Everyone wants to sleep better. Especially in our day and age with so many distractions. There are too many things that we could be doing at night – which often interfere with us getting enough sleep. This harms us during the day and has plenty of negative health benefits. No need to list those, as I’m sure you already know why it’s important to sleep. The only thing is… it’s difficult to implement those tips and strategies in your life.
A lot of tips you find online for better sleep are difficult. It’s not that they don’t work. It’s just that they require a lot of willpower and often focus on sacrificing something. Not eating 3 hours before bed? Fine, but what if you come home from a long day of work at 8? Not eating dinner also isn’t an option.
Or how about cutting out caffeine? Sure. But that 3PM espresso to beat the after-lunch slump is incredibly attractive and tough to resist. A solution might be to change it for a cup of green tea, but to completely cut out caffeine in the second part of the day might be tough.
If you have the energy and willpower to make these lifestyle changes, that’s great. I highly recommend doing so. However, life gets in the way, and I feel more people would benefit from simpler solutions to get better sleep.
Why easy is better
The simpler a behavior is, the easier it is to turn it into a habit. That’s why the following changes to your sleeping routine can make a big difference. They’re simple to implement. In fact, some of them are one-time actions that you do once – and improve your sleep all the nights after. Curious? Here they are:
#1 Rearrange your bedroom
Chances are, your bedroom isn’t optimized for sleep. Sounds a bit strange, right? But take a good look. Is there any light coming in at night from street lights? Or maybe from your digital alarm clock? Studies have shown even the smallest amount of light can disrupt your sleep cycles.
Another thing might be that you have a TV in your bedroom. While this may be nice for the weekends to lounge, it can also be incredibly distracting during a Tuesday night at 11 PM when you need to be up at 7AM.
Here are some actionable tips to make your bedroom more conductive to sleep:
- Remove all distractions (TV, tablet, or anything else that catches your attention before bed).
- Install black out curtains.
- Living next to a busy street? Get some sleeping earplugs or a white-noise machine to block the noise.
#2 Is your phone distracting you at night?
Smartphones can be devastating to your sleep. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of getting ready for sleep – only to receive a work-related message. Even though the follow-up could wait till the next working day, the implications of the message are still haunting your thoughts and making it more difficult to rest.
Some tips to make your smartphone less distracting are:
- Turn your phone to silent mode (only allow calls to buzz, so that if something important might happen, people can still reach you).
- Turn off all non-necessary notifications.
- Charge your phone out of reach.
- For best effects, charge your phone completely in another room. Get an old-fashioned alarm clock so you won’t oversleep.
#3 Find your destress ritual
I love to read a book before bed. Others like to take a quick walk before shutting down. Everyone’s different and it’s important that you find what makes you relax at night. Life can be hectic and that’s something we can’t change. What we can do, however, is change how we react to it. A destress ritual at night can make the difference between another sleepless night – and a night in which you get plenty of sleep, so you wake up with energy for the next day.
Here are some ideas for destress rituals:
- Read a book
- Meditate for 5 minutes
- Do some stretches or yoga poses
- Drink a hot cup of herbal tea
- Watch a fun series
- Take a nice shower
There are many ways to calm down at night. You don’t have to do all of these but having one staple activity that always puts you in a better and calmer mood can do wonders for your nights.
This blog is courtesy of Jamy Russell, who started Sleep Investor to teach people simple, yet effective ways to improve sleep. Falling asleep doesn’t have to be as difficult as many people make it out to be, and often there are many easy wins that people overlook in their quest for better sleep.