Thursday, August 27, 2015

7 Tips to sleep better at night

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Last Monday night, I had the absolute WORST night of sleep I've ever had - seriously. I went to sleep around 1:30 AM and woke up at 2:15 for some reason and could not fall back to sleep! I ended up being wide awake until about 5:15 when I saw the sun coming up and light breaking through my blinds and literally forced myself to keep my eyes closed until I dozed off (thankfully I did). Although, this wasn't before I watched two episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, three episodes of George Lopez and listened to an intense thunderstorm - I had a more productive night than I do most days! (kidding... not really)


I usually do wake up one or two times throughout the night, but this night in particular was so different since I didn't just dose right back off to sleep and I have no clue as to why this happened! In the summertime especially, I definitely don't have the best (more like a horrible) sleeping pattern which I'm sure had something to do with it, but I also know that messing with your sleep schedule too much is extremely bad for you and your health. Ever since this happened last week, I've been both researching and trying new things to help me sleep better and also to prevent having a sleepless night like that again! I felt absolutely horrible the next day and it was a different feeling than pulling an all-nighter (which I don't do often) because I wasn't expecting to and had already been SO overtired.

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Some things I've been trying have been useless, while others have really helped me and are absolutely worth the try if you've had or are having the same problem lately.

Tips to help fall asleep and help maintain a sleep pattern:

Use a FitBit: I use my Fitbit Flex to track my sleep every night! You'd be really surprised how many times you subconsciously wake up without even knowing - it's sort of scary! Once you begin tracking your sleep for the first few nights, you can then create sleep goals for yourself via the Fitbit app that help you even out your sleep pattern. I love my Fitbit most especially for tracking my sleep! It's been really helpful and while I used the sleep pattern feature a few times when I first got my FitBit, I never stuck with it or really paid attention to it. After realizing how much it works, it's on my wrist every night now!

Supportive pillow(s): when I sleep, I have as many pillows on my bed as possible with me. I love having tons of pillows and wrapping myself up in a blanket (no matter how warm it is - anyone else?) but I have noticed I wake up often in the morning with back and neck pain way too often. I also suffer from frequent headaches, so I bought a Chillow after seeing endless commercials promoting it on TV and also some new pillows at Sleepy's this week to try! The Chillow is supposed to help with migraines and for releasing body heat - which is exactly what I needed because no matter how cool my bedroom is, I wake up in a sweat. I did notice how unsupported my pillows left me too, so buying new ones was much needed (I found out you're supposed to change pillows frequently, which I never knew) and it actually seems to be helping. I love the Chillow (best "As seen on TV" product ever!) and I've been having less neck pain with more supportive pillows. While I can't tell if it's really helping the migraine situation yet, I'll take what it does help any day! You can sleep with it right on your pillow or place it inside your pillow case - which is much nicer - and you really don't feel it, even better!

Have a bedtime routine: no matter how tired I am and just want to jump into bed at night, I always do my nightly routine! I wash my face, exfoliate and moisturize and brush/floss my teeth right before getting into bed. Doing this definitely helps relax me before bed and helps me "detox" from my day! I also will sometimes take a quick shower if it isn't too late (and if I'm not too lazy lol!) which makes me feel ten times better when jumping into bed.

Relaxation techniques: this is something I found when researching the first few days after my sleepless Monday night. Doing muscle relaxation exercises are techniques that most websites and forums recommend. Whenever I feel sleepless, I do a couple of them and they're extremely helpful and relaxing! I love feeling relaxed especially when I'm restless with endless thoughts on my mind! Winding down from a day is super important in being able to have a good, well rested sleep.
Buy a sound soother: I haven't used one of these in a very long time, but when I did, it definitely helped! In fact, I totally forgot about these gems until I read about them online. The best part is, nowadays you don't need one of those big machines that plug in and take up space; you can simply download an app for soothing sounds to play directly from your phone/tablet and voila! You have a wireless, inexpensive, 21st century sound soother ; ) I think this is something I need to try because lets be honest, Big Brother After Dark does NOT put me to sleep! Although if I'm being REALLY honest, I'm going to Watch BBAD regardless!

Stay out of the kitchen: this is something I'm super guilty of - especially on summer nights that I'm up late watching Big Brother After Dark and writing blog posts! ; ) My sleepless Monday night was one that I was searching for food at 11:30 PM, which I'm sure didn't help the situation! I ended up making an avocado wrap and figured that I was going to regret it at that hour. However I do usually try to not eat anything after 9 PM or two hours (which ever comes first) before going to bed, but I'm realizing this is a super important tip to remember and follow. Other than tea and water, most people and doctors alike would suggest not eating late hours of the night both for your metabolism, sleep and sanity the next day!

Breathing exercises: I never thought that something as simple as a specific breathing pattern could help you relax, wind down and even make you fall asleep. When I did my research, many articles offered deep breathing exercises and one that I found most helpful is breathing in for 5 seconds, holding it for 4, and slowly breathing out for 5 seconds. It might sound silly, but don't knock it until you try it! Deep breathing techniques are meant to relax you and boy does it ever! I promise you won't look silly - try it! A few nights ago, I had that sleepless feeling again and I was NOT about to have an Everybody Loves Raymond repeat night, so I tried this breathing technique and before I knew it I was falling asleep.


Ever since I started doing some of these things at night, I've noticed that it's been easier (for the most part) to fall asleep at night and that I feel more rested in the mornings! I also started taking a multi vitamin supplement daily which seems to be helping a lot too. I don't seem to get that tired feeling around 3 PM every day which is relieving because by 3 PM, I usually am still trying to get things done! Getting good nights of sleep is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle so I'm really glad that these tips have been helping me - and I hope they'll help you too!!

Do you have anything that helps you to fall asleep on restless nights?

XOXO

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60 comments :

  1. Great tips! Some in here I have not tried before! I can usually sleep pretty well since I am super busy all the time and walk everyday! However they do change my schedule at work and sometimes when I get back late at night I am up and looking for food! I think unwinding and relaxing will probably help...I am going to try the breathing exercises! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Amanda!! I usually sleep pretty well also it's only been lately that I've been having some off nights! Definitely try the breathing exercises they help me SO much!! : ) xoxo

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  2. Great tips! I'll have to try some. I'm a horrible sleeper :(. I have crappy pillows right now that I need to get rid of and just haven't. I also have a pup that HAS to get out at least once a night (it's like having a baby again!). I also have heard that eating so close to bed doesn't allow your body to digest before sleep, so it ends up digesting all night and prevents your body from resting. So I try not to eat late too. Thanks for the post!

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    1. The pillows have helped so much! I hope these help you!!

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  3. I've been interested in the Chillow, so thanks for writing about it! I'm definitely going to look into it!

    xo, Chelsie @ Life with Rosie

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  4. I am a terrible sleeper! I used to sleep like a rock but when I had my babes that went out the window. I am now the queen of sleepless nights. I shall try some of these things!
    Amanda @ fromJtoZ

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    1. Definitely try them, I'd love to hear if they help you!! : ) xoxo

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  5. Great post! Maybe now I can sleep better after reading this! :)
    http://arcwrites.blogspot.com/

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  6. I've been using the Sleep Cycle App and I feel like regardless of how well I've slept, the alarm makes it so I'm not startled awake and I feel rested even if I had only a few hours of sleep.

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    1. I've never heard of that app, I'll have to try it!! That sounds wonderful because my iPhone alarm is terribly loud!!!

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  7. I am totally guilty of snacking way too much before bed, and I know it totallythrows me off!

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    1. It's so hard not to but it really does make a difference!!

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  8. I am going to research the Chillow for sure...I wake up with neck and back pain and I've been chalking it off to old age ;)

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    1. The chillow has been a lifesaver for sure!! : ) I hope it helps!

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  9. Great tips!! I suffer from migraines and will have to look into getting a chillow I didn't know they helped! Have you tried buying a diffuser and diffusing lavender oil? That helps me a lot! Also putting the lavender oil on the bottoms of your feet and putting socks on. You'll sleep like a baby!

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    1. I have never tried that!! I do have lavender essential oil though - I'm SO trying that tonight!!! Thank you so much!

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  10. Awesome tips. I have a new pillow that has been working wonders for me. I've also considered a sound soother but I'm afraid it will just keep me up.

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    1. That's how I felt about the sound soother but I always fall asleep to a TV anyway so I figured it was worth a shot!

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  11. I think my narcolepsy (likely just chronic sleep deprivation) makes it really difficult for me to stay awake past the second my head hits the pillow, but these are awesome tips that I like passing along to my [preceptor's] patients! :D

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    1. Thank you so much! They definitely have been helping me quite a bit! : )

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  12. I love wrapping up myself in a blanket too)) I would also add - limiting computer time before bed. Because when you spend too much time with your PC right before bedtime, it's hard to relax right away.

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    1. That's so true! Such a good one. I'm so guilty of that, especially my phone! It's so bad but I have found that playing a game on my phone sometimes makes me sleepy - who knew haha!

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  13. I have struggled with sleep for years. These are great tips, I had no idea the Fitbit captured your sleep patterns. Thanks!

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    1. I hope they help you! The FitBit is awesome I love seeing how well I actually slept!

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  14. Thanks for the tips! I never heard of FitBit before, very interesting.

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    1. It's a must try for sure! I got mine about a year ago and I've been loving it a lot!

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  15. Great post !

    http://www.fruityandpassion.com/2015/08/the-long-floral-dress-with-mango.html#more

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  16. I have sleeping issues but I started to use the Calming Essential Oil and its been doing wonders.

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    1. I've heard awesome things about that oil, I'll have to try it!! : )

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  17. I'm such a terrible sleeper! I have to have a sound machine and it always takes me forever to fall asleep. I used to take ambien but it made me have crazy dreams lol

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  18. These are great tips! Sometimes, I'm so tired I skip my usually routine, but I feel so much better in the morning when I stick to it :-)

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    1. It's hard not to skip it sometimes when you just want to get in bed! It definitely helps : )

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  19. Since I'm a mom of five children I don't sleep well. They're great tips, I must try them. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you!! I hope you find at least some of them to help!

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  20. great tips you have here... thanks for sharing

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  21. These are some great tips, and since I do have some trouble sleeping, I will try them. Thanks.

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