Are you getting enough sleep? If you aren’t here are some of my strategies to sleep better at night.
In case you haven’t read any articles or books on the topic and I’m the first to tell you this: Sleep is important.
Sorry I screamed. While you’re sleeping, well, it’s the time for your brain, your immune system, your blood vessels, your entire body to clean up the mess that’s been built over the previous day, recover and rebuild itself. That’s how important sleep is. If it wasn’t for sleep we’d basically just be falling apart.
Sleep deficiency on the other hand has many negative effects on your health, your mood and productivity. For example not getting enough sleep for a while can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or stroke. (source)
For me, while I’ve loved my morning routine for years now, my evening routine has suffered a lot. For the longest time before going to bed I would do some relaxing stuff, but then go to the kitchen and fix me a sandwich, even though I’m not really hungry and it’s 10pm. Sometimes I’d go to the store to buy Pringles. And then feel like a horrible person. And then because I wouldn’t get a good sleep and would wake up super early, I’d be tired and eat like a trash can the next day. Which turned into 15 pounds weight gain in one year.
The other “bad thing” I’d do in the evening was that I would sit myself down at my desk to pretend I’m working, which I wasn’t because I’ve already been up for 17 hours and my brain is not very alert. Next day, tired and very unproductive.
Thankfully, one by one, I started getting my sleepless nights under control. And I mean, ONE step at a time. I started going to bed and waking up earlier – while getting 7.5 hours of sleep.
Here are some of the things I did to get better sleep – they’re free, aren’t supplements and anyone can do them.
1. Stopped Drinking Caffeine Late In The Afternoon
Duh, but they do get better. For me that means, even my decaf coffee. Not to mention dark chocolate. I didn’t think caffeine affected me too much in the past, but once I stopped drinking that late-afternoon coffee – I started feeling better.
2. Stopped eating after 5pm
That might be too early for many, but at the moment it gets dark at 5pm, actually even 4pm.
What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to eat in accordance with my circadian rhythm – because science says it’s better for me. I did feel hungry the first day or two, but after that it gets so much easier. And I feel lighter and somehow happier.
Plus this way it’s easier for me to do intermittent fasting. I can start eating at 9 or 11 in the morning – depending how many hours I want to fast that day. I highly recommend not eating at least 3 hours before bed to get better sleep and to feel rested the next day.
3. Stopped Working After 8pm
Because I’m working from home and my life and work have kinda merged into one big mess, I needed to set some limits. And one of those limits is that I’m not going to work after 8pm – so I have to relax and recharge for the next day. And get off that computer already.
4. Do Something Relaxing one hour before bed
To me the fool-proof way to go to sleep really quickly is to read a book. When I’m kinda tired one page is all I need. Sometimes I don’t even make it till the end of the page. So right before I go to sleep – book. I also found out some relaxing bedtime yoga stretches and journaling can really help me wind down and sleep better.
5. Wake Up At The Same Time, Even On Weekends
I mentioned this in my article on how to wake up early. It’s important to get your body into that groove. When you wake up at the same time every day, after only a few days you’ll also start feeling tired around the same time every evening. Which brings me to my next point..
6. Go To Bed The Moment You Feel Tired
Let’s face it, when you’re tired you’re not helping anyone. Not yourself, not your family, not your work, not your fitness. You’re just trying to skip something that’s inevitable and that you need. And that thing is sleep. So the moment you feel tired, instead of keeping yourself up, because you’ve got work to do – get some rest and go to bed. This is probably my most important tip here.
7. Set The Environment
And finally – let’s talk environment. It’s super important that the room you sleep in is dark, so you get into that deep sleep. Also keep it quiet and not too warm (although I do love to sleep in a warm place – so something I’m still working on!).
Alright guys, I hope you found some new ideas that can help solve your sleeping problems! Make sure to share this with a friend if you did find it helpful and let me know – what helps you sleep better at night?