Aaahh, sleep! It calls to me at the end of the day. I nestle into my cozy bed, hoping to get a good night’s rest. Instead, everything unfinished in my life starts bouncing around in my mind like a bunch of unruly children. They won’t be quiet long enough for my brain to shut down.
Other nights, I quickly fall into a deep sleep. Then I wake up around 2:30 am with a mind full of churning thoughts. Somehow my brain didn’t get the memo. It’s way too early to function on all cylinders!
My quality of life began to suffer. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.
Do you struggle with sleep too?
If so, you’re not alone!
I’m right there with you.
So, how do we quiet the noise in our heads to get enough sleep?
Here are some helpful tips to get more sleep for a better quality of life.
Create the Ideal Environment for Sleep
Creating a sense of calm in our bedroom can help make it easier to fall and stay asleep.
Keeping the bedroom clutter-free goes a long way in reducing stress levels and the chaos in our minds.
Blackout curtains hide the sun a little longer and signal to the body there’s still time to sleep.
Setting the room temperature cooler for sleep allows the body to rest more comfortably.
Sleeping with a weighted blanket adds gentle pressure to calm the body and helps to prevent tossing and turning throughout the night. It feels like a comforting hug all night long!
Using either a fan, white noise machine, or earplugs helps to reduce both inside and outside noises and quiet the mind.
Develop Calming Practices for Sleep
Calming practices for your nighttime routine can help you relax your overactive mind and make it easier to fall and stay asleep.
Enjoy a Cup of Tea
For all the tea drinkers out there, this one’s for you! Enjoying a hot cup of tea is not only a great way to ease into your day. It also helps you unwind before bed and fall asleep more quickly.
The pleasure of pouring the steaming water, wrapping your hands around the warm mug, and breathing in its aroma are soothing to the soul. Not to mention the calming benefits of the tea itself.
Caffeine-free chamomile tea is known for its relaxation benefits. Another one I am currently enjoying is get some zzz’s by The Republic of Tea.
Keep a Notepad on the Nightstand
It’s challenging to fall back asleep when you wake up at night and remember something you forgot to do. Or, you want to remember a novel idea that popped into your head.
Instead of repeating them, hoping you will remember in the morning, write them down on a notepad. This practice clears your head and releases the pressure to retain them. You will fall back asleep more quickly.
Soak in a Warm Bath
If you like baths, this one is for you! Soaking in a warm bubble bath is a great way to slow down and be in the present moment. To sift through your day and reflect on what brought you joy.
If your body needs extra TLC, soaking in a bath with Epsom salt and lavender essential oil is a great way to unwind and soothe aching muscles. Both the magnesium in the salt and the lavender essential oil promote relaxation and sleep.
Reading a good book while soaking in the bath is also relaxing, which brings us to the next calming practice.
Read a Book
The ritual of reading a book helps to slow down your breathing, relieve anxiety, and signal your body for sleep. It also gives you the pleasure of experiencing and appreciating art on a page.
Studies show that reading a book is more effective in promoting sleepiness than reading from electronic devices that emit blue light such as a phone, tablet, and e-reader.
There’s something relaxing about holding a book in your hands, the rhythmic motion of your eyes going back and forth on its pages, the mental escape, and feeling the paper between your fingers as you turn each page.
Expressing gratitude through prayer helps you to get centered.
Sharing your concerns through prayer lightens your burden and enables you to think more clearly before bedtime.
Prayer reminds you that you are not alone. You are part of something bigger than yourself and you can trust God to see you through. Even if the road ahead is difficult, you can rest in knowing God will give you the golden nuggets of wisdom along your journey.
Prayer relieves anxiety, helps you to sleep more peacefully, and connects you to a God who loves you and wants what’s best for you. Always!
Focus on Clearing Your Mind
When you find your thoughts going a mile a minute, and you want to fall asleep or go back to sleep in the middle of the night, envision a large white movie screen or something else that clears your head.
Every time your thoughts want to run rampant (and they will!), continue to direct your gaze back to that blank screen.
This practice is an intentional way to prevent your thoughts from hijacking your ability to wind down. It works for me every time!
This is an updated post originally published on SharonKrueger.com