How To Sleep Better - Sleeping Tips

Resolutions post was all about focusing and achieving resolutions. However good our intentions can be and however single mindedness we can get to our day to achieve them, some basic things can offset it all. When we feel sleepy or tired or struggle with a migraine, it's difficult to focus on our work. Without getting these right, your daily routine is bound to collapse and before you know, your goals for the year just become bucket list items.

In this post, we will address "sleep". 

Sleep Time
Sleep Time


We all know the effects of sleep deprivation on our body. We have been there - headaches, low energy, restlessness and low key anger. Besides the obvious zombie effects, we fail to notice the long term effects of it - poor metabolism leading to weight gain, poor memory, poor concentration, increased risk of diabetes, heart problems and many other health problems.

We often hit the snooze on early morning alarm to catch up more sleep, but we fail to give enough sleep to our body anyway by sleeping in late - one more meme, one more YouTube video and before you know, it's 3 AM.

Sometimes, we really want to sleep, but fail so miserably that we give up after few days. Here are few ways to get that quality sleep:

  • Hot shower before going to bed. Relaxes muscles.
  • Chamomile tea(decaffeinated) is known for inducing sleep.

  • Make bed an exclusive spot for sleeping.
  • Keep your phone away at least an hour before bedtime. I have set my screen downtime from an hour before bed - only calls/messages can be accessed during this time and I don't get any other notifications.
Phone downtime

Apps in Downtime
Apps in Downtime

  • Reading a book(fiction) is a easy way to fall asleep. The best thing I bought is probably Kindle. Kindle has this e-ink display that's easy on your eyes. Now it has become a routine to fall asleep reading a book on Kindle instead of browsing on mobile.

  • Make sure the room is dark - cover windows with thick blinds. Or use a sleeping mask.
  • Tire yourself - exercise/walk/dance or any physical activity. I love walking in the evenings as I am already too tired to focus on work and walking gives a perfect opportunity to exhaust myself even more and to catch up with my husband about our day.
  • Set aside your worries - write them down with action items for the next day. Don't lose sleep worrying over them.
  • Your body has a natural clock that follows a 24 hour cycle. It is known as circadian rhythm and light impacts it greatly.  That is why any artificial light has the effect of keeping us awake. Know your circadian rhythm - are you a morning person or a night owl? Before you declare yourself as one, experiment and see if it can be adjusted to suit your goals.
  • A 20 min nap when you are absolutely restless.
  • Wind off at the end of the day. There are many apps that track your sleep time and play soothing sounds to let you fall asleep. I have "RelaxMelodies" app on my phone and this is one app I have excluded from Downtime. I haven't experimented much with it, but I just set the soothing music as background score while I read.
Sleep apps
Sleep apps

  • Eat before 2 hours or more - not too much and not too less that you will wake up out of hunger.
  • You know that time when you feel very sleepy before 3 hours of your bedtime? Fight it. Brushing your teeth is an easy way to get rid of drowsiness.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule and cycle - even on weekends.
  • REM cycles are part of our sleep cycle which are known to occur in 90 minute slots. When you wake up groggy even after sleeping for a good amount of hours, chances are that you have woken up in the middle of your REM cycle. This is why it is suggested to wake up naturally instead of waking up to an alarm. But before we can make the habit of waking up at our desired time naturally, we can try to sleep by calculating backwards in 90 minute slots from the wake up time. For example, if you want to wake up at 5 AM, then going backwards from 5 AM in 90 minute slots will give us 9.30 as an optimal time to fall asleep. Keeping some buffer time of 30 minutes to actually fall asleep after going to bed will give us our time to go to bed - 9 PM.
  • There are alarms that come with gradually increasing light to wake you up gently and almost naturally.
  • Disable snooze, don't oversleep. You are just training your brain that you can get some sweet sleep by hitting the snooze.
  • Good mattress and comfortable pillows are the key for good sleep.
  • Get your room to optimal temperature. Experiment with it.
  • No TV/laptop before an hour of going to bed.
  • Dim lights in your room when bed time is close.
  • Pee before you go to bed.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake as day progresses. I take my last diluted coffee at work at 3.30 PM.
  • Avoid loud music before bed time. Instead tune to melodies or your own sleepy playlist.
  • 6 hrs? 8 hrs? What's the ideal amount of sleep time? It depends on your body. Experiment and find your ideal sleep time. Look for any lack of sleep symptoms through out the day.


Related Posts:

 I Slept For 4 Hours Per Day For A Month - My Polyphasic Sleep Journey 


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