Not being able to sleep is frustrating. It’s not like you don’t want to go to sleep. You simply can’t. So many times I’ve heard, Oh you must get so much done at night! No, not exactly. It doesn’t work that way. I lay in bed tossing and turning, anxious that I’m not sleeping when I should. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a difficult time sleeping. As I got older, it got worse. Between different medications and my mind not being able to relax, I was at a loss. I tried over-the-counter sleep aids, but I didn’t like the groggy feeling. Plus, I didn’t want to risk any side effects with what I was currently taking. Needless to say, I was on the hunt to make my sleep experience better.
Through the years I’ve found a few easy hacks that will help you sleep a bit better at night.
1. Set The Right Temperature
This may sound silly, but there IS an ideal sleep temperature. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you’ll sleep better when your thermostat is set to about 65°F. Bring on the blanket burritos!
2. Shroud Your Room in Darkness
Living in a digital world has its ups, but it also has its downs. The light given off of our screens can cause us to have trouble sleeping. Also, any other types of light, like street lights or car headlights lend a hand to keeping you awake. If you use your phone for an alarm clock, try keeping your settings on Do Not Disturb until morning. You’ll still be able to use your alarm, but all other notifications will be silenced, including banner pop-ups that will make your screen glow during the night. Investing in blackout curtains (or blinds if you prefer) can prevent unwanted light from entering your room. An added bonus is that blackout curtains also help maintain your room temperature!
3. Practice Breathing
As we mentioned in “3 Ways To Relieve Daily Stress,” breathing is an important part of relaxing. Focusing on breathing can help you release anxious thoughts and worry. Try it before bed or as you’re trying to fall asleep and make it your own. I always found my eyes getting heavy as I focus on counting while breathing.
4. Pay Attention to Your Eating Habits
I have always been a “snacker.” There’s nothing more I love than a bowl of cereal before bed. But, between the added sugar and my digestive system trying to work, I found myself wound up. Cutting food and caffeine consumption a few hours before bed can make a world of difference. If you have conditions that are affected by your diet, like diabetes, always work out a plan with your doctor. There may be other underlying causes for your inability to sleep.
5. Try a Sleep Supplement
While I’m not a fan of groggy sleep aids, I do love sleep supplements. Supplements aren’t supposed to cause you to conk out after taking them. Rather, they’re supposed to help support your body to naturally prepare for sleep. Several types are available. Melatonin is a natural hormone in our bodies that’s triggered by light exposure. Valerian root promotes calmness and helps you sleep.