I can’t even remember the last time I went to bed, slept eight hours and woke up refreshed and energized. In my effort to try and live a cleaner, healthier life, I want to actually find out how to sleep better once and for all. Below are a few of the tips and tricks that I’m going to try to incorporate into my life to sleep better, no crazy pills or chemicals included here.
How to Sleep Better
Most people are actually deficient in magnesium and they don’t even know it. Being magnesium deficient can impact your sleep. Try a 250mg dose of magnesium 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Don’t take too much magnesium, however, or you can end up with lose bowels, which will adversely keep you up all night. Exactly what you don’t want. Ever.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Cycle
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. This will help set your sleep and hormone cycle so getting better sleep becomes like clockwork.
We all need our caffeine jolt in the morning, but cut yourself off after 1:00 pm, or earlier if you can. Caffeine can have a half-life of three to five hours, with the remaining staying in your system for hours after that. Also try to keep your total caffeine consumption to 200mg or under. Stay clear of the artificial and dangerous caffeine laden energy drinks and shots. Those are horrible for you on so many levels.
See the Sun
Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight each and every day. You want to avoid exposing yourself too long, but sunlight boosts serotonin levels in your brain, the happy chemical, which will also help improve your melatonin production, or sleep chemical, during the night. If you can’t get outside, try a light box, preferably in the morning. (Also check out my post 6 Ways to Start Treating Mild Depression Naturally for ways in which sunlight can help boost your mood).
I know it is nearly impossible, but try to reduce stress, especially after dinnertime. Meditate, exercise, take a bath, listen to music, or read a book before bed to help relax your brain and your body before bed. Another trick to sleep better is to keep a notebook by your bed and write down all your stressors or to-do items before you go to bed so that you won’t stress about trying to remember everything. It can also reduce anxiety to get all of your problems out and down on paper as well. (Check out my post on meditation for more ways meditation can improve your well-being).
Nix the Artificial Light
Get rid of all of the artificial light at least an hour before bed. This includes the TV, your smart phone, tablet and any digital screen you can think of. The blue light from these devices messes with your sleep cycle and will prevent you from getting the better sleep you crave. Try reading an actual paper book or magazine instead. Also, be cognizant of the fact that you may have artificial light coming in from your windows and alarm clock. Use blackout curtains and try to cover your clock light.
Keep it Cool
Your room that is. Keep your bedroom below 70 degrees. Around 65 degrees is even better. It is harder to sleep if your room is too hot and stuffy.
This is one trick to sleep better that I adhere to religiously, even when I travel. Try a white noise machine or fan. There are so many noises that can disturb your sleep without you even realizing. A snoring spouse or pet, trucks or car noises on your street, TV sound from people in the house that are still awake, dripping faucets, wind and rain, etc… If you have a fan or white noise machine running, you will be less likely to hear or fixate on the distractions.
Learning to sleep better is vital to our overall well-being and health. Sleep matters, so make it a priority to find out what works for you. I hope that these eight tips above will help you get the sleep you need. Let me know what tricks you’ve tried for sleep better in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend these products because they are products that I personally use or companies that I have found trustworthy.