Tips & Tricks: To Help You Sleep Better

It is a rare occasion for me to go to bed at night and not be asleep within 10 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Being tired, and not being able to sleep can be a really frustrating experience because we all know how important (and precious) a good night’s sleep is. So, if you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, here are some simple pain-free things you can do to encourage a peaceful refreshing and invigorating sleep.

Go to bed when you are sleepy.
Don’t force yourself to go to sleep at a certain time because you have to get up early the next day. You will just find yourself tossing and turning and becoming frustrated because you cannot seem to fall asleep. If you concern yourself over how much sleep you are going to get it and how well you are going to function in the morning, you are just putting your brain into overdrive and adding additional worries and stress causing you to lose sleep. This is often referred to as
“learned insomnia”.

Exercise but not too close to bedtime.
Regular exercise is recommended and will help to increase your energy levels throughout the day and in turn will help you sleep better because it helps combat stress.However, be careful not to do any vigorous exercise too close to bedtime. If you are an evening workout type of person, try and fit your exercise in more than three hours before bedtime this way your body has time to come down from its exercise induced state (heightened blood pressure, stimulated muscles and mind, etc).

Don’t pig out before bed.
It is a good idea not to have a large meal (or large snack) 2-3 hours before bed because the digestive process can interfere with your sleep. Going to bed so soon after eating can lead to acid reflux (which can lead to GERD which is a known cause of oesophageal cancer). There are certain foods that help your body produce seratonin, which is a chemical in your body that can help you to relax. Some of these foods are milk, turkey, and peanuts. If you are hungry before bed opt for a light snack. Your sleep, and overall health will thank you for it.

Forget the snooze button
Our bodies are constantly adjusting to our schedules, eating habits, etc. We are, after all, creatures of habit. So if you oversleep even a couple days out of the week you are re-seting your internal sleep clock. Try and wake up the same time every morning (regardless of when you went to bed the night before). Yes, sleeping in on a weekend sounds heavenly but try not to. By waking up at the same time every morning you will be keeping your body on a schedule (and our bodies respond well to routine!!)

Release your thoughts
Are you a multi-tasker? Always have everything planned out in your head? Well before going to bed create a to-do list for the next day. Getting all these tasks out of your head will allow your body and mind to rest more peacefully as opposed to planning/strategizing and stressing about what’s going to happen or will need to happen the next day. Unresolved stress and anxiety can lead to a sleepless night and most likely an unproductive next day.

Did you forget to flip your mattress?
Although some mattresses are perfectly fine with never being flipped, most should be flipped every 4-6 months.It’s something we tend to forget to do (or can’t recall when it was done last).If you’ve had a couple nights of tossing and turning and can’t figure out why, maybe it’s time to flip your mattress.You may be surprised that that was all you needed to do.

There you have it. A few tips and tricks to get you sleeping better. There is no absolute sure-fire way to ensure a good night’s sleep but using these tips and tricks will keep you one step ahead of the game!

What are some of your bedtime rituals for getting a restful sleep?

  1. sunnydays13

    January 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    These days difficulty falling asleep seems to be an everyday occurrence. It’s just that some days are even worse than others. Here are a few things that help me.. First thing I do is walk by myself. It doesn’t have to be an hour walk. Sometimes I’ll go out for only fifteen minutes. I get to think things over without any outside distractions and decide what issues (personal or business), to clear up or resolve first. Just being outside in the fresh air is also very relaxing!

    The second thing I do is use an aromatherapy eye pillow. I find it to be extremely relaxing and a terrific way to clear my thoughts and get me in a better frame of mind. The eye pillow blocks out any light and allows me to just unwind. It’s especially great after a tough ride home in traffic. The weight of the flax-seed inside the aromatherapy eye pillow feels like acupressure on my temples and eyes. It’s perfect for headaches as well. You can find them in a lot of specialty stores and also online. I know that lavender is very soothing and calming but I use peppermint. It just opens up my sinuses and helps me breathe so much better. That fact alone makes it easier for me to fall asleep. The one I use I found online at A Touch Of Satin. Their website is http://www.atouchofsatin.com if you’re interested. They had a page on their site that talked about the benefits of the different scents. You might want to read what they say about them.

    Try flipping your pillow over to the cooler side and when you start to think about things on your mind….Just SMILE! Smiling always seems to make things less stressful.

    I hope my suggestions help! Let know what you think.

    1. LuLu

      January 5, 2009 at 1:05 pm

      Great suggestions!! The Touch Of Satin product line looks really interesting. Some aromatherapy products have scents that are very overwhelming how do you find the eye pillow?

  2. Carla

    November 27, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Thanks so much for these! I haven’t had a good nights sleep since early August if you can believe it!!!
    I do think releasing thoughts is the big one (at least for me!)
    I sometimes will drink a chamomile tea before bed and it definitely relaxes me.

  3. Scintilla

    November 26, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I must read a few pages of a book -even if the book ends up falling out of my hands and waking me again!

    I should have included this…I find reading a book will help me wind down a bit more if I’m not completely totally ready to fall asleep.

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