A big priority in our household: Sleep! Good quality and lots of it. Since basically every area of your life can be negatively affected by lack of sleep, I think we all should make it more of a priority.
We’ve tried out a lot of tips for getting better sleep, so I wanted to share what has worked well for us. So here are our 14 ways to get better sleep.
1. Set an alarm for getting ready for bed.
If you struggle to get to bed on time, set yourself an alarm for when it’s time to get ready for bed.
When the alarm goes off, start your bedtime routine so that you’re not up too late.
2. Brush your teeth and put on pajamas after dinner.
Sometimes people feel too tired to get ready for bed and it actually makes them stay flopped on the couch watching TV instead of getting the sleep they need.
A great solution to this is to get ready for bed right after dinner before you’re super tired. Brush your teeth and put on your pajamas. Then when you’re tired, you can climb right into bed.
3. Try a weighted blanket.
If you struggle to fall asleep because your mind is busy or you struggle with anxiety, try using a weighted blanket. I have anxiety and found that a weighted blanket can help me calm down and get to sleep.
4. Only read in bed — no social media or web browsing.
We’re all guilty of this, right? It’s so easy to go down an internet rabbit hole for an hour or two when you could, and should, be sleeping.
I don’t always succeed, but I try to only read in bed. It’s much more calming and makes it easier to fall asleep because I’m not staring at the blue light of screen. (I do actually read with my Kindle Paperwhite device, but because it is front-lit, it doesn’t affect your eyes the same way a normal screen does.)
5. Turn on a white noise machine.
I have to have a little white noise to be able to sleep.
We turn on either a small fan or some sleep sounds on our Amazon Echo device. You can also get a white noise machine that can play a few different kinds of sounds.
6. Get new jammies!
If you’re anything like me, you wear worn out t-shirts to bed. They’re not all that soft, and sometimes not very comfy.
A nice new set of PJs may help you sleep more comfortably. Or at least they’ll make you excited to get ready for bed!
7. Control the temperature of your bedroom.
The temperature of your bedroom can play a big role in how easily you fall asleep. Luckily it’s not too hard to control! If you don’t want to adjust your thermostat and change the temperature of your entire house, you can buy a small heater or air conditioning unit just to use in your bedroom.
In our first house we didn’t have A/C at all so we bought a small window air conditioner for our bedroom, which helped us sleep well through the summers.
Our current house has an evaporative cooler, but we’re not sure if it will cool the house down enough to sleep (we like it cold at night!), so we may end up buying another window A/C for our bedroom in this house.
It’s a simple and fairly inexpensive solution that can make a huge difference!
8. Hang room darkening shades.
Depending on which direction your bedroom faces, you may have a hard time falling asleep or might wake up too early because of sunlight.
Our bedroom gets a ton of sun, so we hung room darkening shades on each window so that we can sleep better. They also have the added benefit of being extra-thick which will help with temperature control.
9. Get a new mattress or pillow.
Ok, this might seem a little extreme, but how old are your mattress and pillows? Are they still comfortable?
We have slept on some truly terrible mattresses. We had the springs give out in the middle of one and we ended up both falling into the giant crater in the middle of the mattress each night. I’ve also gotten terrible neck cramps from bad pillows.
If you’re not sleeping well, it might be time to consider a new mattress and pillows. I adore our mattress and pillows now and they honestly weren’t that expensive at all!
Here’s what we have:
10. Get more exercise.
You’ll sleep better with a tired body. How much are you walking throughout each day? Do you work out?
I’m not saying that you need to hit the gym for an hour a day. A little bit more than whatever you do now will probably help. That could mean going for a walk after dinner or doing a 10 minute home workout. It will help.
11. Take a shower before bed.
There’s some research that shows that taking a shower before bed can actually help you get to sleep. It signals to your brain that it’s time to relax and does things to regulate your body temperature.
I take a shower almost every night before bed and think it helps a lot! Plus, I like climbing into my bed extra clean and fresh.
12. Drink a cup of tea.
Caffeine free tea, especially chamomile tea, can help you sleep. It’s relaxing and can be a nice part of your bedtime routine.
13. Take melatonin.
Taking melatonin can help you fall asleep naturally. Your body already produces melatonin, but taking an extra supplement can help signal your body that it’s time for bed.
I take melatonin nightly and it helps me a great deal.
14. Tell your doctor.
Lastly, if you are consistently having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, tell your doctor.
There are many treatable conditions that could be causing you not to be able to sleep. And some of these conditions can become dangerous if not treated. Your doctor may talk to you about anxiety, sleep apnea, diabetes, and more.
We don’t do every single one of these every day, but they’re all helpful to know about so that we can use them when we’re having a hard time sleeping.
Is sleep a priority for you? Have you tried any of these ways to get better sleep? Leave a comment and let me know!