How to Get Better Sleep
Sleep is connected to so many things. You’ve probably read articles that say sleep has an impact on weight loss, your mood (obviously because if you don’t get enough sleep you won’t be a happy camper) and your overall health including making you more susceptible to illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
But how many of us continue to do things that are counterproductive to getting a good night’s rest? *Raises both hands*
Let’s talk about it!
First we’ll look at 5 things (you may not have thought of) that need to be clean for you to get a good night’s sleep. Then we’ll talk about what’s basically a reminder of some basic bad sleep remedies.
How did I come up with these things? Trial and error! I used to work very early mornings and went months with poor sleep. I was so over it that I was ready to try any and everything. After that ordeal I’ve slipped back into bad habits but I’m glad I know what I need to do to be better.
5 Things that Need to be Clean to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The smell of a clean house makes me smile. Clutter on the outside creates clutter on the inside. A messy house creates a messy brain. Those sayings aren’t that great but you get the point. When your space is clean, your mind just works better. A mind that works better has a better chance at getting a good night’s sleep.
Get rid of what’s making you sick. I have allergies. My allergies aren’t just seasonal. They are year round! You can’t clean the air outside. You constantly run into smoke, pollen, too much perfume, etc. These are the things we really can’t avoid because we don’t have much control over them. However, you can control the air in your home.
- Don’t bring the outside in. Those odors I mentioned will likely be trapped in your clothing, hair, etc. Strip at the door. Freshen your clothes before you put them in your closet.
- Take a shower. Again, those odors are on you and you don’t want to bring them in your bed.
- Purchase an air purifier, if you can. Clean air circulation is important.
- Use the stove fan. The smells in the kitchen can leave you stimulated and wanting more food. Use the fan to help clear out those odors and the air purifier will help as well.
Now lets be clear here…when I say clean eating I don’t mean it in the way some restaurants have cleaned up their act by getting rid of all food dyes, artificial favors, preservatives, etc. Don’t get me wrong…I think this is a great thing but trying to do it all at once has stressed me out and I know I’m not alone. With that said, I’m talking about just doing your best to eat healthier without depriving yourself.
For example: if you indulge in fast food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks, do you expect to be able to sleep well?
The issues caused by such a lifestyle alone will create a whole other list of issues that will mess with your sleep.
But having balance in your meals with the right amount of protein, whole grains and good carbs will leave you feeling satisfied which could help you get a better night’s sleep.
There’s nothing like laying in a bed of clean sheets. Try it! When was the last time you washed your sheets? You do realize your body is constantly shedding skin, hair, etc? All that stuff just weighs down your sheets and makes everything feel rough. When your sheets are clean the bed feels lighter.
I don’t know what this means for you because it’s different for everyone. Your conscience is that little voice in your head that tells you, you shouldn’t be doing something. If you have a nagging voice in your head yelling at you for doing something wrong then you probably won’t get much sleep. Just sayin’!
Basic Reminders to Help You Sleep
I’ve always found a good book helps me fall asleep. However, we’ve really gotten away from a real book. My books are on my iPad. I have one emailed to me by a friend, Get Off the Cycle and Run, that took me forever to finish because I wanted to avoid the blue light from my iPad. That blue light is stimulating.
So let’s go old school with this. Intentionally purchase a book. I’m talking the real thing so you can literally turn the pages.
It’s not that reading is boring, it’s relaxing. It puts you in a different frame of mind.
Moral: Instead of reading on your tablet, read an actual book.
It’s likely you leave your phone within arms reach of your bed. How’s that been working out for ya? Not so good, right?
Leave it in the living room or if that’s too scary for you, put it on the other side of the room. This will help with not only sleep but also get out of bed in the morning.
I’m one of those weird people that doesn’t need an alarm to wake up. But for those not so oddly challenged this will help you to actually get your butt out of bed when the alarm goes off. Want to workout in the morning but you keep hitting that snooze button? Put that phone on the other side of the room and use the most annoying alarm sound. It will make you get up to turn it off and then what would be the point of getting back in the bed?
Also, let’s leave get the TV out of the bedroom please. The bedroom should be a restful sanctuary. The TV just stimulates you and that is just the opposite of what you need.
Who else is NOT a fan of lavender? I just can’t! When I go to get a massage I tell them no lavender and they are dumbfounded by my request. Lavender gives me a headache so I’d much rather eucalyptus (in small doses) or chamomile.
How to use the oils:
- Put them on your body
- Behind the ear
- On your wrists
- Under your feet
- Add oils to a warm bath
- Spray lightly on your linens. (I’m not a fan of this because I just feel my own body oils, etc are enough to make my sheets dirty)
I love baths. I really do! When I visited Bath in England during college I almost spent all my money. I can sit in a tub of hot water for what may seem like days. Add the oils to your bath along with some oats. I like Aveeno’s oat bath followed by the skin soothing lotion.
I did this several times before realizing I was sabotaging my own sleep. Alcohol depresses and stimulates. There’s a whole debate on this topic and I won’t even get into that because I feel everyone is different. But anyhoo!
The initial effect on me is a depressant and after that wears off I’m up. At first I’m tired. There’s nothing I can do to stay awake after having my favorite glass of vino. But about 3 hours later that wears off and I’m awake. (Side note: If you aren’t familiar with how much I love wine, then check out all my posts about it. I’m even doing a tour of Florida wineries.)
Now back to business!
Instead of looking to this potentially addictive substance to help you rest, why not drink some tea? Chamomile tea works wonders. I can feel my body relaxing after I’ve had a cup. I can feel my eyes start to droop.
Moral: Instead of alcohol, tea.
If none of that works then…..
How comfortable are your pillows? Your mattress? These would be the more expensive remedies if you find yourself in a sleep funk. I suggest trying the cheaper options first (all the things listed in this post) but it may come down to the fact that you need something new. And then who can argue with shopping? Really!
I hope this helps! What are your sleep remedies? Share!