8 Approaches for Better Sleep

1) Get Really Warm Before Sleeping

  • You can do this with a hot shower, a sauna, lots of blankets, sit by the heating vent or fireplace.
  • Then go directly to bed.
  • As your body temperature drops it will help you fall asleep.

    2) Invoke Positive Thoughts

    There are few things worse than trying to get a good night’s rest with a mind that won’t stop churning on the day’s stressful events. The following can help quiet your mind so you can wake up relieved.

    • Purposely invoke thoughts of gratitude, awe, appreciation, joy and love before going to sleep.
    • You can use the Practicing Positive Emotions technique and focus the questions on your day.
    • If you’ve had a rough day, you might also use the self-compassion process.
    • You can also use this relaxation audio

    4) Eliminate ElectroMagnetic Fields

    Some people are more sensitive to electro-magnetic fields than others. Discovering that electro-magnetic fields are an actual factor can be a revelation for those who are affected by them.

    • Put electronic devices like alarm clocks, cell phones, tablets, computers several feet away from you. You can measure the electronic fields from these devices with an EMF meter and some of them are quite large, and can also spike periodically. I found walking around the house with an EMF meter to be an educational experience.
    • Large electro-magnetic fields can also emanate from power outlets if they’re not wired correctly. 

    5) Watch Your Food & Drink Intake

    I used to eat a lot of popcorn before bed. I would go to sleep no problem but wake up in a couple of hours and wonder why. Those darn glucose levels.

    • You don’t want to be too hungry or too full when you go to sleep.
    • You also don’t want to be too thirsty or too hydrated (or you’ll have to get up and pee).
    • Eat dinner a few hours before going to sleep.
    • Look at the evening time after dinner as a fast until break-fast. This can help set your circadian rhythms, making it easier to sleep and get a good night’s rest.
    • Getting too many carbs before sleep can create a glycemic crash. In which case you might get to sleep but then wake in the middle of night.

    6) Exercise

    • The more active you are, the more your body will want to sleep at night.
    • Don’t believe the kind of fatigue that happens when you spend a long time sitting at work and then want to collapse on the couch at home. It’s better to make yourself move unless you’re actually sick. Movement helps process stress so you can sleep better when the time comes.
    • According to Johns Hopkins, “Moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate.”
    • According to the Cleveland Clinic exercising in the evening can be helpful because it warms up your body temperature, which then starts to cool down 30 to 90 minutes later. They recommend keeping exercise either light or moderate in the evening. Experiment to see what works for you.
    • If you exercise outdoors this will help reinforce your circadian rhythms; letting your body know a clear difference between night and day.

    7) Get during the day.

    • As stated in the previous paragraph, getting outdoors helps reinforce your circadian rhythms; letting your body know a clear difference between night and day.
    • Find excuses to get out, even if it’s raining or snowing. Be safe about it, of course.
    • Find time to look up at the sky. If you can read this I assume you know not to look directly at the sun.
    • Getting some daylight in the morning can be especially helpful for your circadian rhythms. Strong light cues for morning can help the body set the clock for night time as well.
    • If you can’t get outside, you could consider a full spectrum light for use during the day.

    8) Keep it dark before bedtime

    • Turn down the lights before bedtime to remind your body that it’s getting ready for bed.
    • Eliminate all those little lights from chargers, power bars, TVs, and so forth. You can put tape over them.
    • Block street lights coming in through blinds. Use blankets if needed. Tack them up on the wall.
    • If using your computer before bed, use Night Shift (Mac) or Night Light (PC) to reduce blue light. These features come with your operating system and do not need to be purchased.

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