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Sleep is important; very important. We try to find out how to sleep better because most of us don’t sleep well at all. As solo moms, we often are on the short end of the stick when it comes to sleep. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to take care of work, kids, home AND get a good night’s sleep. So here are a few ways that might surprise you to make sure that you get great shut eye.
ALLERGY-PROOF YOUR ROOM
Wash your sheets weekly to get rid of allergens, like dust mites and pollen. Also, get rid of allergens by showering before bed and opt for wood floors over carpet. If you do have carpets, vacuum frequently. Allergens in your bedroom can trigger all sorts of reactions that interfere with your sleep quantity and quality.
Another benefit of showering at night is that is helps to relax you and get you ready for bed. Showering 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours before you plan to hit the hay can help your body settle into it’s natural circadian rhythm, which means you drift off sooner rather than later. And you tend to stay asleep longer without waking up during the night.
Tip: try to stick with cotton and natural fibers for your sheets, bedding and night clothes. As a natural fabric, cotton helps your body to “breathe” better during the night, and keeps you from getting overheated to the point where you are toss and turning.
MAKE YOUR BED
How can making your bed help you sleep better? It may sound strange, but research shows that people who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to sleep well. Maybe it’s the psychological benefits of having a tidy room, but it does tend to encourage good sleep habits. Here’s the article in Psychology Today, if you don’t believe me: Make Your Bed for Better Sleep
Along the same lines, clean up your clutter. Get all the empty water glasses, books, and random items off your nightstand. Even if you don’t consciously feel bothered by the clutter, the mess is keeping you awake – practically shouting at your brain “Look here! Read me! Notice me!”
CHANGE YOUR LIGHTING
Your body works on a cycle, known as your natural circadian rhythm. It helps your body know when it’s day vs. night, and when to wake up and sleep. There are actually lightbulbs that can help tap in to that rhythm! Check out GE’s C-Life and C-Sleep combo. These are a set of day and night bulbs that turn warm and soft at night, vibrant and bright in the morning. They can help getting to sleep (and getting up in the morning) feel a little more natural.
Block out excess light by hanging blackout blinds or curtains. Keep your room as dark as possible. Your body takes it’s cues from the type and amount of light that is present, so the darker it is in your room the easier it will be for your body to recognize it’s night, and time to sleep.
Also, stow your electronics at night. The light from the screens can affect your circadian rhythms, making your body think that glow is the morning sun and it’s time to wake up. Try to recharge electronics outside the bedroom, like the kitchen, and put away all electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Your body will wind down faster and your sleep will be more restful.
STRETCH YOUR WAY TO BED
Yoga may be a good way to wind down and improve your sleep at night. Focusing on your body and slowing down it’s movements, and slowing down your breathing, helps relax your mind and relieve tension. Anything that makes you more mindful of your body will draw your mind away from thoughts that keep you awake, and lessens tension. Try the Yoga For Sleep app (free) for ideas of poses to sleep better.
Deep breathing can help relax you, too. Try this – inhale through your nose for 5 counts, hold that breath for 5 counts, exhale through your nose for 5 counts, then hold again for 5 counts. Repeat 4 times. Or try this – take a long, slow inhale through your nose and as you do, imagine breathing in the emotion you want to feel (joy, love, peace, etc.) Exhale any negativity through your mouth.
It seems we all are in search of ways to sleep better. In our society of stress and constant motion, finding ways to relax and get that elusive “good night’s sleep” become even more important.
What are your tips to sleep better?
Share them in the comments below, or if you’ve written a post about how to sleep better, include the link. Thanks!