Do you ever go through seasons where sleep is more difficult than others? I will have amazing weeks where I can fall right asleep, sleep through the night and feel amazing the next morning. Then there are weeks like this one where I wake up multiple times and feel like I barely slept at all when my alarm goes off the next morning. If you've had weeks like this then you know everything is just a little more difficult on limited sleep. I have been altering a few things in my routine to help this so I thought I'd share a few tips that have helped me.
1. A Dark Room. Right outside the window above my bed is a bright street light. I never knew until I dealt with that big guy how important darkness was to me. I guess I have been blessed to not have a bedroom facing the street all these years. I didn't want to go the black out shade route because it can get expensive so I opted for a sleep mask. I always thought they seemed silly before but once I slept with one I couldn't sleep without it. The first few nights I would find it flung off the bed or under my pillow but once I got used to it I was in love. I now don't travel without it and think a good nights sleep is partially dependent on it.
2. A Cup of Tea. Having a routine at night has done so much for me. I love when I can exercise in the afternoon, cook and eat dinner dinner, sit down to flip through a magazine or watch a show and then start getting ready for bed. There is something about brewing a cup of chamomile tea that lets my body know its time to chill out and get ready to sleep.
3. Caffeine Curfew. This one is pretty difficult for me. I have read over and over not to have caffeine past noon but I always find myself pushing the limits. People often think that because they fall asleep fine even after afternoon coffee that it doesn't affect them but that is rarely true. You may fall asleep fine but your quality of sleep is most likely affected.
4. Turn of Technology. Turning off the TV, iPhone, and computer at a decent hour can do lots to help us wind down. Study after study has shown that watching a bright screen confuses our bodies and delays the release of melatonin which is what makes us feel sleepy. Turning off that bright screen or at least dimming it can do lots to help our bodies know it's time for bed.