Tag Archives: The Importance of Sleep

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Consistently

Never underestimate the power of consistent sleep for your health, energy and vitality!

Most of us have experienced a night of sleeplessness or two. It’s when you are consistently not sleeping well that you need to really take a look and make some changes. If you are getting less than eight hours of sleep more than one or two nights a week, its’ time to strategize. Here are some tips and practices to implement to help you get a consistent 8 hours of solid, restorative, quality sleep.

Sleep is so important to your health as a whole. While you are sleeping your brain sweeps itself clean removing waste and toxins that can contribute to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our blood sugar is better regulated with good sleep habits, we have less cravings, are sharper, store less belly fat, our immune system is stronger, and it is good for your heart, mood and stress levels. Who doesn’t want that?

How to get a great night’s sleep

Here are some strategies you can use to help you get enough glorious sleep. I have implemented these myself. At around age 40, I was very sleep deprived and could just not get enough sleep. These tips have helped me, and many people I know, get great, consistent sleep.

  1. Get morning sun. Whether you are outside, sitting by a sunny window, driving, going for a walk or out and about, getting sun during the daytime, especially in the morning, will set your circadian rhythms and help you sleep better.
  2. Exercise can help you sleep better. It tires the body and helps reduce stress and anxiety. It is best to get in your rigorous exercise at least three hours before bed to give your body time to unwind. I will be giving you unwinding tips below.
  3. Caffeine can be a culprit for lack of sleep. I don’t drink coffee after noon that isn’t decaf. If you are a slow metabolizer, like I am, drink caffeinated drinks before noon. It is recommended that you stop drinking caffeine six hours before your bedtime. So, if you go to bed at 10 pm, 4 pm would be your cutoff.
  4. Take a Bath. A warm bath relaxes your muscles, calms your nervous system, and relieves tension throughout your body. Add in Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil. I also like Perfectly Posh bath bombs. Play some calming music and close your eyes or read a book. You can reap the benefits of a bath in just 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Magnesium Body Lotion is wonderful for sleep! It reduces stress, relaxes muscles, and helps you sleep longer. My favorites are Give It a Rest and Mo Magnesium
  6. Sip sleep tea. There are teas that can help you get better sleep too, and the warmth of the herbal tea is also down regulating. Chamomile is a well known go to tea for sleep. Another great tea for sleep is Beauty Sleep Herbal Tea. It’s delicious. Just make sure you make a small cup of tea so you don’t have to get up during the night because of a full bladder.
  7. Do bedtime yoga or have a good stretch. Bedtime yoga can really help you wind down at the end of the day. This is not the high intensity power yoga or yoga flow, but you are still moving and stretching. It is fabulous for winding down and keeping you flexible and relaxed. Here is one to try that I really like, Yoga for Restful Sleep with Jason Crandall.
  8. Go to bed at the same time every night. Setting a bedtime and sticking to it helps your circadian rhythms. Your body gets used to going to bed and expects to sleep at the same time every evening.
  9. Write down your worries and to do list. If you wake up in the night and start thinking and worrying about problems and what you have to do the next day, then writing everything down the night before can help decrease distractions, overthinking and worry.
  10. A melatonin supplement can help you get solid, deep sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone our brain produces to help us sleep. Your melatonin levels start to rise when it gets dark and then drop in the morning. Shorter days in the winter and also age can decrease your melatonin production. I like this chewable melatonin gummy that is gluten free.
  11. Your bedroom atmosphere is also important to optimize good sleep. Make sure your room is dark and you don’t have any electronic devises that emit light in your room. Ideally your bedroom should be at a cooler temperature, about 65 degrees is recommended give or take.
  12. Aromatherapy. Research has shown that smell affects sleep and inhaling specific essential oils can help you sleep better. Specifically lavender, clary sage, chamomile, bergamot and cedarwood. A diffuser in your bedroom with some of these essential oils can help you drift off to sweet dreams. DoTerra has a blend of these I have been using for years called Serenity. It smells so good! Also Perfectly Posh has a whole line of lavender pampering products. I like Very Sleep Skin Stick which you can rub on your wrists and behind your ears at bedtime and Very Sleepy Bath Bar which is full of lavender essential oil. They also have an overnight face mask that will leave your skin soft and pretty in the morning called Very Sleepy with lavender essential oil and melatonin.
  13. A white noise machine is very helpful if you are a light sleeper and wake up easily from noise in the night.
  14. Darken your screens at night or wear blue light blocking glasses. The light from bright computer screens and cell phones can disrupt your circadian rhythms. I highly recommend that you darken your screens at least 3 hours before bedtime or get a pair of blue light blocking glasses. This 5 pack is incredibly inexpensive and cute!
  15. Calm App sleep stories. If you just cannot shut off your mind, or calm down, or have had a hard day, the sleep stories on the Calm App can help significantly. It has so many wonderful stories and themes to choose from with the most soothing voices, it will comfort you and take your mind off everything else, so you can drift off to good dreams. Whether you like travel, fiction or non-fiction, there are many wonderful choices. My current favorite sleep stories are Into the Library, The Ancient Way of Tea and The City of Seven Hills.
  16. A weighted blanket may help sleep. Weighted blankets use deep pressure stimulation that is thought to stimulate the release of mood boosting seratonin, release the stress reducing hormone coritsol, and increase melatonin levels to help improve sleep.
  17. Use a therapeutic rice bag. It heats quickly in your microwave and you can use it over and over. These are the best natural heating pads! The patterns to choose from are adorable and beautiful too! You can also choose to add a peppermint or lavender essential oil or lavender/peppermint to your bag. These pads are anti-stress, healing, pain relieving, sleep inducing, great for earaches, muscle pain, tummy aches, menstrual cramps, heachaches, and more! These are wonderful to have on hand. I make these in my Etsy shop at Porcupine Craft Studio.

If you haven’t been sleeping well, it is time to take action. Try these strategies to get the best sleep you have in years. I can attest to the difference sleep strategies make in lives. When you sleep well you will think clearer, be healthier, happier, look better and have more vibrancy and energy.

Sandra Shields, Health Coach

*I receive a very small commission when you click some of the links in this article. I am also a Perfectly Posh Consultant for natural skincare and pampering because I love the natural products and believe in the power of pampering. Thank you for you support, and I hope these tips help you get regular, deep sleep which is a foundational piece to optimize metabolism, brain function and overall health! 🙂

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