When you think of “superpowers,” do you think of sleep? Sleep is my superpower, and it can most definitely be yours as well. Although I do not have a bunch of letters behind my name, I can share what helps me fall asleep and stay asleep each night in hopes of positively affecting your quality of sleep. Consider implementing my top 10 tips for not only falling asleep but staying asleep, ensuring you reach that much-needed REM state and feeling refreshed the next day.
Tip 1: Don’t Use An Alarm Clock Unless You Really Have To
My body feels rested and refreshed after sleeping for about 8 hours. Since I choose to go to sleep early, my body naturally wakes up 8 hours later, which is fairly early in the morning. This keeps me from having to wake up to a loud, obnoxious alarm clock that puts me in a sour mood.
Tip 2: Make Your Bedroom As Dark As Possible
Whether it’s a night light or a small colored light on an electronic device in my room, any bit of light keeps me awake at night. To avoid this annoying sleep-distractor, I have put electrical tape over tiny lights, removed night lights, and have hung up black light curtains. This keeps my room extremely dark each night!
Tip 3: Use Earplugs Or A White/Pink Noise Machine To Muffle Any Unwanted Background Noise
Although many people are not comfortable sleeping with earplugs in their ears, it helps me sleep so much. My dog and cat make noises throughout the night that would keep me up if I did not wear earplugs. These help me fall asleep and stay asleep.
Tip 4: Keep Your Room Cool At Night
I tend to keep my room at 68 degrees each night. Although I enjoy the cool air while sleeping, I keep blankets on my bed to help regulate my body temperature. I have found that when I sleep in a warm room, I do not stay asleep. I toss and turn and try to cool myself off.
Tip 5: Consider A Night Guard To Prevent Grinding Your Teeth
Am I the only one who grinds their teeth at night? I think NOT! If I do not wake myself up from grinding my teeth, I wake up in the morning feeling tired. To avoid this, I wear a nightguard while I sleep. It keeps me from moving my teeth throughout the night.
Tip 6: Minimize Caffeine – Especially Later In The Day
Some think that caffeine does not affect them… Think again! Although it might not keep you wired up at night, it is likely preventing you from resting as well as you possibly can. I enjoy my morning cup of joe, but stay far from it after lunchtime, because I do not sleep well when I drink it in the afternoon.
Tip 7: Don’t Drink Alcohol – At Least For A Month Or Two At A Time
Yes, alcohol might help you fall asleep, but it will not keep you asleep for the amount of time your body needs to rest. I do not consume alcohol often, but when I do, I can tell that it affects how well I sleep. I usually wake up feeling groggy.
Tip 8: Use Herbal Remedies To Improve Sleep Quality
I enjoy sipping herbal tea at night to help me unwind from a busy day. The herbs soothe my body and put my mind at ease. I also enjoy taking herbal supplements to help me fall asleep.
Tip 9: Turn Off Your Screens Well Before Bed
I ditch my electronics a few hours before falling asleep. I have found that the longer I look at them, the more awake I am at night. My brain can’t seem to rest when I’ve been looking at screens.
Tip 10: Turn Your Mind Off Using “Throw-down” Books
Although I love a good business, nutrition, and self-improvement book, I do not read them before I fall asleep. These books get me excited and make me think, which keeps me from sleeping. I reach for a “throw-down” book, which is a story that relaxes my mind and makes me sleepy.
For more tips and examples related to my top 10 tips for not only falling asleep but staying asleep, ensuring you reach that much-needed REM state and feeling refreshed the next day, tune into Episode 21 of the Fit Is Freedom podcast.