Getting Better Sleep (Part 2)

getting-better-sleep-2

After researching sleep for over two years, I wanted to write a list of practical ways for getting better sleep. I heard these suggestions over and over again in articles and the media. What they don’t say is that you should try to eliminate as much stress from your life by trusting God. That’s step one. Then here are some practical ways to promote better sleep:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning.
  • Exercise, but not too close to bed time.
  • Take a hot bath before bed.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t look at the clock. It will only wake you up further. Just roll over and go back to sleep.
  • Don’t drink caffeine mid-afternoon onwards.
  • White noise can help, especially if you live in a loud neighborhood.
  • If you wake up every time your spouse turns over, you might need a bigger bed.
  • Make sure your room is completely dark, with no light sources.
  • Breathe in deeply through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. This can relax you.
  • Get more sunlight on your head during the day.
  • Don’t go full-tilt all day long, or you will have trouble decompressing when it’s time to go to bed. Instead, take breaks throughout your day, so that you feel caught up in your thoughts.
  • Eat dinner at least 2 or 3 hours before bed, so you have time to digest your food. But don’t go to bed hungry either. The best combination for a snack before bed is protein and carbohydrate, according to most articles.
  • Supposedly the computer stimulates your nervous system, so you shouldn’t be on the computer half hour before bedtime. The same goes for television.
  • I had a friend who did stretches before she went to bed, and she said she slept better.
  • A cool bedroom temperature helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • When a traumatic experience happened in my life, I listened to soft Maranatha praise music as I fell asleep so I wouldn’t get nightmares. Soft music like Enya might be good to play half hour before bedtime, just to decompress.
  • Another time when I was having trouble sleeping, I had my husband read Scripture to me. God’s Word is soothing to my soul, so I was finally able to go to sleep when he did that, after not sleeping for days.
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18 Responses to “Getting Better Sleep (Part 2)”

  1. I do a few light stretches before bed too. It really does help.

    Great tips… thanks for sharing.
    xoxo

  2. Reen says:

    I love step one the best, trusting God first! Also reading scripture throughout the day, when possible. And I agree with this list. It’s an excellent resource!We try to limit any screen time about an hour before bed. Oh and taking a Epsom salt, sauna bath about 2 hrs. before bed, with some lavender oil drops works wonders, too!
    By the way, I do these things and rarely have a problem getting to sleep, staying asleep, and/or waking up feeling refreshed. I think it’s important to strive for 8 hrs. of rest a night. The times I’ve been the most “unglued” and/or unrested is when I only got 5-6 hrs. of rest a night. Taking a 10 min. power nap during the day helps a lot when you are feeling short on rest.
    (There is a difference between sleep and REST).
    Thanks so much for sharing this list, Susan!

  3. Andrea says:

    I pray, I take natural supplements to help me relax – and I’ve also read not to have caffeine like six hours before sleeping

  4. Melissa says:

    This is a great list – we keep our room dark, cool, and use a sound machine. We also have a sleep number bed so my husband and I can have different firmness/softness.

  5. Julie says:

    Great tips! I noticed after going through insomnia, I need a dark room and a sound machine. Diffusing lavender also helps with stress!

  6. Gale says:

    Great tips. Here’s a few more you can add….

    If your spouse rolling over wakes you up here are two other things you can try:

    1. Get separate blankets…sometimes it’s the blanket wars that are waking you up.

    2. Put two twin beds together on a single bed frame. You still sleep together. There’s plenty of room for “non-sleeping activities.” The bed looks the same during the day with the covers on. But your spouse’s movements won’t affect your side of the bed as much. We did this and it’s been an amazing change.

    One other thing…if you suffer from a altered sleep schedule (where you just can’t get to sleep at a reasonable hour) or a creeping sleep schedule (where you go to bed later every night, until your days reverse), bright light early in the morning can help reset your schedule. It means you can’t sleep in the catch up, but it’s worth it if it gets you back on track.

  7. Brynn says:

    I am so bad at going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time.
    I like to drink green tea before bed. I also use meditation sometimes before sleep.
    Thanks for the tips. Definitely need to develop better sleep habits!

    I dont really have trouble going to sleep but I can never seem to get up!

    • Susan says:

      Being consistent with bed time can be hard because it depends on how tired you are, based on what you’ve done during the day. That varies from day to day.

  8. Deb says:

    I find that I sleep much better when I practice intermittent fasting, not eating after 6 pm makes a huge difference.

    • Susan says:

      It’s so hard for me because I like to have a snack (hopefully a healthy snack like nuts) in the evenings. I’ve heard that it’s easier to lose weight when you don’t eat after dinner.

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