How To Find That Perfect Sleep Routine

J.R. Heimbigner

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

When was the last time you got a good night's sleep? How about a few nights in a row when you slept well? I know for me, a good night's sleep can be elusive. Not because I’m an insomniac, fortunately, but because I just don’t sleep well.

As I have gotten older, I talk with more and more people and hear the same things. It seems that stress, lifestyle, health and so many other things in our lives keep us from a good night's sleep.

We wake up feeling like we didn’t sleep or we really didn’t get any sleep.

How do we manage this though? Do we try to self medicate? Or get prescriptions that will help us sleep? There are a lot of ideas out there, but most of us don’t want to make our sleep problems worse by taking medicine that we become dependent on in the future.

So, what do we do?

We need to know what our sleep is important, aside from waking up exhausted and grouchy. Then we need to implement a few tactics to help us sleep better. And finally, then adjust over time.

Why Sleep is Important for You

We all know that sleep is important. But what makes sleep so important for us? While there are a lot of benefits of a good nights sleep, it really boils down to two major things:

  1. Physical Health
  2. Mental/Emotional Health

When we sleep well, we can more easily manage these two areas of our lives. And I have found, when we focus on why it is important, it helps us make changes to our sleeping habits much easier.

A good night of sleep improves your physical health. It gives you the energy you need throughout the day. It reduces your risk of health conditions. And it allows you to do what you want in life with your family and friends.

When you get a good night of sleep it also helps you think more clearly and manage your emotions. If you are tired from poor sleep, you will tend to be negative, easy to anger, and far less capable to emotionally process difficulties in life.

You need a good night's sleep to thrive in life physically and emotionally.

10 Ways to Improve Your Sleep Tonight

While there are dozens of ways to get better sleep at night. I have found that doing this as naturally as possible helps us have control over our sleep and allows us to create habits that will last a lifetime.

My hope is that this list will help you get the best sleep possible.

The following tips are all-natural ways to improve your sleep. And you can start using all of them tonight! These are proven ways to improve your sleep and I believe they will work for you.

1 — Set a Bed Time

Going to bed at the same time is the number one piece of advice out there. And it makes sense because it impacts your natural wake/sleep cycles. Our bodies will naturally want to sleep when we go to bed at the same time every night.

2 — Exercise Early

The next piece of common advice is to exercise. However, what I have found is that if I exercise earlier in the day, say before 5 PM, I will sleep much better at night than if I were to exercise later. This is likely due to the fact that exercise energizes us. So workout early!

3 — Stop Eating After 7 PM

Eating before bed tends to make us feel uncomfortable. Your stomach is working to process everything you ate and all that work is keeping your body active. If we stop eating earlier, the body working at a more normal rate and we won’t get to bed feeling full or uncomfortable.

4 — De-Stress Yourself

Stress keeps all of us awake. And so, it only makes sense to slow our minds down before bed by de-stressing. The best ways to do this: pray, meditate, or journal. When we unload the stressors of the day, it prepares the way for a peaceful sleep.

5 — Limit or Remove Drinking Alcohol

We have all seen in the movies and TV shows how people will have a nightcap to “help them sleep better.” The truth is however that alcohol makes sleep worse. And so, we should try to avoid it altogether before bed.

6 — Stop Drinking Caffeine After 4 PM

I used to think caffeine didn’t actually impact me as much as I believed. Well, wrong again. When we stop drinking caffeine earlier in the day, we get better rest. It may not keep us awake per se, but it does not allow for active rest because it can keep our heart rate up.

7 — Keep Your Bedroom Dark and Cool

The light we have in our bedroom and the temperature can impact our sleep a great deal. When we keep our bedroom cool, we stay more comfortable under the blankets. And when it is dark, we are less likely to wake up when we move around.

8 — Increase Day Light Exposure During the Day

There are a few different thoughts on this, but my understanding is that the daylight helps regulate our wake-sleep cycles too. If we are exposed to daylight throughout the day, our bodies know it's time to be awake. And then, when the sun goes down, it will make you tired.

9 — Reduce Blue Light Exposure at Night

The dread blue light of our screens keeps us awake. Blue light keeps us awake at night because it simulates our daylight exposure. So, if we have our computers and TV’s on at night, it will make our bodies think we still need to be awake.

10 — Establish a Bed Time Routine

It isn’t enough to only set a bedtime. We need to have a routine to help slow us down. Just like we need a morning routine to help us start the day, we need something to help us end the day. This could be a combination of things or a few simple steps to get ready for a good night’s sleep.

Get Better Sleep Tonight

The other most important thing is to implement these things and figure out what works best. Some tips may not impact you as much as others. However, it is important to try each one out and find out what the best combination is to get the sleep you need.

And once you find that perfect sleep routine, you will begin to sleep better and thrive in life.

Final Thought

So remember, to implement these tactics, you need to understand that sleep is important for you. And once you acknowledge your need for good sleep, start trying out these tips and find out what works best for you.

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