Narrowing these tips to just three is a little bit hard, because I've tried so many hacks to get a better night's sleep; but apparently it's unhealthy to drink NyQuil like water on a nightly basis.
If you're like me at all, then as you've gotten older you've had a harder time falling asleep for unknown reasons - and barely anything seems to help you!
What used to be the best time ever for me, sleeping in until 12pm or 1pm when I went to bed at 10 as a teenager, has now turned into a time of anxiety for me! How did that happen?
I used to love the idea of night time when:
- I could sleep like a baby (probably as a baby)
- My mom could vacuum in my room and i would stay asleep, I would not budge
- I loved sleeping with the TV on because i didn't like it to be silent, that is creepy and weird
- I needed a night light because the dark is scary, ok?
- I would feel at ease in bed with no worries to the next morning
Now, i sometimes dread the idea of night time. I've been to the doctor for sleep anxiety, have taken a few sleeping pills, but I also love having a productive morning, and find that in order to do so I can't feel drugged up or physically and mentally cloudy as a result of a sleeping aid.
Now, I deal these sorts of issues:
- If i hear one sound from my neighbor, and i mean ONE SOUND i instantly am irritated. How does my neighbor have no idea I am trying to sleep? What the hell are they doing on the other side of that wall? Moving every piece of furniture they've ever touched?
- If i hear one peep from my boyfriend, I am awake. Is that a snore? Are you coughing? I cannot deal.
- The TV is a huge distraction, I hate listening to it while I sleep and i want utter and absolute silence except for maybe the fan because it's hot, so hot
- Light is not my friend any longer, I need darkness. I'm afraid of the dark still I will admit, but I can't sleep with a light blaring into my eyes
- The sound of cars, trucks, buses, and hop on and hop off buses are roaring by apartment on a daily and nightly basis.
- Oh, and the bar across the street that's open until 1:30 a.m. That doesn't help either
So clearly I'm a very positive person and have a great understanding of how sleeping can be beneficial to me. (joking).
However, I have learned that I am someone who needs a good, 8-hour long night of sleep. I physically and mentally cannot function otherwise.
So how do I deal, remain sane and still be positive at work?
Here are some tips I've learned that have really help me get a better night's sleep. Hopefully they'll work for you too!
I know this is a weird one. No one purposely chooses to wear ear plugs. They take up your entire ear, what if there is a fire, and so on. But I am telling you, it will change your life. (Until you wake up in the middle of the night and realize one is missing and freak the eff out because you NEED it. Sidebar, I keep a few spares on my nightstand so I can just grab and go).
But really, I live in an apartment in San Francisco. We also are across the street from a really popular bar (good and bad I must say). So when I am trying to go to sleep and bar patrons are screaming drunk outside, that affects my ability to have a good night's sleep. I pop in my ear plugs, and the only thing I hear is the sound of my calm breathing as I try to fall asleep.
This really helps me because I get anxious and nervous going to bed at night, and I used to stir every time i heard any sort of noise in our out of my apartment. I can still hear mind you, but now it is just much more quiet and I am left with only my thoughts to fall asleep to. Try it out!
Wear an Eye Mask to Bed
How Audrey Hepburn of me, right? But really, don't knock this one until you try it. I had a friend stay over one night on my sofa-bed in our living room and I came out with my eye mask on and she could. not. deal. I'll admit, it looks a little funny, no one will take you seriously. But you will be able to SLEEP and look beautiful in the morning, so who cares?!
I used to fall asleep with the TV on and a night light in my room (I was afraid of the dark, OK) and it would soothe me to sleep. However, because I would stir at every sound I also was opening my eyes a number of times (what was that sound, could it possibly be a spider in the room and so on) which really affected my ability to fall asleep. With an eye mask, your eyes are shut until you move the mask, so you have no choice but to keep your eyes shut and focus on falling asleep. I try not to go anywhere without this now, despite what my friends think of me:)
Keep Water on Your Nightstand
I wake up in the middle of the night every night no matter what to go to the bathroom, but still, I always wake up thirsty. I used to hoard water bottles in my room as a child because I'd bring one up before bed, drink a few sips, forget about it, and repeat that process the next night and the next night.
Now, however, considering how much I value a good night's sleep and keeping my eyes closed with my eye mask, having a drink right next to me is amazing. If i wake up and know my water is full, I don't have to fiddle as much with my eye mask, walk out of bed to the kitchen, turn on the light, fill my glass and walk back to bed. That really affects your ability to fall back to sleep (especially with the light from the fridge).
So ladies and gentlemen, try these out and let me know what you think!
Photos via Pinterest