12 tips for a better sleep
Are you having problem with your sleep?
Many people wishes to sleep better and have a better sleep. Perhaps you have trouble falling asleep? Or, you do insomnia, watching the walls part of the night? Maybe you have a light sleep and have difficulty falling back asleep?
If this is the case, this post is for you. A little further, I share you 12 tips to sleep better.
Why can’t I sleep?
Sleep is a key factor to face our day with energy. Otherwise, a lack of sleep can affect the quality of our day and the effectiveness of our work.
I personally have difficulty having quality sleep. And certainly, we all have, one day or another, known this feeling of frustration of not being able to sleep even if we are very tired. From that moment, we become adventurers, looking for lost sleep. Our thoughts are “too” present and running around in our mind. We say to ourselves, “Why can’t I sleep?” ». It’s a waking up nightmare!
What are the reasons that prevent us from sleeping
Several reasons prevent us from having a quality sleep. It can be the phone that rings, the husband or spouse who snores, the children who make noise. It could also be the neighbor who decides to make a party at night, the dog who wants to go outside, having to go to the toilet, etc. In the best scenario, we wake up and “Oh miracle!”, we go back to sleep quickly. Otherwise, “Oh shoot!”, we no longer manage to go back to sleep.
You can have repetitive thoughts in your head. Either, you think of your past day or the next day. It is possible that you are thinking about old memories, revisiting conversations, requestionning issues, planning the next day menu and tasks to be done, etc.
But all is not lost! So here are 12 tips to help you sleep better and have a better night sleep.
1) Spend physical energy during the day
Spending energy and making physical activities is important for a better sleep. When you body is tired, it will want to rest and recharge. So how do you spend your energy? Well, simply by physical activity. There is no need to join a gym or run for miles. Taking a 30 minutes walk each day is enough.
It is recommended not to make physical effort about 2 to 3 hours before sleeping. Dopamine generated by physical exercise will have the opposite effect.
2) Do not overeat or drink just before going to sleep
It is not recommended to eat right before sleeping. Especially, eating food that is high in sugar and/or fat. Indeed, digestion will affect the quality of your sleep. In addition, since the internal organs will make efforts to digest food, the body will focus its energies on digestion and not on the recovery of the body.
It is important to stay well hydrated during the day. This is obvious. However, if we drink too much liquid before going to bed, we will necessarily need to go to the toilet.
Here is a little trick to moisturize your mouth during the night. Rather than drinking an entire glass of water, take a single sip. Then, keep it in your mouth for a few seconds, rinsing the inside of your mouth. This will quench the thirst without taking a large amount of water. This results in fewer visits to the toilet!
3) Limit tea, coffee and alcohol, drink herbal tea instead
To sleep better, it is important to limit your consumption of tea, coffee or alcohol. They are all stimulants. Or, the opposite of what we need to sleep. It is preferable to take herbal tea.
Some people believe that drinking alcohol can relax them and help them fall asleep. In fact, consuming alcohol will stimulate your digestive system and work to detoxify your system.
Rather, a good herbal tea, that would have plants with a relaxing effect, is a great choice for a peaceful night’s sleep. Certain plants, such as chamomile and verbena, are known to relax the body and mind. Additionally, there are several blends of plants, herbs, and flowers, which are designed specifically for sleep. These herbal teas are commercially available at natural product centers, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
4) Take a bath before going to sleep
Taking a bath provides a relaxing feeling for your body and mind. Indeed, if you take a bath an hour before sleeping, it will relax your muscles and reduce your stress. Your body and mind will be relaxed and inclined towards sleep.
Try a bath with essential oils, such as lavender or rosewood. A great way to put the odds on your side and help prepare for your sleep. Just dilute a few drops in a vegetable oil, then incorporate it into your bath under the pump. However, check that you do not have any skin reaction. There are precautions to take with essential oils.
5) Cut out the noise with earplugs
Some people are sensitive to sound and wake up easily to the slightest noise. Putting plugs in your ears is a simple and effective way to settle this problem. In fact, they prevent or reduce sounds, for an uninterrupted sleep.
Several types exist including foam or silicone plugs. I prefer the silicone one. They are malleable and take the shape of the ear well. Earplugs are available at pharmacies and many stores.
6) Cut out the light with an eye mask
Using eye masks is a well-known technique used to protect your eyes from light. So your brain will register that it is night and you will be able to sleep better.
In addition, it is also useful to bring this mask when travelling. This will avoid any inconvenience when you find yourself in a sunny room or to take a nap on the plane.
7) Use a mask to sleep with built-in headphones
Some eye masks are quite innovative as they are available with built-in headphones. These allow you to make a barrier not only for your eyes but for your ears. Thus, you can listen to soft music or a guided meditation without external noises disturbing you. This will help you feel isolated from the world and sleep better.
This mask with integrated headphones is an excellent companion not only for sleeping but also for simply relaxing. Since the headphones inside the mask are flat, they are quite comfortable even when lying on the side. You will find these masks with integrated headphones on Amazon, among others.
8) Listen to relaxing music, a podcast or a guided meditation
Studies have proven that music can help you relax your mind. At the same time, helps you fall asleep and sleep better.
In the same idea, guided meditations can also help you sleep. Some guided meditations are specifically design to help you sleep. Click here to listen to my guided meditations on my Youtube channel.
Podcasts or audiobooks can also help with sleep. Particularly, monotonous voices can have a sleeping pill effect!
There are millions of audios and videos available online. You can download these audios to your mobile or computer and listen to them in your bed. It will decrease your anxiety and stress and calm your mind. Click the link to see my Top 10 relaxing music.
9) Take a melatonin tablet an hour before going to bed
Melatonin is called the sleep hormone. Melatonin is naturally produced by a gland in the brain when night falls and there is no light. This is mother nature’s way of following the cycle of day and night. She tells us it’s time to sleep. As the night progresses, melatonin decreases to practically disappear in the morning.
Our hectic lives, anxiety, stress, screens and blue light are some of the factors that can influence the production of melatonin. Sleep problems prevent this hormone from producing properly.
Depending on individual sensitivity, one melatonin tablet, taken an hour before bedtime, can help you sleep. I personally use it occasionally and I must admit that it works 75% of the time. That is, melatonin is effective but not consistently. I’m telling you about my experience. For you, the percentage may be different.
Moreover, it is not recommended to take melatonin for a prolonged period. You don’t need a prescription, although, check with your doctor to find out what dosage you can take or if there are any contraindications for your condition.
It is a product available in natural product centers or in pharmacies.
10) Read a book instead of looking at screens
It is so pleasant and relaxing to read a good book before going to bed. Opt for novels, personal development books, or any other topic of interest. Unlike the book, the use of screens such as a computer, a laptop or any mobile device, stimulates the brain by blue light, among other things. Watching news or social media feeds, movies or series on screen is very stimulating. Which is the opposite effect of what we are looking for, which is to be calm and willing to sleep.
Indeed, all the images and sounds we consume on our screens affect the sleep hormone and above all, the quality of sleep.
It is true that today it is possible to read a book on our screens. It is obvious that paper books are used less and less, leaving the option for electronic books. At this time, the use of screens is still necessary to read a book. To lessen the effects of light, you can adjust your screen brightness as well as blue light. Options are available to put your screens in reading mode. You can also wear glasses, with or without strength, that block the blue light. Book readers, such as Kindle, also make reading easy, without bright or blue light.
11) Free your mind by writing your thoughts in a notebook
It often happens that our mind is filled with thoughts that prevent us from sleeping. Whether they are positive, negative, relating to the day itself or the day after, they can become invasive. To clear your mind, have a notebook or sheets, with a pencil, near your bed. No matter what time of the night, writing down your thoughts helps clear a restless mind. By expressing your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, you will feel lighter. Then you can tell yourself that everything is there and that you can read your notes the next day.
12) Drinking a good hot milk
Drinking a good warm milk with honey has a soothing and calming effect. Above, we mentioned that it is better not to drink or eat before bed, but there are always exceptions to the rule!
Milk is rich in amino acids and acts on serotonin and melatonin. It is therefore a natural product of choice. Maybe it reminds us of our early childhood, when we were drinking a bottle of warm milk into our mother’s arms and fell asleep immediately afterwards.
Moreover, if you are a little hungry before going to bed, hot milk will fill this hunger. It must be said that falling asleep while hungry can also prevent us from sleeping, since our stomach will make us uncomfortable.
Which one of these tips are you going to try?
I presented you 12 tips for better sleep. What works for some may not work for others. So pick the tip that appeals to you and try it out! In addition, we must consider that each day is different. They are not the same worries from one day to another that keep us awake. Other factors are also to be considered, such as the temperature, the season, your state of health, your tolerance to natural products, etc.
In conclusion, whether you’re having trouble falling asleep, getting quality sleep, or dealing with insomnia, try to stay calm and take action! Tossing and turning from side to side in bed or staring at the ceiling for hours won’t solve the problem. It only generates anger and helplessness. Get up and take one of these tricks to gently bring you back to sleep. Read a book, write, drink a cup of milk. It is worth the try.
I wish you nights of good, quality and restful sleep.
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May your life be filled with colors, music, peace and loving kindness.
Chantal Rioux 😊
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