Sleep is elusive. Sometimes you sleep like a baby (who made that up, anyway? I have two and I know what babies sleep like….like tiny little alarm clocks that chirp in a less than pleasant sound a dozen times a night) and sometimes you sleep so little you wonder why you even bothered going to bed. If you find that you don’t sleep that well at night, you might have to start doing things a little differently. Read on for 15 ways you can sleep a little better at night.
Create a Schedule
You cannot wake up at 11 on the weekends and 6 during the week, stay up until 10 on weeknights and 2 am on weekends and expect to sleep well every single night. You need to create a schedule and keep it. Don’t deviate more than an hour on each end.
Let’s face it, there are a million reasons to quit smoking and most of them are so you don’t die, smell horrible or turn everyone around you completely off. However, you should also quit so you can sleep better at night.
When you get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, your body is healthier and you’ll sleep better. However, you should make sure your exercise takes place at least 4 hours before you go to bed or you risk having too much adrenaline in your body to keep you from falling asleep.
Before you panic, you can still have your morning coffee – provided your morning starts prior to 2 pm. Experts agree that consuming caffeine after 2 pm can have a negative effect on your ability to sleep well at night.
Start a Diary
When you write things down, it helps you to get them off your chest, out of your mind and it eases your worry. Instead of lying in bed at night wondering about your issues and solving your problems, write them down and work them out before you go to bed and you’ll rest better.
No More Alcohol
It’s sad, because it’s inappropriate to drink during the day (your boss or children might frown upon that) but if you drink close to bedtime it will keep you up at night. I guess the only suitable solution to this problem is to stop drinking entirely. Or forgo your sleep – sometimes you just need a glass of wine.
Turn Down the Air
It’s a lot easier to sleep when the air is cool than when it’s hot, so forget the cost of cooling a house these days and just turn down the air.
For about an hour before bed, forgo the computer, your phones and your iPad. The screen light can keep you up at night and make it difficult for you to fall asleep if you’re looking at these things within an hour of bed. If you can’t think of anything to do during that time, allow your husband to offer an enticing suggestion.
No Pets in the Bed
Pets can make sleeping in your own bed pretty difficult, so get rid of them. You don’t need their furry-ness all in your bed anyway. They need to sleep on the floor or on beds of their own.
If you cannot sleep when it’s quiet, turn on some white noise. You can buy a CD or download a playlist onto your iPhone/Pad/Pod to play at night to help you get better sleep.
If you find yourself lying in bed for hours at a time unable to sleep, get up. You don’t want your body to associate the bed with sleeplessness. Go read a book with very dim light or just sit quietly in your favorite chair until you begin to feel sleepy.
Make Bed for Bed
Don’t use your bed as a reading spot or a place to pull open your laptop and work. Your bed is for sleep. Your body will remember what you do when you get in bed and if you use it for other things, you might find it hard to sleep.
Relax Before Bed
One of the best ways to sleep better is to relax before bed. This means stop rushing to get everything done, answering emails, working or watching television in the little while before you go to bed. Take that time to unwind with your husband or a good book and you’ll find yourself sleeping better.
Some people don’t sleep well because they hear every little thing or worry about every random noise. If it helps you sleep at night (pun intended) get a security system installed. You’ll sleep better knowing your loved ones are safe.