I’ve gone through phases with my sleep.
For a while, I would fall asleep the second my head hit the pillow. Lights out. Slept all night long.
But then I would go through phases where I would lie awake for hours.
More recently, I’ll fall asleep right away. But before I get into that deep sleep, I wake up.
And then I’m awake for hours.
If you’re struggling with sleep, take a look at your nighttime routine. Little changes could help you fall asleep (and stay asleep) better.
Importance of Sleep
The obvious side effect of too little sleep is dragging all day long. And when you have little people to manage and a job to do and all the other demands you have, being sleep sucks.
But missing out on sleep goes way deeper than just feeling tired.
Not getting enough sleep can cause lots of problems including:
- Decreased learning and problem-solving
- Difficulty making decisions
- Lack of emotional and behavioral control
- Difficulty dealing with change
- Increased risk of health problems
- Increased hunger, which could cause you to overeat
- Slower reaction time
So it’s not just about feeling groggy. Lack of sleep can affect you mentally, emotionally and physically.
Ways to Create a Peaceful Sleeping Situation
So you know you need sleep. But how do you get it? What do you do when you constantly toss and turn?
Here are some ideas to try that could help you sleep better.
1. Create a routine
Remember when your little one needed a routine at bedtime?
You can benefit just as much from getting into a routine and sticking with it. Your body and mind get used to those steps each night. It’s like a subconscious reminder that it’s time for bed.
What you do during your routine is up to you. Just make sure it’s relaxing and helps you ease into sleep.
2. Diffuse Essential OIls
When I first started using essential oils, I didn’t use them to the fullest. Sure, I used a few for certain reasons. I maybe diffused occasionally. But I didn’t realize just how effective they were for things like sleep.
Once I started diffusing at night, I noticed a huge difference in my sleep.
Certain essential oils can help create a calming, soothing effect. They can help set the mood for restful sleep.
I like to start my diffuser about 30 minutes before I go to bed. That way the essential oils can fill the room by the time you’re ready to sleep.
Here are some of my favorite nighttime oils:
Lavender oil is one of the best starter oils. It’s great for skin, especially after a day in the sun or if you have any type of irritation.
It’s also really good for calming you, which is why it’s one of my favorite bedtime oils.
I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of lavender at first. I thought I would love the floral oils, but most of them require some time to grow on me. Lavender was one of them.
But once I started using it, lavender grew on me. Now I use it every night. Not just in my diffuser, but also on my skin. If I’m really having trouble sleeping, I put a few drops on my wrists or hands and breathe in deeply.
Cedarwood is another oil that’s relaxing, calming and comforting.
And it’s also another oil that I didn’t love at first. I resisted adding it to my nighttime diffuser blend for a long time.
Finally, I tried just a few drops with mostly lavender. I liked the added calming effect, so I kept using it.
Peace and Calming
An essential oil blend from Young Living that works well at night is Peace and Calming. It’s a mix of tangerine, orange, ylang ylang, patchouli and blue tansy. It helps create a comforting, peaceful environment that’s perfect for the bedtime.
This is another Young Living blend where the name says it all. It can help with relaxation and calming. It includes lime, cedarwood, vanilla, copaiba and lavender.
3. Deal with your stresses
I have the hardest time sleeping when I’m going through stressful times.
And really don’t we always have some kind of stress going on? If I don’t have an actual pressing stressful situation, I’m super skilled at creating something to worry about. Anyone else?
I’ve spent many nights lying awake thinking about the problems I’m facing. Guess how many times that solved the problem? Exactly 0. But did that stop me from doing again? Nope!
I’ve been working on dealing with my stress in healthier ways before I go to bed. My best strategy? Give it to God and go to bed.
Praying usually helps me feel a lot better, especially if something’s really bothering me.
But if praying isn’t your thing, you can try other options.
Here are some other ideas:
- Writing down everything that’s stressing you to get it out of your head
- Talking with a friend or your partner
- Do yoga
- Take a warm bath
- Think of a few things you can do to actively help deal with the stressor in the morning
- Remind yourself that this situation won’t last forever
4. Prepare for the morning
Part of feeling ready for bed an actually relate to the next morning. If I’ve got a lot going on the next day, I feel stressed at night. One way I deal with that is getting as much done for the next morning as possible.
Not only does it take some of the stress out and help me sleep better, but it also helps set me up for a good next day.
5. Control the environment
You have to be comfortable to sleep well. Your bedroom’s temperature and light can have a big impact on whether or not you can fall asleep and stay asleep.
People tend to sleep better in cooler temperatures. Experiment with different thermostat settings to decide on an ideal temperature for you.
Most people sleep best in a dark room. Look for little sources of light that you might not notice. My diffuser has a built-in light that bugs me, so I turn it off at night.
Does the streetlight shine into your bedroom? Try different window coverings or blackout curtains to darken the room. They also help if you go to bed before it’s totally dark or if you want to sleep after sunrise.
Electronics often have little lights on them. Your TV, alarm clock, phone charger and other devices might be guilty of adding light to the room.
If you can’t shut off the lights, see if you can reposition them, remove them from the bedroom, or somehow cover the lights at night.
Sound is another big factor.
I have to sleep with the fan running year-round. There’s something about the roar of the fan that helps me sleep. If it’s not on, it’s way too quiet in my bedroom.
Test out different environmental adjustments to find what you like.
6. Dress comfortably
Another big thing for me is what I’m wearing. I like cozy warm sweatpants during the day, but I can’t stand wearing them to bed.
I’m a shorts and tank top girl when it comes to sleep. I can’t stand loose tops because they get all bunched up and feel uncomfortable.
I’m sure other people prefer warm, cozy clothes or a big baggy T-shirt for bedtime. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, consider changing up your bedtime ensemble.
Sleep is so very important. It sets you up for a good morning and gives you the energy you need. What are your favorite sleep strategies?