I don’t know about you, but when my stress hits the fan, I have trouble sleeping through the night. I find myself lying in bed with my eyes open at 3:30 in the morning, thoughts racing through my head, unable to ease myself back to sleep, even though I’m exhausted. My energy dips, and so does my productivity. Not good. So, I had to learn how to get better sleep.
While I have a playbook of strategies that help me get back to sleep (listening to the Sleep With Me podcast, counting sheep, meditating, moving to the couch), I find the best way to handle insomnia and get better sleep is to prevent nighttime wakefulness in the first place.
What I’ve Tried to Get Better Sleep
Over the years, I’ve read a ton of articles about getting better sleep, and I’ve tried many, MANY techniques aimed at helping me sleep solidly through the night. If I had to design an ideal bedtime routine based on everything I’ve tried, I’d include the following:
- a hot bath
- herbal tea
- reading a book (a real book, not an e-reader)
- turning off all electronics two hours before bedtime
- lavender oil in my diffuser
- wearing socks
- a cool bedroom (17 degrees Celcius)
- my favourite Hanna Andersson pyjamas
- running a fan
- an eye mask
Since I honestly won’t make a two-hour bedtime routine part of my life on a regular basis, I want to share my most effective strategy so that you can use it to get a good night’s sleep tonight.
My Secret to Better Sleep
If you struggle with waking up in the middle of the night, or if you have trouble falling asleep in the first place, stress management can be key to getting better sleep and getting more energy.
I make a big to-do list.
Sounds easy, right? That’s because…it is.
Whether you journal in full sentences or jot down you to-do list as bullet points, getting all of your thoughts out on paper helps you ruminate less, gives you less to worry about in the wee hours, and ultimately means you’ll get a better night’s sleep. And better sleep means you’ll feel more energetic and happier.
When you first start bedtime journaling, you might feel like you’re writing forever. (If you want to set a timer for 15 minutes so that you can keep the journaling to a manageable length of time, you can do that) The more you do it, though, the less time you’ll find it takes to get everything out of your brain. As an added bonus, you might find that your days are smoother because you’ve already figured out what’s on your to-do list the night before.
I’m curious – do you have a hard time falling or staying asleep? What have you tried to get the rest you deserve? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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