7 Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep | Sleep Optimization

How to get the best nights sleep | Sleep optimization routine

How do I get a good night’s sleep?

To get a great night’s sleep I follow these easy seven steps.

  • Schedule 30 minutes-an hour of downtime
  • Turn off all screens an hour before I plan on going to sleep
  • Spray some lavender pillow spray
  • Turn down the thermostat
  • Cover all light sources
  • Turn on ocean sounds white noise
  • Practice breathing exercises
  • Drift off to dreamland

Confession, I haven’t always been a great sleeper. You know that sound of the fan whirling around and the tick-tick-tick of the chain tapping the base? I’ve spent countless hours lying awake listening to that. It became my own personal torture. Hours of tossing and turning {more like thrashing and crashing} just to wake up bleary-eyed and desperate for some shut-eye. That all changed this year. I implemented a seven-step nighttime routine that works so well…even on the night’s that I miss a couple of steps. Because we all deserve to wake well rested, I’m sharing my secrets with you. Commit to it for a week, and you’ll be hooked!

Shut off the screens!

The Sleep.org says the blue light emitted from our phone, laptop and television triggers our brain and stops our body from producing melatonin {your body’s Nyquil}. Without melatonin, you’re going to have a hard time convincing your mind it’s time to shut down.
I know this one is easier said and done. With my husband and I indifferent states 4 nights out of the work week, we used to text right up until we fell asleep. Now we do the old-fashioned thing and actually use the phone for calls .
Likewise, put a reminder on your phone for you to put it down and pick up a magazine or a book or maybe go take a hot shower…anything to keep you from staring at the blue light!

Be reasonable with your schedule

Listen, I am as just about the biggest fan of Below Deck and Top Chef that you will find. So it’s extraordinarily hard for me not to stay up and watch the new episodes that air at 10PM…but guess what! My alarm is going off at 5:30 like it or not, and six hours of sleep isn’t going to cut it.
Enter the miracle that is on-demand television. We can watch these shows whenever we want. Seriously, there’s no reason to stay up late. So now I catch up on my favorite shows while I’m folding laundry in the early evening…way before bedtime.

Right Temperature = calmer sleep

I don’t know if you know this, but your body temperature actually decreases to initiate sleep. By reducing the temps in your bedroom, you can help move this process along. In general, the suggested bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. Weird aside…I have a ton of really thick, really long hair. My head is always hot. I found a cool gel pillow helped so much in keeping my head from overheating and aided in a better night’s sleep.

Eliminate Light Pollution

While we are talking about environment…do, you have any idea how much light pollution could affect your sleep?? Scientists at the Laboratory of Human Chronobiology at Cornell University conducted a study where light was focused not on people’s eyes, but on the back of their knees….the result? The scientists were able to adjust the subjects’ body clocks by up to three hours. So if light can shift your body clock, think about all the little ways light seeps into your sleep environment…your phone, street lights, even a nightlight. You’ve probably heard of Arianna Huffington’s cell phone bed. I don’t know that you need something that fancy…I just started putting a book over the top of my phone, so any alerts or notifications don’t mess with my sleep. Living in the city, I also invested in some heavy curtains for my windows…the miniblinds just don’t do a good enough job blocking light.

The Scent of Sleep

Most of you probably got a diffuser this holiday season or last. Put it to good use with some lavender essential oils. Lavender is reported to lower your blood pressure, soothe your nerves and therefore move you to a relaxed state. Not a fan of the diffuser? I discovered this pillow spray on our trip to Costa Rica and loved it! Two spritzes on the pillow before bed does the trick.

Take a deep breath

Dr. Andrew Weil made headlines with this breathing exercise, and it’s been blogged about in countless blogs…most of which claim it can trigger sleep in under a minute. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  6. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Soothing sounds

I have become wholly reliant on the ocean or rain sounds from my Alexa. They play for the first hour as I’m falling asleep. The sound of the ocean waves great a slow rhythm that lulls me into sleep. There are a ton of science-backed studies that state classical music has the same effect, but the ocean sounds just work better for me.

So I can’t tell you any one of these steps is the magic bullet, but I can say to you after implementing this routine I am getting restful sleep and feel ready to wake up in the morning…often a few minutes before the alarm which is a straight-up miracle!

**If you purchase items mentioned in the post, we might get a little something. Thank you!**

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top