We’ve all been there. You’re ready to wind down, get in bed, and sleep off everything that happened during the day. You just want some well-deserved shut-eye before you have to go through it all again tomorrow. Sadly, it seems the sleep just doesn’t want to come to you tonight, and you’re stuck tossing and turning as you watch every hour of possible sleep slowly tick away on your phone. There are some things you can change about your habits and a couple generally helpful tips you can follow to help you finally show you how to sleep better at night.
1. Don’t stay in bed if you can’t sleep
Suffice to say, if you find yourself wide awake at 2 A.M., don’t keep tossing and turning in your bed only to feel miserable the rest of the night and into the morning. The more you do this, the worse your relationship with your bed becomes. It might sound silly to refer to it as a “relationship,” but it comes from the psychological bond that exists in your brain between the bed and sleep. If you start spending night after night just wallowing in your bed, you’re going to start thinking of it in a negative way–the place where you can’t get sleep even though you should be able to. And you’re never gonna figure out how to sleep better at night if you’re trying so hard. Just get up and do something else away from your bed.
2. Do a little physical activity
You don’t have to do too much. If your schedule doesn’t already include some kind of physical activity outside of your normal walking around at school or work, it could be helpful to add just 10-20 extra minutes of exercise to your day. Do some squats, lunges, or push-ups; it doesn’t have to be a grand exercise routine. Just something to get the blood flowing a bit so that your body will be tired afterwards and ready for sleep mode. It’s really helpful to do this right before you get in bed.
3. Read that book you’ve been neglecting.
Whether it’s from your school’s assigned reading or your ever-mounting TBR list, it can really help to pick up a book of any kind and just read for a few pages or a chapter. It’s a great way to relax the brain and get your thoughts away from anything else that might be troubling you.
4. Double-check your atmosphere
This one is really important, and oftentimes overlooked. Sometimes, the conditions we need in order to be able to properly sleep are totally off, and we don’t even realize it. Maybe the bed you’re sleeping on is too hard for you (or too soft). Try sleeping on someone else’s bed for the night. Maybe it’s too hot or too cold in your room. Try putting a fan in your room or sleeping with a heated blanket. Experiment and adjust things until you find something that works better for you.
5. Invest in a night mask and/or earplugs
I know a lot of us associate night masks with the rich divas on T.V. and movies, but they might be on to something. It can help provide a barrier to any odd, distracting light that might be filtering in from the window or elsewhere in the house (not to mention it can block out the sun in the mornings). Earplugs are really good for people who have to have perfect silence to go to sleep (or for those of us whose family members wake up really, really early and are really, really loud).
6. Put on an ASMR playlist
On the opposite side, for people who have to have some kind of sound in the background to go to sleep, ASMR playlists are much more helpful than people give them credit for. Does the sound of a light pattering rain soothe you? There’s a playlist for that! Does the crackling of a campfire relax your spirits? There’s a playlist for that, too!
7. Take a warm bath or shower before getting in bed
One of the most classic remedies for how to sleep better at night is a nice, warm bath. Try adding a lavender bath bomb or bath salts to enhance the sleep-inducing properties. The scent of lavender has been shown to help reduce stress and therefore make sleep easier to come by. So after your bath, grab some lavender lotion as well! Bath and Body Works has an entire line of lavender-scented lotions for sleep.
8. Don’t eat for an hour before going to bed
Try your best to avoid eating when you know it’s almost bedtime (I know, I know, it’s hard to resist those midnight snacks). This gives your body’s digestive system time to get everything in order so that it’ll be relaxed by the time you’re ready to relax, too!
What are your best tips for how to sleep better at night? Let us know in the comments below!
My name is Kassidy Barber, I'm 20 years old, and I'm currently working on my B.A. in English with a minor in web communications at the University of Alabama in Huntsville! I love video games, lots of T.V. shows, dogs, and especially food (both cooking and eating)!