Last year I started having a really rough time falling and staying asleep. Such a horrible experience. I would wake in the middle of the night and stay awake for hours on end. SOOOO frustrating.
After a lot of trial and error and research, here are ways 9 ways I’ve been able to get a better night’s sleep.
1. Clean your room
Ok, I have to admit, my bedroom is NOT decorated. I’m not talking about it’s a mishmash of décor that looks OK. I mean NOT DECORATED. No paint on the walls, ugly bachelor pad furniture from my husband’s single days. (Admittedly I helped him pick it out, but it was for HIM, not US.) I’m telling you, girl, it’s bad.
(I threw some pillows on the bed from the living room to make this shot look good! #keepingitreal)
BUT when it’s a least clean and organized I automatically sleep better.
Take the time to declutter clothing, remove miscellaneous junk from your nightstand and dressers and make the bed. Creating an environment where you can at least relax without being encumbered with a lot of stuff will help you get more zzz’s.
Don’t forget to dust and vacuum. Accumulated dust and allergens are a huge contributor to air quality and when the air is clean, you breathe better and sleep more soundly.
Don’t go overboard with cleaners and air sprays either. You don’t want to add pollutants while trying to get rid of pollutants.
2. Invest in good sheets
And I mean good ones. I’ve always been a sucker for cool comfortable sheets. My hubby HATES anything that slips and slides, so silk and satin are out.
Natural fibers are better for sleeping because they allow air to circulate. Synthetic fibers trap heat and are more likely to cause you to sweat.
Ill-fitting sheets constantly aggravated my sleep. The corners of my sheets would slide off at night and I struggled to tuck them back under the corners. So annoying.
The extra deep pocketed fitted sheet is THEE best. It hugged the curves of our pillowtop mattress like a glove. The California Den set I received made for mattresses up to 18 inches deep. I didn’t have to fight with my fitted sheet in the middle of the night.
And you know what else it has that? A tag that tells me where the top vs the bottom. Listen, it’s the little things that make a girl happy. I can’t tell you the times I’ve been frustrated with trying to figure out which way to put on a doggone sheet.
One thing I always look for in great sheets is a high thread count. The minimum I’ll go is 600 and the sateen weave I received fit the bill perfectly. It’s not so slippery that you slide all over the place, but soft enough to help you sleep well.
This particular set comes in 15 rich colors and every bed size. I chose white because even though I haven’t started on my bedroom décor yet, I prefer neutral base colors and my white sheet set needed replacing.
3. Iron your sheets…
You read that right. Sheets that are all wrinkled just are nowhere near as comfortable as crisp straight sheets. You see these right out of the package? they need a good once over…
Ok. Real talk, while that’s true, there is no way I’m ironing sheets. #aintnobodygottimeforthat.
Here’s an alternative to ironing sheets: Make the bed immediately after pulling the sheets fresh out of the dryer. Don’t allow your sheets to set crumpled up in the laundry basket or dry for too long. Even if they are in the linen closet, throw them in the dryer with a damp towel for 10 minutes, it makes a world of a difference when making the bed.
And a great tip that came in the packaging is not to dry your sheets for too long. Over-drying causes wrinkles to set in. If they’re too wrinkled throw them back in the wash sans the detergent and re-dry for a short period of time.
If you want a fully made magazine look…iron at least the pillowcases.
4. Use the flat (top) sheet
So I’ve heard millennials don’t want to bother with a flat sheet and I get it. It seems like an extra layer of hassle when making your bed every day. (you do make the bed don’t you?)
But using the flat sheet will help keep your body cool and comfortable at night. It also helps keep your comforter/quilt/duvet from getting dirty. Less washing will allow it to last much longer.
5. Give your mind a rest to fall asleep faster
Falling asleep has as much to do with your mind as it does your body. So I worked on my mind first. I’m thinking and doing All.The.Time
When your mind is going nonstop, it’s hard to wind down and actually fall asleep. Giving your mind a rest took a few steps:
Turn off all screens at least one hour before bedtime.
Turning off screens for one hour prior to bedtime allows your mind to turn off. This may be difficult and seem next to impossible if you’re heavy into TV and social media. But sorry Charlie.
Light and movement keep your mind running and cause an actual change in your circadian rhythm. If you constantly introduce new ideas, sounds, and bright light it will be harder for your body to shut down when trying to process all that data.
I implemented this one Saturday night and by Monday I was no longer getting up and staying up for two-three hours.
6. Create a bedtime routine
To help wean yourself off your TV, phone, computer, and tablet, establish a solid routine before bed that will help your body relax. You know that bath you never have time for? Grab a good book and let Calgon take you away.(insert your favorite bath balm here if you’re not that old to know what Calgon is.)
I’m not into baths right now, so a cup of sleepy time tea and reading from my physical bible instead of the app or a good REAL BOOK are my go to.
Much like a baby, creating this sleep routine helped me keep my mind off my phone and actually relax.
7. Cut off the Wi-Fi on your phone.
Did you know the electromagnetic waves going to and from your phone can interrupt sleep? Yep. Leaving your phone on the dresser rather than the nightstand help, but it’s better to simply turn your phone on airplane mode. If you need to hear the phone in the middle of the night, leave your phone in another room
Next up I plan to introduce a sound machine. I’ve heard fabulous things about this sound machine. I started using one on my phone, but when I learned using Wi-Fi disrupted sleep I halted that.
Other tips to rest better
- Get exercise during the day
- Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your pillowcases
- Make a cup of golden milk
- Do a short burst of stretches to relax your muscles and release stress
These tips have helped me to sleep better. I still wake occasionally but generally, it’s when I’ve ignored one or more of these tips.