How to Sleep Better and Faster:
Eye mask – absolutely essential for me, especially in summer when the sun is up before I intend to be. I make sure to have a few near my bed in case one gets lost in a night time shuffle, and I don't leave home without one. Changes in lighting in my bedroom, or any glimpse that the sun is coming up, is an automatic trigger, for me, that I’m running out of time to sleep. It starts that anxiety going, gets me stressed out, and I think my body instinctively responds to the sight of sunlight and tells me its time to start waking up. Keep your eyes covered as much as you can through to keep the lighting in your room consistently dark and to prevent those peeps of light through the curtains from waking you up.
Background noise – another essential element for me is calm background noise to keep my mind distracted from any thoughts. I try to put on a tv show or movie I’ve seen a million times, one that I know doesn’t have a lot of loud interruption. For me, talking works better than sound like music because I can focus on their words instead of getting lost in my thoughts. Podcasts also work great. I try to set a timer for my background noise to go off within 1-2 hours, because after a certain amount of time, noise can wake me back up. If I wake up and have a lot of trouble falling back asleep, sometimes I will put my tv show back on for a bit, and sometimes that does the trick.
Background fan – to go along with background noise, I keep a fan going in my bedroom every night. Laying in silence tends to stress me out and a fan is something I can keep going all night long versus the noise of talking which I only leave on for an hour or so.
No drinks before bedtime – no drinks at all, at least 2 hours before bed. Potty time is the last thing I want to use my sleep time for. I’ll lay in bed for far too long hoping that I can fall back asleep while I have to pee, but I never can. And getting up for a trip to the bathroom means I’m probably gonna be at least half-awake by the time I lay back down.
Turn down phone brightness - or even switch to a blue light filter in case you look at your phone. If you’re thinking “I don’t use my phone at night”, turn down the brightness anyway! I find a lot of times I instinctively reach for my phone to check that my alarm is set, or to see what time it is. All bad ideas, but turning the brightness down, and even switching to a blue light filter, helps keep the bright light from waking me up if I do happen to check my phone. If I'm using my phone to put noise back on, the light will definitely wake me up.
CBD to help with anxiety – I’ve been using cbd at bedtime for over a month, and I can say without any hesitation that it helps with my anxiety. I already have and manage anxiety in my waking life, but at night it can get out of control, especially when I get sleep deprived. I’ve noticed that CBD not only helps me feel less anxious/tense when going to bed, but also whenever I wake up through the night, and when I get out of bed in the morning. What I mean by that is I don’t experience the physical, uncomfortable, distracting physical symptoms of anxiety. No tightness in my chest, no racing pulse, or pounding ears, or restless body. I don’t feel my blood boiling or that “I have to get out of here” feeling even when I am having trouble sleeping. And I don’t get out of bed feeling like I want to throw a chair through the window when I’m exhausted and haven’t slept. I feel more relaxed and rested when I get up. It's just better all around. I've been using sleep tabs by the brand MedTerra that dissolve under the tongue + they also have melatonin. I just pop one about 30 minutes before I'm hoping to be in bed. They have a tincture and a cream too! Use code "simplecaresteph" when you check out, or click the link to shop on their website and save 10% on your order.
Change locations – I’m a big believe in NOT moving around a lot or getting out of bed if you find yourself awake. In my experience, that usually wakes me up almost completely. Sometimes though, when I’m just not having any luck and there’s no hope of sleep coming, I will get up and head to the couch. Changing locations can sometimes help me get more comfortable, or kind of "reset" and get sleepy again.
Clear and peaceful space – keeping the space right around the bed clear and uncluttered keeps me from knocking things around, or on the ground, if I’m up in the middle of the night. I try to keep only
Make yourself comfortable – whatever this means to you, I say go for it. Get comfy pj’s, better pillows, something scented nearby. Being comfortable helps me stay relaxed, and if nothing else, makes the misery of missing out on sleep a little less painful.
Replay a movie in your head – don’t let the thoughts of tomorrow get ya. They get me sometimes. If I can't get any background noise going, or I'm trying to fall back asleep, I try to focus on one extended thought. More than anything replaying movies or past events lets my mind stay busy without having to create any new information. It's kind of a mental distraction, but doesn't stress me out or have me trying to solve the world's problems.
Keep a notepad and pen near the bed - write down those quick thoughts that are keeping you up so you can move on to Sleep Town. Write down anything that pops in your head as your falling asleep or if you wake up. It helps to know you've written it down as something "to do" when you get up, so you don't have to keep running your mind about it.
Partner hand massage – if you’ve got a willing partner, this one can be relaxing and distracting for your mind. Have your partner give you a gentle hand massage while laying next to you – which sounds a little weird – but it’s a lot easier for both people to do than a back massage, and it can still be pretty darn relaxing!
Set yourself up for success as much as you can. hopefully with some of these tips. Prepping things ahead of time can help make things a lot smoother, so you aren't struggling or fumbling around through the night.
Hopefully these help you sleep a little better and get to sleep faster without so much struggle.
Let me know if the comments if you do any of these to sleep better at night.