12 Steps to Sleeping Better

In the past, my sleep has suffered greatly.  I kept waking up all throughout the night, I’d wake up super tired no matter how much sleep I got, and I continually would have splitting headaches from the time I got up that would last all day.  Finally, I was tired of this, so I did some research on how to sleep better.  What I found has revolutionized my sleep since I started implementing these new sleep methods.  It may come as a surprise to some of you, but the amount of sleep you get is one of the smallest factors.  If you’re having trouble sleeping, I hope this is a help to you.

  1. Shut off your computer and TV an hour before bed.  The type of images that those displays put off make it difficult for your brain to shut down.
  2. Meditate.  Meditation helps cool down the engines of your brain.  So, doing some light pleasure reading or praying for 15-20min works.
  3. Take a hot shower. Taking a hot shower immediately before bed helps loosen up tense muscles.  It also raises the body temperature so that when it drops back down, it actually causes your body to relax and fall asleep easier.
  4. Keep electronic devices 3 feet away from the bed. Electronic devices, including cell phones and alarm clocks, send out electronic impulses which affect your brain waves in turn disturbing your sleep.
  5. Wear socks to bed. I know the majority of you are going to hate this one, but it all depends on how well you want to sleep.  Your feet have the poorest circulation of blood which causes them to be the coldest part of your body.  It’s important to have an evenly regulated body temperature in order to sleep more soundly.  Hence, you need to wear those socks.  Don’t worry, you’ll get use to it.
  6. Be consistent. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday.  Being consistent in what time you wake up is more important than what time you go to bed.
  7. Visualize your morning. It actually helps to have positive thoughts about waking up the next morning.  Try to picture your alarm going off, imagine feeling rested when you wake up, and think about some exciting things you’re going to do the next day.
  8. Don’t look at the light.  Once you go to bed, keep the room as dark as possible.  Even the smallest sliver of light will disturb your sleep.  That means try to use the bathroom before bed so you don’t have to go in the middle of the night.  If you end up going at 2am anyway, try not to turn on the light.
  9. Find your sleeping cycle. Our bodies sleep in cycles.  There are multiple times during the night where you’re sleeping deeper and other times when you’re sleeping lighter.  The key is to wake up on your light sleeping cycle.  So, you may be able to wake up easier at 4:30am and feel more rested than you would if you woke up at 6am.  That’s something you’d have to experiment with.  I recommend trying different times in increments of 30min and you should be able to find your cycle somewhere in a 2hr block of time.
  10. Create artificial light. If you wake up before the sun comes up, try to set up something that will automatically turn on light to help recreate the naturally awakening process.  I use my computer which automatically turns on at 5:30am.  There are alarm clocks out there with lights on them made specifically for this purpose.
  11. Use more soothing alarms. The more soothing your alarm, the better.  It’s key to have a pleasant wake up.
  12. Don’t wake up fast. Jumping out of bed like you’re in boot camp can seriously jog your brain and leave you feeling tired and possibly with a headache the rest of the day.

That’s all I’ve got for you.  Saying it’s worked well for me is an understatement.  Let me know what your thoughts are if you try this.  I only ask that if you are going to try it, please don’t leave critical feedback unless you tried doing all the steps.  I’d also like to know what your methods for sleeping better are if you have any.

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