Monday, April 12, 2010


I am a restless sleeper. I toss and turn almost every night, regardless of how tired I am. I don't snore or grind my teeth, but my constant fidgeting {and covers-stealing} tends to keep my husband from getting sleep as well. I saw an article on Yahoo! "Healthy Living" the other day and thought it was too good to keep to myself. Although the tips are common sense, they are good reminders of what to do to have a good night's sleep. get good sleep

  • by Gretchen Rubin

  • There’s a lot of advice out there about getting good sleep; here are tips that work for me:

Good habits for good sleep:

1. Exercise most days, even if it’s just to take a walk.
2. No caffeine after 7:00 p.m.
3. An hour before bedtime, avoid doing any kind of work that takes alert thinking. Addressing envelopes—okay. Analyzing an article—nope.
4. Adjust your bedroom temperature to be slightly chilly.
5. Keep your bedroom dark. Studies show that even the tiny light from a digital alarm clock can disrupt a sleep cycle. We have about six devices in our room that glow bright green; it’s like sleeping in a mad scientist’s lab. The Big Man's new pet, a Roomba (yes, he loves his robot vacuum), gives out so much light that I have to cover it with a pillow before bed.
6. Keep the bedroom as tidy as possible. It’s not restful to fight through chaos into bed.
If sleep won’t come:
1. Breathe deeply and slowly until you can’t stand it anymore.
2. If your mind is racing (you’re planning a trip, a move, Christmas shopping; you’re worried about a medical diagnosis), write down what’s on your mind. This technique really works for me.
3. Slather yourself with body lotion. It feels good and also, if you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re hot, it cools you down.
4. If your feet are cold, put on socks.
5. Stretch your whole body.
6. Have a warm drink. Some people claim that warm milk contains melatonin and trytophan and so helps induce sleep, but in fact, a glass of milk doesn’t contain enough to have any effect. But it’s still a soothing drink. My nighttime favorite: 1/3 mug of milk, add boiling water, one packet of Equal, and a dash of vanilla. A real nursery treat.
7. Yawn.
8. Stretch your toes up and down several times.
9. Tell yourself, “I have to get up now.” Imagine that you just hit the snooze alarm and in a minute, you’re going to be marching through the morning routine. Often this is an exhausting enough prospect to make me fall asleep.
Re-frame your sleeplessness as a welcome opportunity to snatch some extra time out of your day. I get up and tackle mundane chores, like paying bills, organizing books, or tidying up. Then I start the day with a wonderful feeling of having accomplished something even before 6:45 am.

One thing that has helped me fall asleep more quickly is to turn off the computer at least an hour before bed and to turn off the TV at least half an hour before bed. Studies show that the bright lights and motion from each of these electronics stimulates your brain so much that it can prevent you from falling asleep.

Another thing I do is pick out my outfit before I go to bed. Sometimes, I stay up for hours, wondering "Is my black jacket clean? Did I remember to iron my pants?" By planning my outfit ahead of time, I prevent any unnecessary wardrobe franticness. Sometimes, I even plan my outfits for an entire week! I'll write them down in a notebook on Sunday {including which top, bottoms, and shoes to wear} and refer to the list throughout the week. It not only helps me sleep easy, but it makes getting ready in the morning a cinch!

I also try to give myself at least 45 minutes to get ready for bed. This includes running the dishwasher, washing my face, picking out my clothes, doing my devotions, and reading at least a few paragraphs of fiction {currently: Lord of the Rings}. This routine helps me to both physically and and mentally prepare myself for bed.

What do you do to help yourself fall asleep at night?


Shawna said...

Cute little blog you have here :-)

When I have trouble sleeping, this is what I try to do(sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't). I lay on my back and breathe in and out. For some reason doing that relaxes me. I usually fall asleep within 10 minutes of doing that.

Sasha said...

That's great! Even though it seems like common sense, you tend to forget these things. One trick I like to use when I can't fall asleep is to squeeze different body parts for 10 seconds each, starting with fists, feet, arms, legs, and continuing to my whole body. By the end, I'm exhausted and fall right asleep. :)

Anonymous said...

I may need to keep some of these tips in mind. I am a bit of a restless person myself. I just CANNOT turn off my brain when I try and go to bed at night. Thoughts just keep bouncing around. Love your blog!

Jami Nato said...

oh my myself 45 minutes to wake my dreams. my little one wakes me up every morning by saying "rise and shine mommy" haha.

maureen @ The Inglenook Decor said...

Oh gosh I need these tips...thanks! :)

simplyMae said...

What a great post I love all the tips. It sounds silly but I have the habit of playing a mindless game. Jordan has Yahtzee on his I Pod and so many nights we play a round in bed i find it relaxing. Also reading helps me fall asleep. I love that bedroom picture the chandelier is beautiful!

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