In the past, I would have lost hours, staring at the ceiling, waiting for sleep to come. After years of exhaustion, I realized I needed to take my sleep back. It took a little research, a few changes in the home and in my habits, but I did it and you can too. With these few tips, you get recover your Z’s.
Start with a few changes to your bedroom atmosphere. If you have the means, changing the wall color to a cool tone, like blues, light purples and grays will induce sleepiness. Changing your room lighting to less than 20 watt bulbs, preferably 15 watts or less, will help naturally generate melatonin which will initiate sleepiness. Do you wake up sore? Perhaps you need to change your mattress. It’s suggested that you change your mattress every 8-10 years, 20 years, tops. If your mattress is not “of age” yet but it’s still uncomfortable change I for the comfortable one for you. If you need to, change your pillow to a more comfortable one as well. Consider a body pillow, if necessary. This tip is great for moms-to-be.
Consider changing your sheets based on the time of season. Sleep can wane with a change of weather. Prepare in advance by making your room (and bedtime wardrobe, too) comfortable ahead of time. Satin or silk sheets stay cool in the summer and flannel sheets are great for cold winters. Cotton or jersey sheets are comfortable for the fall and spring seasons. Set the thermostat properly. In the winter, you may set the temperature that you think will be warm, but once you’ve gotten the right body temperature under the covers, you have to get up to fix it to a cooler temperature. Plan this ahead of time and, if you have the option, use a timed setting. Also, keeping the bed made will keep the sheets warm for you.
A simple one tip to get up in the morning and go to bed every night. I know this can be difficult some times and it doesn’t have to be an ironclad rule but making it a more regular habit is a free, small fix. Second, only take 20 minute naps before 3pm and don’t eat passed 7pm at night.
Often times, especially for women, not finishing tasks can keep a person up, worrying about what still needs done. Have a “to do” list for your day and do all you can on it. What you don’t finish, list for the next day. Then, have a “Worries” or “Bedtime” Journal, where you can write out all of your unfinished tasked, new tasks and ideas that popped in your mind, random thoughts and concerns you have all out until you can’t think of any more worries at bedtime. This way, you can go to bed with an empty mind.
They say you shouldn’t read passed 30 minutes prior to your bedtime. Use this suggestion at your discretion as I know of many who get sleepy by reading. Stop watching television or working on the PC and hour before bedtime. The bright electronically generated lights excite your eyes and keep you wide awake longer.
Allow an hour before bedtime to wind down. Start with taking care of you by taking a warm bath and then primping, like a facial or quick self manicure and/or pedicure. Having decaffeinated chamomile tea or warm milk will relax as well. Ten minutes prior to going to bed, have quiet time. Whether meditating, yoga or just ten minutes of silence, allow time for your body and mind to calm down.
When pajamas are needed, pick them based on the seasonal weather and make sure you go to the fitting room and try them on to check their comfort ability before taking them home.
Lastly, have a bedtime kit ready beside your bed; in it, include a sleep mask, earplugs and a mild, natural sleeping aid supplement, like Melatonin and maybe even some Tums, just in case you get middle of the night indigestion.
If you’re a light sleeper, like I am, take all the precautions you can. Especially if you’re a mom, you need all of the sleep you can get. Sweet Dreams!