Wednesday, May 4, 2016

5 Tips to a Better Night's Sleep

Seeing as May is Better Sleep Month (Oh, wait, you didn't know?! Well, you learn something new every day, don't ya?!), I thought it was fitting to do a quick post about five tips that I have found super helpful (at least in my personal life) when it comes to getting a better night's sleep.

You see, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when I was in High School and getting a good decent night's sleep can be the difference between a good day and the start of sending me into a tail-spinning episode. So, as you can imaging, I take this area of my life extremely seriously!

5 Tips to a Better Night's Sleep

1. Turn Your Electronics OFF

I know, I know, this is hard for us ALL, but it is uber importante! You don't necessarily have to turn your electronics "off" (I mean, let's be real, who actually has an alarm clock these days?!), but I have found that having my phone set to DND (Do Not Disturb) from 8pm until 6:30am definitely helps. It doesn't mean I am not getting the Instagram notifications, Tweet alerts or text messages, it just means my phone isn't lighting up and reminding me they are there. With that, it is easier for me to lay in bed and not be jarred awake by my phone blowing up like a firework grand finale (and if my phone isn't turning on I have noticed I am less tempted to roll over and check it every couple minutes when I should be sleeping).

2. Use Your Bed For Sleep

The hubby and I don't have a TV in our bedroom (and I can tell you that although I am frugal, my "cheapness" is not the main reason for this). We try to use our bed for sleeping ONLY {Get your mind out of the gutter, okay?! Yes, we use it for "that" too, but you know what I mean!}. I know it is easy for us all to want to cuddle up in the bed and throw on our latest Netflix obsession, but training your body that when it lays in bed it is time to go to sleep can be of utmost importance!

3. No Pets Allowed

I am a super light sleeper, like just about anything and everything will wake me up. When Ryan and I were discussing getting a dog, one of my non-negotiables was that the pup HAD TO sleep in its crate. I get a rough enough night's sleep as it is, I don't need a fidgety dog moving around (or taking up valuable bed space) keeping me awake. {Seeing as the hubby sleeps like a rock and LOVES his doggy, once I get up in the morning I will let Walt out of his crate and he will go snuggle with Ry in the bed until he has to get up for work.} Let's be real, crate training a dog takes a lot of persistence, but those few sleepless nights at the beginning have led to months/ years of better sleep-filled nights ever since!

4. Start Calming Down Early

As a part of my running routing, I try to stretch and foam roll every day. When I first started running I had a bad run in with an incredibly angry IT Band and since then have realized that my body needs not only exercises other than constantly pounding the pavement, but also a release. After dinner, normally while the hubby is watching some off-the-wall movie he found on Amazon Prime, I bust out my foam roller and yoga mat. Not only does this help my muscles, but it also helps my mind begin to calm down for the evening. Maybe stretching and foam rolling aren't your jam, but maybe it's reading a quick chapter in a book {just not in your bed; see tip #2} or taking a warm bath, but whatever it is, take the time in the evening to start calming down prior to laying in bed to set yourself up for a better night's sleep!

5. Get Adequate Exercise

When I was originally diagnosed with Fibro (remember, this was years ago, before they were pushing medications like Lyrica), I was told to "eat healthy and exercise". I've gotta be honest, I thought that suggestion was sort of a cop out from the doctor (and maybe still do)... The idea behind it is if you tire out your body enough, hopefully you can fall into a deep enough sleep for your body to get sufficient rest. In theory (and for most "healthy" folks) that is a fabulous idea, but just not necessarily super helpful in my specific case. Even still, I do tend to get a better night's sleep after a good workout (for me, I think it is more because exercise tends to do the trick in helping calm my mind rather than the physical exertion sending me to sleep, but whatever the reason, I will continue to do it for as long as my body allows!).

And Casper, a sleep start-up that created the perfect mattress, sheets and pillow for everyone, has some AMAZING suggestions about how to combat different sleep problems we all tend to struggle with! We have much more important things in life to concern ourselves with than sleeping at night, #AmIRightOrAmIRight?! See if any of these sleep problems affect you and what recommendations Casper has to fight them!

The noise problem is totally up my alley! Since everything wakes me up, we have found that having (LOUD) background noise helps to drowned out other sounds that may wake me from my slumber. Both Ryan and I have white noise apps on our phones for traveling and we have a box fan in our bedroom that we have on HIGH 95% of the time (if it is too chilly for the fan we will put it in the closet but keep the door open as to avoid some of the wind but none of the sound).

What is the best tip you have for helping others get a better night's sleep?

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Wow, I have some work to do to get my sleep in order. LOL! Seriously though, the whole cell phone thing is a big one for me. I'm going to have to start making a "do not disturb" time. Great post!