My guess is that you came to this post because you are having trouble getting good quality sleep and want to know how to sleep better. There are many factors that can get in the way of sleep such as temperature, noise, your own brain, time, etc. In this post, we’ll list a few different ways you can combat these factors.
I found it easy to get enough sleep and sleep well as a college student, but now that I have a regular adult job, sleeping hasn’t been as easy. When you’re busy, you don’t have time to nap everyday and you want to get the most out of every hour. If you’re like Evan and me, then when you have any down time, you’re probably thinking about productive things like how to do better at X or what you need to do tomorrow. That doesn’t really allow for restful sleep.
If you read any articles on how to sleep better, my guess is that they will all say you need to avoid screens right before bed. So, to save you time, I have omitted that from this post. I’m sure we all know not to be on our phones right before bed. However, I’m sure most of us still do. Even if you’re using electronics within the hour before you want to sleep, you can still make other changes to aid in sleep.
Schedule Time to Sleep
First off, some people need more or less sleep than others, but in general 7-9 hours is the typical range of sleep most people need. Evan and I find 8 is the best for us. If we get more or less than that, then we’re drowsy the next day. So, if you’re an adult, you probably know how many hours is ideal for you. If you’re an adolescent, then that may change and/or you’re still figuring it out.
Once you know how much sleep you need, you should make sure your schedule allows for that amount of sleep. If you are busy, then you may choose to get less sleep in order to get more done. However, that may lead to you being less efficient. If I’m awake more, but sleepy for half of it, I don’t get much accomplished.
Avoid Caffeine Right Before Bed
You probably already know this, but drinking caffeine before bed doesn’t help you sleep. That’s all I got. We all know the effects of caffeine, so I won’t bother going into a scientific description or anything.
Also, if you’re an adolescent, taking melatonin to sleep can mess up your sleep cycle. I don’t really find melatonin helpful, but if I realllyyy can’t sleep, sometimes I’ll take it in hopes it will at least help me fall asleep.
Utilize White Noise
We don’t sleep well unless we have a fan on. It blocks out most of the little noises and keeps us from waking up for everything. If you don’t have a fan, there are white noise apps that work too. We just have a basic stand fan from Walmart.
Keep Earplugs Nearby
There are some noises that aren’t drowned out by fans or white noise. It tends to get really windy here on some nights, so earplugs are necessary to sleep at all then. We keep most of our earplugs in a bathroom door, but we each keep a set in our nightstands so we don’t have to wake completely up to grab them.
Determine the Ideal Room Temperature
One of the biggest inhibitors to sleep for us is temperature. If it is too warm, we toss and turn. If it’s too cold, I try to get as close to Evan as possible, thus pushing him off the bed. When I had a fever during covid, we had to sleep separately because I tossed and turned so much. What works best for us is if we keep the room coldish and I have an electric blanket.
Train Your Mind
Ok, so at least for us and probably most of you, once you start relaxing, you start thinking. I usually stress out about work right before bed. If I’m not asleep, but staring into space, Evan is like “are you thinking about work?” The answer is usually yes. Evan thinks about trading before bed. In order to not stress out or think too much, you have to train your mind. One way to do this is mediation. I’m really bad at meditating, so I usually start thinking about my breath and then fall asleep instead of just emptying my mind or doing whatever the guided meditation says. If you actually meditate, then that can help keep you from thinking about everything going on in the world. If you tend to fall asleep when you try to meditate, then that also helps in this situation. Here’s a link to our post on health apps which includes a meditation app I’ve used.
Another thing I do when I get stressed out is to switch thoughts from my job to Evan or something else that isn’t stressful.
You sleep better if you’re physically fatigued. We don’t sleep as well if we skip the gym. If you have a sedentary job, going to the gym or getting in a home workout will help you fall asleep. Plus exercise is good for you.
Sleeping well is one of the most important things for your health and your ability to lead your busy life. Hope some of these things that have helped us can aid you in your quest to finding out how to sleep better.