When it comes to sleeping soundly you can focus on a lot of things. But here's ten tips that you may not know about when it comes to getting a great nights sleep.
#1: Shut it down.
That means you. Just like you turn off your car after you put it in park, you need to have some sort of routine that helps signal your body that it's time to go to bed. Avoid looking at screens of any sort. (TV, iPhone, Laptop, Desktop, etc.) If you need to be on line after the sun goes down consider some blue blocking sunglasses and be sure to install f.lux on your computer.
#2: Avoid evening caffeine:
Anything after lunch time and you're looking for trouble in my opinion (although a measured dose in conjunction with sugar can be beneficial). That afternoon "pick-me-up" trip to Starbucks might give you a boost to finish the work day but it's probably killing your sleep efficiency. Eliminate it if possible.
#3: Brain Dump
If you are prone to worrying about tomorrow before you fall asleep make sure your calendar is up to date and that useful thoughts are captured somewhere that you trust. Keeping a pen and paper next to your bed allows you a place to jot down ideas that may float into your head and cause you to worry about forgetting them. If a worrisome thought pops in your head just jot it down and drift off to sleep confidently knowing that you've got it all captured.
If you are of the supplement persuasion drink some bone broth or eat some gelatin. Both contain glycine which is an amino acid that has sleep enhancing effects. Zinc and magnesium are also great options as well.
#5: Go Dark
Ensure your room is completely dark. Even the smallest bit of light in a bedroom can trigger the brain to think that it's time to get up. Tape over any lights on electronic devices. Our humidifier had this annoying green light to signal that it's on. It lit up half the room! Nothing a little electrical tape couldn't fix. If you have a big fat alarm clock with glowing red numbers on it, cover it with a t-shirt. Make sure you have black out lining on your blinds or drapery and a valance might be in order to eliminate light spilling in over the top.
#6: Play Tetris
Jane McGonagal, author and gaming expert has done research to show that playing the classic game Tetris can override any pressing visual thoughts that are keeping you from nodding off. I've tried this to great effect. And while it goes against the no screen rule I do play with Night Shift set on my iPhone as well as some Blue Blocker glasses. Light tends not to affect me too much falling asleep so I can get away with this ten minute indulgence.
#7: White Noise
I have a white noise app on my phone and just love it for when I'm travelling. Fans, humidifiers, air conditioners and anything else can also provide a noise that your brain will adjust to as you drift. You will notice the noise only as you think about it, however, your brain will adjust and make the consistent fan noise a new "baseline" and you won't notice it. This will drown out any inconsistent noises you may hear that are unusual for your normal sleep environment.
Men if you wake up to pee at night make sure you're not turning on every light just to see what you're doing. With a little practice most people can walk to the bathroom just fine. Once you get there...sit down. Or straddle the bowl and make sure Jimmy is pointing straight down. Ladies, same thing.
#9: Don't Check Your Phone
If you can get your phone out of your room that is best. But if it's under your pillow don't check your email. Or the weather. Or facebook. The light will trigger your brain to get up and it just might be three in the morning.
#10: Ensure Your Bedding Is Perfect
Sleeping in the nude, under a high quality duvet can make all the difference to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. If your duvet or comforter is cheap and has a small comfort zone your apt to get too hot and too cold which will wake you. Invest in a high quality duvet and your sleep quality will improve incredibly.
Would you like a copy of this post? Click here.
Jonathan Edwards is an Olympian and the owner of The Great Canadian Down Company. After years of sleeping around as an athlete he and is wife set out to create the perfect bedding company selling only the highest quality down duvets, pillows and featherbeds at any price point.