Now that you’re hopefully sleeping on the PERFECT mattress, if you still find yourself having restless nights, it could be due to a number of different things in your environment or on your mind. We’re here to share the things that help us sleep better in hopes that they help you to sleep better too!
WORRYING about <fill in the blank>:
Work, kids, chores, bills, schedules, even vacation can keep us up at night. The best thing that helps us get sleep when we are worried about a busy day(s) ahead is to get ready for bed, lay in bed and make a list of things we have to accomplish for the next day. This is especially helpful with deadlines or time-sensitive tasks. It even works with goals. We find when we make writing down the next-day’s tasks or goals a nightly habit, we go to bed calmer because everything is accounted for on the list.
This also works for sleeping the night before a trip. Simply make a list of everything you need to remember for the morning and see if you’re more successful catching some peaceful pre-vacation ZZZ’s.
Try keeping a pen and journal or task sheet near the bed for easy list/schedule making:
When feeling anxious, happy-natured books on Audible helps to take our minds off of the hamster wheel and into sleep mode. Funny celebrity autobiographies, self-help, business topics, hobbies, even whimsical stories from our youth take us away to a not-so-scary place in our imagination. (Audible is basically a modern day Books-on-Tape, and is an Amazon product.)
There’s even a series of meditations on Audible specifically for sleep. I was doubtful anything like that would be all that effective, but I fall asleep EVERY. TIME. In fact, I’ve never made it to the end of the meditation awake, so I have no idea what happens. 😂 The same is true for everyone I’ve suggested them to.
Bonus: the Audible app also has a sleep timer, so it won’t keep you up all night.
TV Shows We’ve Already Watched:
If The Office is on when I am going to bed, I’m probably going to watch it. Despite the fact that I have seen every episode of that series a million times. Whatever the show or movie, there’s something about being entertained but not having to concentrate on the story that gives a sense of calm before bedtime.
Timer Your TV:
Most modern TV’s have a sleep mode option in the menu. Set it for an hour or so so that it turns off after you fall alseep and doesn’t wake you up during the night.
Put Away Electronics:
No more jumping down the rabbit holes of everything on the internet and social media before bedtime. Give yourself a cut-off time for looking at electronics. The blue light keeps our brains awake, so an hour before your normal bedtime is a good time to put them away. Store those devices in a drawer or a mattress cubby like these:
Shower or Bath:
There’s something about being clean and fresh before bed. Especially if it’s been a long day, or a day out doors.
Even though it’s Johnson’s – a LOT of adults swear by the Bedtime lavender bath for its calming effects and help with stress headaches.
A Cold Gel Pack:
If I’m stressed out or otherwise not feeling 100%, I like to put a cool gel pack on my pillow behind my neck. I use a first aid refrigerator type gel compress that is in the cloth barrier, and then I cover that pack in a tea towel. It should just be cool, not very cold or freezing. Nothing cold or frozen should be in direct contact with your skin, so a good cloth barrier is an absolute must.
Adjustable Bed Frames:
An adjustable bed frame helps you achieve the perfect sleep position. Ones with the light massage feature, can further help lull individuals back to sleep on restless nights. We talked about these in our recent mattress article, but it’s helped us with sleep so much it’s worth re-mentioning here!
Dark and Cozy:
Black-out curtains, a traditional sleep mask, or an upgraded version with built-in headphones help block out slumber stealing light. The latter are especially helpful if you like hearing music, Audible, or tv while you fall asleep. Keep the volume low and sleep the night away.
Time the Caffeine:
If you are unknowingly sensitive to caffeine, things like coffee, tea, SODA, even chocolate could be keeping you awake when you partake late in the day. I will sleep better cutting these things off 3 hours before bed, while my husband has to avoid caffeine after 2pm. See if you notice a difference by monitoring your caffeine intake hours.
Skip the Late Night Snacks:
Late night digestion can be another sleep-stealing culprit, because the process can keep our body awake, or wake us up needing to use the bathroom. We found cutting meals, drinks, and snacks off at least two hours before bed did the trick.
Talk to Your Doctor:
A friend of ours had a horrible time sleeping, so they talked to their doctor and were prescribed a sleep study. This type of study involved sleeping in a hotel-like room over night while they were monitored through stick-on nodes. Turns out, they had sleep apnea and finally found restful sleep after getting a CPAP machine. We’ve heard sleep studies can be done at home too – talk to your doctor about options.