For the last few months I’ve been working hard at sleeping better. I was a pretty good sleeper until a few years ago, and while I still have some great nights, I’m much more likely to be wide awake at 3 am or have a tough time falling sleep in the first place. Waking up still tired and crashing mid afternoon isn’t fun at all. I’ve made some changes though and I wanted to share what’s worked for me. Here’s my bedtime routine:
Wash my face and change into pajamas // Having this time to help transition from “getting things done” to going to bed has been really helpful. It’s kind of like telling myself that I now have to start getting ready to sleep instead of getting “just one more thing” done. I know it’s never one more thing, and it never takes only a few minutes. Having a cut off point is really helpful for me.
Put out clothes for the next day // Planning for and making sure I’m prepared for the next day helps me sleep better. I don’t stay up thinking about needing to remember something so that I don’t forget to take it to school or work in the morning. This has been really helpful for me to remember to bring gym clothes with me when we have classes in the gym at school.
Put away my electronics // Making sure that I stop using the computer, phone, and tablet before bed has been a game changer. When I started making the conscious decision to stay away from electronics I noticed a positive difference in my sleep. It wasn’t as hard to wind down and I felt sleepier earlier. While it was definitely hard to do at first, it’s a lot easier now and totally worth the effort it took during the first few weeks.
Gratitude journal // It’s easy for me to stress and worry about things when I’m trying to fall asleep. I decided to try keeping a gratitude journal to put me in a better frame of mind before falling asleep, and it definitely worked. It’s usually only a few lines, but it puts the day in perspective, and even if something crappy happened, I can always find something to be grateful for.
A cool room // I’ve found I fall asleep best when my room is on the cool side. Those hot sticky nights during the hottest days of the summer are the worst and I have the hardest time falling asleep. The room doesn’t have to be cold, but I definitely prefer it cooler rather than warmer.
Read a book // I’ve found that reading is the perfect activity for me to do before bed. It’s relaxing, something I enjoy, and it usually makes my eyes start to feel heavy before too long. I read paper books instead of on my tablet at night. Right now I’m reading a historical fiction novel about Ireland.
Having a consistent sleep schedule // I’m one of those annoying people who’s up early every single morning. Even weekends. This means that I end up going to bed early too. Making sure I keep those sleeping and waking times every day of the week helps me to sleep. Being consistent is key for me.
Now that you know what my bedtime routine looks like, what are some of your tips for getting a good night’s sleep?