This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make commission (at no cost to you!)
if you purchase through the link. Read our affiliate disclosure here.
Ahhh…sleep. It’s truly one of my favorite past times, but I realized I was rarely getting a good night’s sleep. I’m a tosser & turner and my husband is a snorer and a blanket thief, plus I am always HOT…it’s just not a great combination for a good night’s sleep. It is what it is, though, so I knew I had to work with it.
Why is it important to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis? Because losing sleep, even an hour at a time here & there, can really take its toll. It causes you to feel groggy & just out of it in general. This is what sleep experts call “sleep debt.” Too much sleep debt can lead to health concerns, like obesity and high blood pressure, and also safety issues, including slower reaction times while driving and operating equipment. Sleep deprivation can also contribute to a poor mood, fuzzy focus, and an uneven temperament. <– sound familiar? You can read more about the affects of sleep debt here, at sleep.com.
In thinking about my restless night’s I realized there are things I can and should be doing to maximize my potential for a good night’s sleep. Here are 5 steps I’ve put into place to make a good night’s sleep more possible so I can wake up refreshed & ready to take on whatever adventures the day brings.
Let’s Get Some Sleep
Set Regular Hours
Some experts say to go to bed at 10pm each night, but that’s just not feasible. Instead, think about how much sleep you need to get to be a functioning adult the next day, what time you need to wake up to take on life, and count backwards. For instance. I need 6-8 hours of sleep to feel awake. I also like to get up between 6:30-7:00am. If I plan to wake up by 7am, I try to be in bed between 10:00-11:00pm so I can settle in and maximize my chances of sleeping a solid 8 hours. (I tend to lay in bed and overthink everything possible for at least an hour, so 10pm gives me time to do that. 😉
Set a Routine
Just like kids thrive on a routine, so do adults and an evening routine may be what’s preventing you from getting to sleep. I’ve found it helpful to set my phone with a bedtime alert for 10pm. Most of the time I am already getting ready for bed or in bed, but when I’m not it’s a good reminder that it’s bedtime.
Your routine may be as simple as just brushing your teeth, or it could include yoga, reading or anything else that causes you to relax. Katie over at Millennial Pink Pennies has a dedicated nighttime routine that helps her feel centered & grateful each night. She calls it her 5-4-3-2-1 routine – check it out, it’s easy and you can see how it’s a great way to end your day on a positive note.
Stop Nighttime Eating & Drinking
Avoid eating within about 2 hours of bedtime, and stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least 4 hours before bed.
Make Your Room Comfortable
Make sure your bedding is sufficient, but not too warm. Make sure lighting is off or at a low glow. Keep the temperature set low, between 65-67F, so you’re cooler overnight. (If that’s still too warm, lower it even more! Our heat is set at 63F during the day 60F overnight. I know it seems cold, but I’m rarely chilly.) Make sure your bedding is straightened out & your pillows are adequately fluffed. If you are using fiberfill pillows think about switching to down. Good pillows make a huge difference!
If you need to fall asleep with the tv on, but your partner does not, get him/her an eye mask or ear plugs. I have to have the tv on, but since it is more for sound than to watch, we have it set to a pretty dim level. My hearing is good, so I can turn it way down and my husband isn’t bothered by it.
Put Your Phone Down
This is by far the worst thing for me. I can be falling asleep on the sofa and if I go to bed & use my phone at all I am wide awake! I have it set to yellow light bedtime hours, too, and it makes no difference. Just like caffeine, the light from your phone can act like a stimulant.
What I Do:
- I make my bed every morning, making sure the sheets are straightened out and tucked in. This helps a lot since my husband is a blanket thief! I also fluff my pillows.
- The vent in our bedroom is closed, so the bedroom stays right around 60F all day/night, while the rest of the house is a little bit warmer. (I’m always hot, remember? It’s awful!)
- My phone is nearby, but “do not disturb” is turned on. If someone from my favorites list calls it will ring, but texts are muted. This way if my adult children call I’ll get the call, but when my obnoxious friend starts texting me at 2am I won’t hear that. 😉
- I use a ceiling fan for white noise, which helps a lot.
I’ve noticed that I sleep considerably better when I follow the above steps. If my sheets are messy I toss & turn. If my room is hot I toss and turn. It takes just a few minutes a day to set myself up for a good night’s sleep and it is totally worth it!