I love to sleep. Slightly out of character for a college student, but I have to have at least 7 hours of sleep to properly function as a human being. I’m not a good person without those 7, undisturbed, blissful hours of sleep.
So I’m going to give you some tips that I use every night to make sure I fall asleep fast & stay asleep until my insidious alarm wakes me up in the morning. 🙂
Find a routine & stick to it
I said this in my Tips for a Better Morning blog post, but I cannot emphasize the power of habits enough. If you make it a habit to go to bed every night by 11 and wake up every morning by 7, your body will recognize this habit and will be ready to sleep by 11 and ready to wake up at 7.
Caffeine-free is your friend, trust me
If you’re still chugging coffee any time past 4pm, getting to sleep and staying asleep may be a little difficult for you. So if you need something hot to drink, stick to caffeine-free tea or decaf coffee. My latest late night tea obsession has been fresh mint tea which you can check out here! 🙂
In Boone, I live in a very old house. So creaks, cracks, & bumps in the night are common. To prevent said creaks, cracks, & bumps from disturbing my slumber, I keep a desktop fan (ironically) under my desk. I turn it on every night before bed on the highest setting. It doesn’t need to be blowing on me necessarily, but just having it on drowns out any noises throughout the night.
Our bodies have fluctuating temperatures throughout the day. Tending to be hottest midday and cooler early morning. When you’re sleeping your body is actively trying to cool down. By sleeping in a cool room you assist this process and allow yourself to sleep deeper. Also, I really like for it to be cold in my room so I can cocoon in the mountain of blankets that I have on my bed, but maybe that’s just me. We keep our thermostat around 68-69, which is the ideal temperature for your body to cool down and sleep comfortably. I also use the fan in my room if I want it to be even cooler or, weather permitting, I open my windows.
You’ll sleep better with the lights off (bbbetterrrr with the lights off…please tell me you remember that song). Part of how your brain decides when it is time to sleep is based on the lighting. About an hour before I’m going to go to sleep, I will dim the lights in my room. I also dim the light on my phone. I have it set on the night shift timer; so every night at 10 pm, my phone switches to the warmest and lowest brightness setting and stays like that until 7 am. The blue light from our phones can keep us up and disturb our sleep cycle, even hours after being exposed to it. By setting my timer at 10 pm, it gives me a few hours before bed to still use my phone without the harsh light.
Once I’m ready to sleep, my room needs to be pitch black. I have blackout curtains in my room that block out any light outside from coming into my room at night (I got them at Walmart). For me, even the tiniest light from my printer or diffuser can keep me up. I have this putty stuff (a very technical term, I know) that I put over the lights on my diffuser and printer, its not the prettiest thing, but it gets the job done.
Meditation & Journaling
In my blog, A Newbie’s Take on Meditation, I talked about how I started meditating in January as one of my goals for 2016. This really has helped me wind down at night and stop my mind from keeping me up stressing all night.
Along with meditating I also journal before bed. I follow the Five Minute Journal format. At night, you reflect on the awesome things that happened that day and briefly think about what you could have done to make that day better. Its helped me stress less about the things that I have no control over and has helped me start focusing on the positive parts of my day.
I talk about my morning journaling in my blog, Tips for a Better Morning, which you can check out here!
If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know I have a love affair with essential oils. I give my diffuser and essential oils a lot of credit for my restful nights.
Among some of my night-time favorites are Lavender, Cedarwood, & Bergamot.
Since I’ve talked a lot about EOs in other blogs, I’ll just link those blog posts below and you can check them out if you’d like!
I hope this helps everyone get the good night’s sleep they deserve! Sweet dreams! 😀