How to Get More Sleep: Part 6 Bonus Tips
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In my opinion, if there is one thing that you can do to have better overall health it is to get better quality sleep. Today is How to Get More Sleep: Part 6 Bonus Tips. I will be wrapping up with a variety of additional tips.
How to Get More Sleep: Part 6 Bonus Tips
Get Some Sun
Research has proven that getting more sunlight throughout the day will help you sleep better at night. It has to do with your internal clock called “circadian timing system” which also schedules hormones to release in your body at certain times. The best time to get sunlight is in the early morning between 6-8:30 am. When you get early morning sun you are sending signals to your brain to wake up. It is suggested to get at least 30 minutes of direct sunlight each day even on a cloudy day. If you are stuck in an office all day without windows try to get up and walk outside at break time. I was actually working downstairs in my basement up until a few months ago. When I read about the importance of getting more regular sunlight and less artificial light I felt it best to be in the front room to work. I do feel that I have been getting more sleep since the move as well. There is more ideas and science behind the many benefits of sunlight vs the hazards of artificial lighting in the book Sleep Smarter if you want to check that out I have the link at the end of the blog.
Another interesting thing that was talked about in the book was that you can actually get Sunburn on your eyes and even from just from being out in the snow. You need to make sure that your sunglasses have proper UV protection, otherwise don’t wear them since they will be doing more harm than good to your eyes.
Relax & Massage
Obviously if you are under a lot of stress you will carry that into the bed with you. I know there are many times I have laid down and my mind would just not shut down. A couple ways you can help with that would be to meditate and/or get a massage. Both of these are very relaxing practices.
Meditation does not have to be sitting on the floor, legs crossed with candles lit and chanting. All it is is clearing your mind of thoughts by focusing on your breathing. Now I had a hard time doing this, my mind seems to think constantly so I have had to practice. I use an app on my phone called Calm. I just use the free version and choose a timed mediation and it plays ocean waves while I just sit there in silence concentrating on my breathing. What I do is I silently count 7 seconds to inhale, 7 seconds holding my breath, then 7 seconds exhale. I usually do this in the morning as part of my Miracle Morning Routine, but if I’m having a hard time relaxing in the evening from stress I do this shortly before going to bed as well.
I have never actually gotten a full massage, although I do have a certificate to get one that I won at a Relay for Life event last year. I’ve been saving it for a really good day. When I take my kids to the mall I usually sit and chill in the massage chairs which are great for about $5.00. I have been able to use a Hydromassage bed at the local YMCA for just $15.00 a month, but I no longer have an membership there so I haven’t been in quite a while. Of course you can ask someone your close to just massage your shoulders it helps.
Medicate or Supplement
I think we live in a world that over medicates everything. It seems like there is a pill to solve each problem individually, but that same pill can cause other problems. Just sit and watch a commercial on a drug and they will list 50 other things taking this pill may cause. So I feel if there is a way to solve a problem without medication I will always try that first.
I have never actually been prescribed any kind of sleeping pills, although my husband was on Ambien after coming home from the hospital. That stuff made him do some crazy things! We got rid of it. I had been told by my doctor that I could take Benadryl to help me fall asleep, but have later seen that long term use of Benadryl has been linked to Alzheimers so I no longer take that either. I had also tried the supplement Melatonin many years ago too, before finding out it wasn’t recommended either.
I have found two supplements that have helped me fall asleep, stay asleep, and I don’t feel any kind of grogginess the next day. These are all plant based, Non GMOs, Non Soy, Non Nuts, No MSG, No Gluten, and no artificial anything! These two products have changed my life. I used to sleep 4 hours, not really that since I woke up every couple hours. The first time I tried it I thought it was the placebo effect until I had a solid 6 hours of sleep without waking up for a week straight. Now these two things are everyday nutritional supplements for me.
Here is a super short video with some details on the product line I use.
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I think having a bedtime routine will be something that can go along with all of the tips I have been sharing to get better and more sleep. It is all about consistency. You know how easy it is once something is a habit to just keep doing. Brushing my teeth is a good example. I don’t even think about it when I head to bed next thing I know I’m brushing my teeth. Sometimes I stop and think whoa how did I get here. That is how you want sleep to be. Create a set of things you will do each and every night leading up to crawling into bed. Some ideas I’ve even covered in this series like having a snack 90 minutes before bed, turning off electronics that have the blue lights, and meditating.
Something I like to do as part of my before bed routine is to do a Brain Dump of everything that is on my mind. Usually it is a list of things I need to do tomorrow. So I spend 5-10 minutes just getting them all down on paper before I head to bed.
Do you have some tried and true tips that get you better sleep? Share them in the comments below.
Some of the ideas I have shared are from a book called Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. If you are interested in reading the book yourself just click on my Amazon affiliate link below.