Some time ago one of my readers asked me for some tips on getting a good night’s sleep.
Wouldn’t you know it? A few days later I got hit with springtime allergies and spent a week in bed. Nothing like research I guess!
Here are some ideas I came up with:
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable. For most of us that means a cool room and a warm body – especially your feet.
Comfort also extends to the bed and the room itself. Your bed should be comfortable, including the blankets and sheets. And there shouldn’t be anything on the bed itself – as in stuffed animals and clean laundry. You know who you are.
What you wear to sleep in should be comfortable too. Things that you’ve worn before can sometimes irritate you so be sure to keep that in mind and have other things to wear.
I’m not a fan of televisions in the bedroom, but if you have one, at least try to turn it off an hour before bedtime or watch something mild or humorous. The nightly news or the latest episode of Cops is not conducive to sleep.
Same goes for reading before bed – choose something soothing, not a book that keeps you on edge.
Establishing a bedtime ritual is a good idea for grown ups as well as kids. Think about it – kids get a warm bath, maybe some milk and a cookie, and a story before bedtime. Parents always choose something soothing to read – nothing scary or exciting. Do the same for yourself, maybe with herbal tea.
If nighttime noises keep you awake, try one of those white noise machines and see if it will help. Or if you have a clock radio with an automatic shutoff, you could try setting it to a lite station and see if that works.
One of the worst things that keeps us from getting a good night’s sleep is our brains. Once we take away all the visual and auditory stimulation, it seems like our brains go into overdrive.
As weird and ineffective as it sounds, the thing that I’ve found that works is to recognize when I’m thinking too much and just saying “stop” to myself. It won’t work right away, but it eventually does.
Finally, my last tip is to look forward to going to bed and expect to get a good night’s sleep. If you go to bed expecting to toss and turn all night, you most likely will.