6 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
How to Get 7+ Hours of Sleep Each Night
We're not all blessed with the ability to fall asleep easily AND also stay asleep through the night, so here's a few tips I've been trying out over the last year to really fine tune it. I still don't do all of these every night, but knocking out as many of these as possible each night will help ensure 7+ hours of uninterrupted sleep, with the bonus of getting all your REM and deep sleep in. Honestly, who knew when we were 5 being forced to take naps that sleep would be such a challenge down the road?
Avoid bluelight for 30-45 mins before bedtime
Often times we want to fall asleep in front of the TV, or scroll TikTok late at night on our phones, but the light from the screen is actually keeping our brain awake for longer, which is not ideal for quality sleep. This was an adjustment for me because I used to be the person who absolutely loved falling asleep to The Office, Seinfeld or Friends but nowadays I am of the thought process that I'll leave the TV in the living room and then do a little reading (maybe for 30 mins or so on my Kindle) before falling asleep for the night. It has made a big difference and I don't wake up in the middle of the night having to turn the TV off, or confused about sounds coming from the show I accidentally left on for hours. Almost better for your electric bill.
Spend quality time with your partner (or yourself)
Depending on yours and your partner's love languages, it might be fun to do some activities together in the evening that wind you down and prepare you for bed. While not everyone's love language is quality time, I think it's safe to say every relationship (whether it's with your significant other or yourself) can do with some dedicated time. Especially if it's fun, doesn't involve work or talk of it. Think watching a show or movie you both like, doing a puzzle together, play a game (Monopoly, etc). I mean let's get personal here. Having some sexy time before bed is definitely going to relax you which will in turn improve your sleep.
Have a night routine
When you're heading to bed, you want to do a couple things that really wind you down. For example, I like to do all of the following:
Cleanse my skin
Apply a mask or treatment (and let it soak in)
Do a full blown skincare routine
Make some tea (throw in Sleep Juice; see below for details)
Read on my Kindle (put the phone away)
Oil and lotion up, let it dry and slip into the sheets
Take a natural sleep remedy
For reference, I used to take Pachamama gummies but I've switched to Organic Olivia's Sleep Juice. I either do a dropper into water, or tea an hour or more before bed (drinking too much right before bed will ensure you wake up 1-2 times in the middle of the night to go pee which is not ideal.) Oftentimes people don't want to rely on a supplement or anything to go to sleep, but I think when it's herbs (not manmade chemicals) your body will thank you. Adaptogens are where it's at in my opinion.
The main ingredient in the Sleep Juice is passionflower, which is described as:
"A calming, soothing, grounding herb, passionflower is medicine for the soul. Its winding tendrils represent its ability to support us in the midst of looping thoughts."
Try to avoid caffeine past noon
If you live in Europe, this is likely not possible (my family serves strong ass coffee from 6 AM to midnight and you're expected to drink every single cup with a smile on your face.) But if you don't live in a caffeine guzzling situation, avoiding caffeine after noon is going to set you up for a good night's sleep. It's always fascinated me that our bodies can take so long to rid itself of caffeine (on average it's 10-12 hours) so try to give yourself a cutoff. You don't want to have to take melatonin, Tylenol and other stronger sleep aids to counteract the caffeine so it's best to keep it to the AM.
Stop drinking alcohol 2-3 hours before bedtime
Following the theme of coffee, it's even more important to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Your brain feels alcohol shortly after consuming, but your organs will be working hard to begin breaking it down a few hours later. This is why you may remember nights when you've woken up in a sweat with a hangover slightly coming on, heart may feel like it's racing and you're a little confused, mouth feels dry. You're feeling all of this because your organs (especially your liver) are breaking down the alcohol sugars and it takes quite a bit of energy to do this. This process really has a way of jolting you awake in the middle of the night so you want to avoid drinking closer to that bedtime.