You know you need it but have trouble getting enough of it. Maybe you have too much to do, maybe it's restlessness or insomnia or maybe you do get enough hours of sleep but still feel tired. Whatever your reasons, you just want to sleep better.
I completely understand.
I'm often sleep deprived because I stay up to get stuff done. Even when I try to sleep, my mind is on all the things I want to accomplish and I find myself at my computer working into the early morning. At the same time, I recognize that I spend many days being distracted and tired. This negative cycle began to change after I read sleep expert Shawn Stevenson's book, Sleep Smarter. He makes a strong case for sleep and shares some simple tips that have helped me get more sleep yet still stay productive.
Here are my favorites:
Tip #1 - Schedule sleep on your calendar. Each sleep cycle is about 90 minutes so you want to schedule 6 hours, 7.5 hours or 9 hours of sleep or else you'll risk waking up groggy.
Tip #2 - Reframe sleep as a reward - see it as something you GET to do, not HAVE to do.
Tip #3 - Try to get some sun everyday for at least 30 minutes every morning.
Tip #4 - Turn off all screens at least 90 minutes before bedtime.
Tip #5 - Cut caffeine after 12pm.
Tip #6 - Keep your bedroom cool (optimal temperature is 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit). Wear socks if you get cold.
Tip #7 - Try to sleep around 10-11pm. Shawn calls this the "money time" when it comes to sleep. Also, remember that it's important to keep your sleep schedule consistent.
Tip #8 - Eat whole foods and more proteins and fats over carbs. Avoid drinking 3 hours and eating 90 minutes before you go to bed.
Tip #9 - Use an air ionizer or humidifier or open windows to get good air flow. Getting plants can help as well.
Tip #10 - Make sure your bedroom triggers sleep. Create a relaxed and calm room by using blackout curtains and keeping work and electronics away from the bedroom.
Tip #11 - Exercise in the morning or late afternoon. Remember that muscles grow from restorative sleep not just from training. Like sleep, schedule your workouts.
Tip #12 - Get a good mattress and know your preferred sleeping position.
Tip #13 - Meditate right after you wake up or when you go to bed to clear any mental clutter. When trying to sleep, relax your body with this technique.
Tip #14 - Wake up when the sun rises and go to bed around same time each night, (give or take 30 minutes). If you have trouble waking up early, try these ideas.
Tip #15 - Wear loose clothing or nothing at all when sleeping.
Pick and choose the tips that work for you and your lifestyle. Find ways to measure how you feel each day so you can gauge which changes work best for you.
What practical sleeping tips have worked for you? Please share them in the comments section.
Here is a bonus infographic for you on sleep:
Photo by Magdalena
Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people who feel stuck move forward by guiding them to see other possibilities for their lives. He specializes in working with high performers get to the next level. If you're going through a tough time right now, check out Robert's article on How to Feel Better Right Away and if you're having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.