Better Sleep General Ideas

January 31, 2013

Caravan Sonnet Blog
As I mentioned in my post last Thursday , I wanted to share some tips and thoughts on getting better sleep that I have learned and am still learning that may help you or someone you know. Last week I gave some thoughts about mattress ideas and today I just wanted to suggest some general sleep ideas that may be helpful in the journey with chronic illness and pain. Here are 16 general tips (in no particular order) that I personally do or have heard some other people do! 

1. Dark Cave
For me light can be a distraction so I need to have a room that is dark with no lights when I am trying to sleep. Unfortunately our neighbors love to leave on their BIG spotlights that illuminate our yard. *smiles* For this reason I have several HEAVY {lined} curtains that I have over the shades in the windows in my room. 

2. Eye Covers
I love me some eye covers! I tried several before I found one that I love. I did try some expensive ones before I found my favorite HERE. *happy smiles* If you don't have one I would definitely recommend trying one and this is also wonderful to use for traveling too!

3. Soft Sheets
I know I talked about Mattress ideas last week but I have found using soft sheets and blankets that are good are also very important. After months and months of reading the pros and cons of different sheets I chose to purchase organic sheets and love them! (You can find them HERE) These also will fit a deep mattress if you have one too!

4. Disconnect
I choose to turn off all media (Internet, TV, phone, etc.) at least an hour before I head to bed and I leave it outside of my bedroom. There are the occasions where a situation arises that this does not work out but for me that time before bed is a chance to "disconnect" from the rest of the world and really "reconnect" with my precious Lord. I enjoy journaling, reading and praying at night. This time before bed is a truly precious time of slowing down and reflecting on the day. 

5. Keep Necessities Close By for Easy Reach
I keep several "necessities" on my nightstand beside my bed. These necessities include a bottle of water, different medications that I might need, tissues, a good book or magazine and a flashlight. If I can't fall asleep right away or I need something I don't want to get out of bed to go get it. This allows my body to stay truly at rest. 

I LOVE my heating pad so so much. It is healthy, helps to not only relax, but also heal and is amazing. (You can find it HERE)I keep stored in the nightstand next to me. On the nights where my muscles are really tight I just have to lean over, grab the heating pad and it is right there. I have found that heat is a true relaxer and a wonderful night time gift to your body for health reasons. The heating pad is expensive but even using it every single day for years it lasted approximately 4 years and I would never use another one after it. You can purchase different sizes too - even a full size mat one that you can lay on! Again, you can find it HERE!

7. Bath
It is with rare exception that I am not taking a detox bath twice a day but I always take a detox bath about two hours before I go to bed for about 20-30 minutes. Not only is this a great detoxifier but it is also wonderfully relaxing. You can find a variety of different bath salts or soap to help with a variety of different needs. SO relaxing! (Interested in reading more about detox baths? Check out this post HERE!)

8. Pillows
Pillows for me are a true key to good sleep which probably explains why I literally have 7 on my bed. My best advice is to hunt and search for pillows that are good for you and that invest in them. Definitely worth it! 

9. Pajamas
Every Christmas my sis and I give matching PJ's and that has installed in me a love of comfy pajamas. Comfy clothes are a great source of relaxation.

10. Fans/White Noise
One of the best decisions I made in college was to sleep with fans! To this day I now have a very difficult time sleeping if I do not have the "white noise" from a fan in the room. [hahaha- my former students can attest that I brought these fans on overnight field trips and senior trips! *smiles*]It is hard to find ones that have a good sound but I highly urge you to invest the time to find a good quality fan! {Some people use other types of white noise that I hear works well too! I urge you to find something that is a consistent noise so it can help you sleep better!}

11. Sleeping Aides
I know that some people are under the care of a physician for sleep medications but for me this was not something that I chose to do. I believe in meds, but have found that natural and herbal alternatives work very well for me. I spoke at great length with my doctors and have come up with a couple of herbal remedies that help me sleep great. If you struggle with insomnia I would encourage you to talk with your physician! 

12. Temperature
Room temperatures can truly alter a good night sleep! Find what works best for you! 

13. Set the Mood
In the early evening I go into my bedroom and turn on just a small lamp by my bed. When I am ready to go to bed I enter a room that is already set apart and different then the bright lights of where I was. Yes, it does sound silly but everyone who has tried it loves it. *smiles* 

14. Candles
Similar to #13 I have heard that some people light candles in the early evening in their bedroom. This sounds wonderful and I have to try it! 

15. Say Goodbye to Work at the Bedroom Door
I admit that I struggled with this one while I was teaching. I would often bring "just one more essay" into my room to finish before I fell asleep. I still sometimes have cheated and brought my graduate work in. When I finally stopped doing this (as in about a month ago *smiles*) and made my room truly a sanctuary I started off my sleep time more relaxed and saw my bedroom as a place for peace.

16. Avoid
Ok, this one might sound silly but I was guilty of it for the longest time (hello snack machine during late night college days!), but don't eat or drink right before you go to bed. For me I have learned that I sleep better when I put a couple of hours in between eating and sleeping. 

These steps have truly given me the opportunity to rest and sleep better in my health journey. I would love to know- what kind of things do you do to rest better? What types of adjustments have you made to sleep better? 

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