9 Ways to Improve Your Sleep
Disclaimer: I am not a professional. These are tips that have helped me along my sleep journey – if you’re severely struggling with sleep please consult with a sleep specialist, as there may be underlying issues.
Since I can remember I have been someone who has struggled with sleep. I’ve always been jealous of those who can just hit their pillow and be out in a matter of minutes. As I’ve gotten older my sleep has gotten much worse, and has made me extremely sensitive to my sleep environment. Noises? Can’t sleep. Lights? Not a chance. In a moving vehicle or plane? Yeah right. Even if I’m in an ideal environment I still struggle. Over the past years I have experienced severe night terrors from PTSD making it crucial for me to put time into learning how to listen to my body, unwind, and get into a nighttime routine. Through this long and tiresome experience I’ve gained a strong understanding on how essential it is to give your body enough sleep to live a healthy lifestyle and how much it makes a HUGE impact on both your mental and physical state.
Note: I did visit doctors for the PTSD but refused to take medication. I dedicated the whole year I lived in California (2016-2017) to finding my triggers and incorporating natural methods as opposed to pills into my daily routine. I am currently getting 7 hours of sleep every night(well, give or take), which is the most I have gotten in years!
Here are my 9 favorite tips to follow in order to better my sleep + unwind at night.
Exercise during the day
I know this can be hard for some with work schedules, but if I workout anytime after 4PM I have found my energy lasts until about 11-12PM. Plus, studies have shown that working out 4 to 6 hours before bed can disrupt sleep patterns! Consider waking up a little bit earlier to get a good workout in and eliminate this possibility.
Take a bath
Warm baths can help relax your muscles and release physical stress from the body. I often take Epsom salt and Essential Oil baths, which is also beneficial by promoting detoxification. If I take my bath before bed I use Lavender Essential Oil – commonly used for anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia.
Diffuser and Essential Oils
I always click on my diffuser before bed, the aroma is so calming to the nervous system. I use tons of different blends but my favorite is sandalwood and rose. I get my oils from Young Living and I use the Wood Grain Vase Style diffuser.
Make your room your personal oasis
I recently shared my thoughts on this on my feed and man do I think it’s important. Hang up cute lights and get a few candles going, it truly makes all the difference. Even more important than that is where you actually sleep – your pillow, mattress, the temperature of your room… all play a role in calming the mind. Invest in a good mattress and bedding… you use them every single night and they’re crucial to how you preform the next day.
Drink Herbal Tea or ACV
I drink my tea or ACV religiously. Not only is it healing and comforting to the body but over time when it naturally forms into your routine you’ll begin to use it as a cue to your body that bedtime is soon. I look forward to my tea or ACV every single night – just as I do coffee or matcha in the morning.
Reading and Meditation
Reading has always benefited me in several ways – I am someone whose mind is constantly running a mile a minute. When I read I am fully engaged in the book and I am relaxed, this gives me a chance to escape my busy mind for a while. Meditation has helped me immensely with many things but mostly SLEEP. I meditate for 15-30 minutes every morning/night (depending). It took me a while to get to the point where I was actually seeing results with sleep but once I did I made a promise to myself to continue with it every single night for the rest of my life – meditation was my big break when it came to fighting the night terrors. Meditation is truly an exercise for the mind, and just like with any physical exercise, you have to be patient, consistent, and willing to work hard to get better. Tuning into only your breath sounds like an easy task, but it really isn’t…our minds are trained to keep going and going that it may take a while to be able to turn it off! But once you get the hang of focusing on only the breath during your meditation practice, you can use those same techniques while you’re trying to fall asleep to shut off your mind or at least quiet the thoughts. When I first started meditating I was using the Calm app and I definitely suggest it to those who are just beginning!
Being an Instagram blogger, I know the struggle of resisting the urge to go online before bed. But lately, around 7PM, I’ve been turning on the night shift light on my phone – which omits the blue light from the screen. When it hits 9PM I turn on my do not disturb and grab a book until I feel drowsy. The blue light that’s emitted from electronics can be extremely stimulating to the brain and be disruptive towards your sleep patterns. So shutting off your tv/phone/iPad/computer at least an hour before bed can be very beneficial!
Stick to a strict sleep schedule
Routine is so helpful when it comes to sleep. It’s important to have your biological clock functioning at its best. Try to keep track of the times you’re waking up and falling asleep and set reminders for when to go to bed…eventually your body will get into a rhythm.
Accepting when you can’t sleep
I had to add this one in because my sleep certainly isn’t perfect and I most definitely still have rough nights every now again, but when I do have those nights where I maybe get an hour or two of sleep – I’ve found it’s best to not get worked up and just accept it. Negative thoughts are pointless and will keep you up longer. Deep breaths!
I hope this was helpful to you all and if you ever have any questions, always feel free to comment or shoot me a DM over in my Instagram.
The Peachy Prodigy