We explore seven tips to get a better night’s sleep, from meditation to unplugging to finding the perfect bed. This post is sponsored by Lull, but all opinions (as always) are my own.
I used to be able to sleep through the night without the slightest problem. I would sleep like a rock, so much so that I was teased for it. Bombs could be going off, and I would most definitely sleep through it.
Lately though, things have changed. I find myself wide awake at night for hours, and I’ve become closer friends with insomnia now. I don’t even really like her, to tell you the truth. But nonetheless, she keeps showing up uninvited.
I would really love to go back to the earlier days. The days (well, nights) when my husband would start to have a legitimate cause for concern at how hard I was asleep and check if I was breathing. Those days before that crude Insomnia got my number.
I’ve spent the past few months researching and researching tips to get a better night’s sleep. I’m so tired (figuratively and literally) of lying in bed wide awake. And counting sheep ain’t helpin’.
I wanted to share these 7 tips that worked for me on the blog today. I hope that they work for you as well if you’re also experiencing some restless nights.
7 Tips to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Keeping active during the day can make a huge difference at night. We all know the numerous benefits that exercise has on our health. Besides keeping our heart healthy, preventing disease, increasing energy, and boosting our mood, exercise can also help us sleep better. Exercise has been shown to improve a range of sleep disorders, from insomnia to sleep apnea. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, those who exercise not only have less trouble falling asleep, they also have better quality sleep. Exercise has been found to strengthen circadian rhythms, which is often referred to as our “body clock.”
Invest in a Good Bed
A good bed is so important and it’s critical to choose a mattress that is right for you. I’ve recently switched to a Lull mattress, which I am loving. I’ve researched a lot about Lull’s memory foam bed with advanced technology and came to the conclusion that it would be a great fit for me. I love that their beds ship free directly to your door, which is incredibly convenient, and how affordable the mattresses are. Each mattress comes with a free 100 night trial so that you can test out your new bed risk-free. This is important, because I know a lot of people love being able to test out a mattress before purchasing. They have a 10 year warranty and are composed of three layers of premium memory foam, which feels like you’re sleeping on the softest cotton candy cloud. The comfort top is not only so comfortable, it relieves pressure and delivers proper lumbar and neck support. A breathable design allows for ideal temperature control, while therapeutic support ensures proper spine alignment. It offers the perfect balance of firmness, comfort, and support. If you’re interested in Lull, please visit their website and watch my Unboxing Video below!
I always look at my phone before bed, and what I think will be 10 minutes turns into over an hour. I’m checking e-mails, responding, updating something on my site, or (more often than any of these) mindlessly scrolling through the #Corgi and #Puppies hashtags on Instagram. And that’s just the worst. I also fall into this horrible cycle where if I can’t sleep, I immediately reach for my phone or laptop. But bright lights (especially the blue light from a computer or phone screen) really screw up our circadian rhythms (that “body clock” we were talking about before). It’s said that these lights can even stop your body from producing melatonin. This Huffington Post article outlines a study conducted on using an iPad before sleep. The participants who read their iPad before bed took longer to fall asleep and had shorter REM sleep when they finally did. If you absolutely must use your electronics before bed, there’s a few apps or filters that can be purchased that blocks out blue light from screens.
Create a Soothing Space
A soothing and relaxing space is very important to your comfort and sleep. Meditate before bed (see below) or try aromatherapy. My absolute favorite thing to do (and I swear it works) is to use a lavender sleep spray to help me fall asleep. I make one myself with a combination of distilled water, witch hazel, and pure lavender essential oil. (The 100% pure stuff, no fragrances! Only the actual oil will give you lavender’s calming benefits.) Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and temperate. The ideal sleeping temperature is around 67 degrees. And in general, design your bedroom in a way that is soothing, peaceful, and attractive to you. For me, I like keeping my bedroom soft colors (it’s currently a pretty apricot) and having fresh flowers and soft lighting. I also really like to keep things that provide me with peace and love close-by on my nightstand. Finally, I believe that trying to keep your bedroom as clutter-free as possible aids in overall relaxation.
Caffeine Cut-Off Time
This is a big one, and I was such a culprit of this for so many years. My favorite thing would be to come home from work and have an espresso or cup of coffee before dinner. It was my way of transitioning from work to home and recharging, if you will. But caffeine stays in your system for a whooping eight hours and experts recommend to stay away from caffeine of any kind after 2PM. Several studies have found that caffeine has negative affects on our body clock, reduces sleep significantly if consumed up to 6 hours before bed, and disrupts our deep sleep. Now, I drink decaf coffee, tea, or a smoothie as an afternoon pick-me-up.
Stick to It
This one is hard, I know. But science says that we should go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day. To me, that seems A. impossible and B. no fun. But going to bed extremely late on weekends and sleeping in even later has a heavy toll on our natural body clock. Sticking to as close of a ‘schedule’ as possible when it comes to sleep is highly beneficial and not only helps us fall asleep easier, but reduces that groggy and lethargic feeling we’ve come to know so well on Monday mornings.
Manage and Meditate
Managing stress is a critical tool for better sleep. When you take the day’s stress to bed with you, you risk insomnia, lying awake in your restless thoughts, and a disturbed sleep cycle. Try breathing exercises before bed to naturally calm your body and prepare it for sleep. Reflect and try meditating or doing a slow and mindful bedtime yoga session. Really shutting down and unwinding before bed is so important. Let all of the stress of today or the worry of tomorrow fade and give yourself the permission to engage in a relaxing bedtime ritual nightly. Follow these tips to get a better night’s sleep and restful ZzZzZz’s are in your near future.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed these tips to get a better night’s sleep! Thank you to Lull for sponsoring this post, and be sure to check out their amazing mattresses if you’re looking for a new one! Sweet dreams!
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