5 Ways To Set Yourself Up For A Better Night’s Sleep

5 Ways To Set Yourself Up For A Better Night's Sleep | If there's one thing we all need more of, it's sleep. But getting quality sleep can be a challenge (cue the nights of tossing and turning until the early A.M.). Here are 5 ways to prepare for a good night's sleep!


If there is one thing most of us need more of, it’s sleep.

Hit the gym and drink all the green smoothies you want, but without adequate sleep, your physical and mental health will suffer.

Sleep is crucial to repair your body’s damaged cells, boost your immunity, and maintain a healthy weight. Without enough rest, you put yourself at greater risk for feelings of depression and loneliness. Your concentration will plummet, your gut health may decline as a result of increased inflammation, and you become more susceptible to all sorts of diseases.

Basically, hit the hay if you don’t want to kick the bucket.

Okay, that might be a tad dramatic, but there is no question that sleep should be a priority in all of our lives. However, getting enough quality sleep can be a challenge, even if you put forth the effort (cue the nights of tossing and turning until the early A.M.). Today, I’m sharing 5 ways to set yourself up for a better night’s sleep!


1. BE CONSISTENT


I often find myself going to bed at 10 p.m. one night and midnight the next. It can be hard to stick to a regimented routine when life gets hectic.

Nevertheless, following a sleeping schedule can improve the quality of your sleep dramatically. Your circadian rhythm (aka your “internal body clock”) relies on consistency, so going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will align your body to these rhythms.

Choose a bedtime that will allow at least 7-8 hours of sleep. If this requires going to bed much earlier than you are used to, you may find it difficult to doze off in a reasonable amount of time. In this case, begin with setting a consistent waking time. Waking up at the same time every day will build your drive to sleep later.


2. EXERCISE STRATEGICALLY


If you remain sedentary all day, you are setting yourself up for a restless night. Collapsing on your bed sounds very appealing when you’ve burned off some energy…not as much when you’ve already been lounging around for a while.

Getting in as little as 20 minutes of movement per day can increase the duration of your sleep. The effect of the intensity and timing on sleeping patterns will differ from person to person. For some, exercising at night may be too invigorating. For others, it may exhaust them so much that they’ll be out the second their heads hit their pillows. No matter the timing, make sure you actually enjoy the exercise— dreading your workout will only promote stress!

Experiment with different workouts at varying times and log your sleeping habits. You will learn what works best for you!


3. UNLOAD YOUR BRAIN


Whether I am mentally sifting through my to-do list, reflecting on conversations from the day, or fantasizing about the events of tomorrow…my mind is always moving at a million miles a minute. Somehow, the stillness of the night seems to speed it up even more.

Not only is journaling a great form of self-care, but doing so before bedtime allows me to flush out my thoughts and declutter my headspace. Dozing off is nearly impossible when your brain won’t shut off, but a clear mind will allow you to fall asleep with ease.


4. ESTABLISH A WIND-DOWN ROUTINE


Just like a consistent bedtime will help you fall asleep faster, a nighttime routine will wind you down and prepare your body for rest. This routine should not include your phone, computer, or TV. Don’t get me wrong, I am very guilty of scrolling through Instagram, typing up a blog post, or finishing an episode of The Bachelor minutes before hitting the sack. But if you are having trouble snoozing, electronics could be the culprit.

There’s plenty of evidence that the blue light emitted by devices suppresses our melatonin production, thus messing with our ability to sleep. Beyond the science, though, technology is simply distracting. You may decide to check social media for just a minute before bed, but then a minute becomes 15…and 15 minutes becomes an hour…you see where this is going.

End your night with some (electronic-free) stress-relieving rituals. Follow an evening skincare routine, sip on a cup of tea, or do some light reading to relax.


5. CREATE A SLEEP-FRIENDLY SPACE


“You are either in your bed or in your shoes, so it pays to invest in both.” -John Wildsmith

A sleep-friendly space begins with a high-quality mattress and bedding. Mattresses and accessories can add up in price, but if you are lacking comfort while sleeping, it is well worth the investment.

Additionally, keep your space dark, cool, and quiet. Artificial light will mimic daylight, making it a challenge to fall asleep. Shut your curtains, unplug any night-lights, and power down the electronics. Your body temperature drops as it prepares for rest, so keeping your space cool will aid in that process. Noise is obviously very distracting when trying to sleep, but some sounds are beyond your control (traffic, noisy neighbors, loud roommates…). If this is the problem, a soothing sound machine or the hum of a fan could do the trick.


A blissful slumber will boost your well-being and energy, allowing you to be fully present and enjoy each day in its entirety. I hope you found this post helpful! How do you set yourself up for a better night’s sleep?

14 Comments

  1. January 13, 2018 / 6:22 pm

    I’ve been waiting for your new post!
    I’m starting to get more sleep but I’m a light sleeper so I wake every hour when I hear a car driving on my street. SOme things that helped me are definitely workout and meditating.
    I also noticed that technology influance my sleep a lot ( and as you wrote 1 min becomes an hour and you get less sleep)
    https://miss-uncover.blogspot.com/

    • January 18, 2018 / 4:33 am

      Being active throughout the day and limiting technology does wonders for your sleep! Meditating is definitely a great way to clear your mind before bed 🙂

  2. January 14, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    When I first started work, it was a struggle to squeeze in some time for exercise. But then after a few months of adjusting, I finally got to have at least 10-20 minutes of exercise after work and it’s definitely helped me in sleeping better 🙂 I agree with creating a schedule that works for you, and that there shouldn’t be any pressure. Workouts are meant to be enjoyed. Thank you for writing this post! I’ve followed you on Bloglovin’ btw! Looking forward to reading more of your posts! 🙂

    • January 16, 2018 / 3:49 am

      Sometimes 10-20 minutes of movement is all it takes to improve your sleeping habits! Thanks so much for reading Anna! 🙂

  3. January 14, 2018 / 11:58 pm

    Great tips! Sleep is crucial and I know I should definitely set up an earlier bedtime routine.

    • January 16, 2018 / 3:49 am

      Thanks for reading Paxton!

  4. January 15, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    I LOVE this post! Sleep is so important and I love having a night routine that gets me ready for bed! I listen to guided sleep meditation as I fall asleep and it’s the best!

    Lauren Lindmark | https://dailydoseofcharm.com

    • January 16, 2018 / 3:50 am

      I should totally try guided sleep meditation on those nights that I just can’t fall asleep!

  5. January 15, 2018 / 9:19 pm

    I find that exercise helps me a lot with sleep – on days when I’ve been particularly active, I manage to drift off within minutes! I have also started journaling recently to prevent overthinking once I get into bed, and it works wonders in helping me ‘postpone’ worry for the upcoming morning. Loved reading this post and couldn’t agree more with there tips! Xx

    maria | http://whatismaria.com

    • January 16, 2018 / 3:52 am

      Journaling before bed is so helpful to flush out any thoughts or worries that would otherwise weigh over your sleep. Glad you enjoyed the post Maria!

  6. January 16, 2018 / 12:02 pm

    I love these tips. I find that moving my body during the day via yoga practice helps me sleep better at night. Please check out my blog at http://mylifeingreens.com

    • January 18, 2018 / 4:28 am

      Hot yoga is my absolute fave!

  7. January 17, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Definitely trying to work on streamlining my day and night routines! I personally feel so much more productive when I workout in the morning, I would highly recommend. That way at night I have more time to unwind and relax.

    Shann Eileen | http://www.shanneileen.com

    • January 18, 2018 / 4:30 am

      I usually work out in the afternoon/evening, but I definitely enjoy a morning workout from time to time! It’s nice to get it out of the way and relax the rest of the day 🙂