How to get better sleep

Struggling to fall asleep, waking up in the middle of the night or it is hard to wake up? Or maybe all three? Look no further, below is list of ideas to get you to sleep better and wake up rested!

If you have trouble falling asleep, try:

  • Taking a hot bath or shower before going to bed
  • Reading a book. Reading also reduces stress!
  • Writing down all your thoughts, concerns, to-do lists and ideas on paper . I keep a notebook and a pen on my nightstand
  • Keep your feet warm- socks would do
  • Weight blanket
  • Keep windows open few hours before going to bed to let fresh air in. You will have a problem falling asleep if it is too warm
  • Natural health product – magnesium, GABA and melatonin (all in one, pills) or of one of those in a pill form. It shuts me down in twenty minutes
  • Essential oils, creams, everything with lavender or the scents that have a calming effect on you (sometimes your favourite perfume works. You can also place a candle on your bed stand and smell it before going to sleep).
  • Meditation or a calming activity like face massage
  • Wearing a sleeping mask. I tried about 5 until i found the one that is tight and soft enough for me
  • Investing into better mattress, better sheets and hotel quality pillow
  • Investing in comfortable sleeping clothes

If you are waking up in the middle of the night, try:

  • Making sure that anything that produces light (clock, computer, charging devices, etc.) are off. You will sleep better if the darkness is complete
  • Avoid having sleeping tea or water before going to bed. You know why:)
  • But keep a bottle of water next to your bed instead in case you get dehydrated at night (and to limit the amount of steps to the kitchen as by the time you will get back to bed you may be almost awake)
  • Avoid thinking about all the wrong that happened in your life as means of falling asleep. Things like counting your debts, remembering what you said 10 years ago and how someone may still hate you for this, or thinking about what needs to be done at work will not only delay you falling asleep by making your brain do analytical work, they may also result in nightmares. Instead, pick your favourite memory and try recalling as many things as you can. For example, I liked going to Versailles so I start remembering how the day began, how long it took to get there by train, how did the village on the way to palace looked like, what was the first thing inside the palace that I really liked…this keeps my brain focused on this rather than imagining my grocery list or strategizing about work problems. I must also note that any idea or concern always feels more negative at night then in the morning. Let it go for a good night sleep!

Finally, to wake up energized, try

  • Investing into a clock that wakes you up with a light (e.g., Philips makes clocks that imitate the sunlight, starting with a dim light 20 minutes before you need to wake up and gradually increasing brightness)
  • Count until 5 and get up! Do not look at your phone or change the alarm clock
  • Pick the melody you like to wake up to. You can find your favourite song or a music from the movie you like and use it. This will improve your mood before you are fully awake
  • Plan your breakfast the night before – it is always easier for me to get up if I am looking forward to something yummy
  • Place your robe and slippers close to your bed. It may not make a difference if you live in a warm climate, but trust me, there is nothing worse than waking up when it is cold and dark and leaving the warm bed. Especially to commute to work!
  • If you are a coffee drinker, having devices and quality coffee will make a difference. I like coffee because it wakes me up (but I also love tea), and I have 3 different means of making coffee: french press, Nespresso machine for espressos, and cesve for weekends. For french press we get dark roast beans and grind them ourselves every day to ensure the coffee is fresh. I also have a steamer for milk that can make any kind of foam, and syrups on the side.
  • Develop a morning ritual that gives you energy. It can take under 10 minutes but it will make your day better. It can be a face massage, drawing or writing morning thoughts or ideas, listening to your favourite songs, making a fresh juice, meditating or cuddling with your pets. Whatever it is, adding things that make you happy will make it easier for you to wake up and get up from the bed
  • Have a breakfast!
  • Ice roller. If everything else fails, massaging your face with what feels like ice will definitely wake you up!

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