Stumbling bleary-eyed to kitchen, I boot up the Keurig and gripe that it takes too long to make a single cup of coffee. It’s only seconds, so I realize I’m just tiredly impatient and the fault doesn’t likely lie with the innocent and loyal coffee maker. I know that I really need some better sleep.
I slog down my warm brew, or (more often) put it down and forget where I put it. Later, I’m struggling to focus on writing my latest blog post. I start on a topic. Get distracted by Facebook (or Twitter, or Pinterest, or Instagram, or… or… or…). Then, return to my writing, forget where I was and start a new topic – my original brilliant idea long forgotten like the dust bunnies under my bed. My ability to focus lies somewhere between an overly caffeinated squirrel and potted plant.
Sound familiar? Or is it just me? It’s probably just me, right? I know that it’s probably a lack of rest. Sleep… elusive sleep. I plan to implement the following steps to see if more shuteye is causing my clouded thinking and, sometimes, sleeping through my alarm.
Steps to Better Sleep
You gotta move it, move it, move it
Exercise! Yep. I do this one. 5 times a week, I burn up the rug in the workout room. Exercise does more than just help you lose weight and lower your risks for several major health problems, Mayo Clinic reports that exercising during the day helps you sleep better at night.
Stop the caffeine drip early.
Ugh! I’m going to have a huge problem with this. I love indulging a cup of coffee with a few Biscoff cookies as a late night snack. While doctors frequently herald drinking late night caffeine as a bad idea, the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published a study that surprised me! The optimal time to stop drinking caffeine is 6 hours before bedtime! There goes my late night love affair with cookies and coffee. Guess I will switching out to an herbal tea, which I also love. It just doesn’t go as well with cookies.
Set a clock to begin a bedtime routine.
What time is it? Really? It’s 2:30 am. I have to be up in a few hours, and I’m still up banging away on Facebook. Where did the time go? I usually think of setting a clock to get up. However, I’m going to try setting one about 30 minutes before bedtime, with a snooze for 10 minutes before bedtime. When it goes off, I know to begin my bedtime routine. Hopefully, this will help me get some better sleep.
We’ve already made our bedroom a primarily electronics-free zone. When we bought the house, it had a TV wall mount begging for a one-eyed-monster. We removed it, instead. While we aren’t huge TV watchers, like many people, we love to unwind with a favorite movie or binge-watching Netflix. WebMD says to turn off all screens 15-30 minutes before bed. Not only do they keep the mind in an alert state, but they also emit melatonin-killing light.
Since I don’t have to worry about removing the TV, I’ll just have to remember that, when that alarm goes off, so do my electronic devices. Goodbye Google Nexus, I miss you already!
Switch out your bedding.
The National Sleep Foundation states that you may want to try switching your sheets out for a more breathable fabric if you want a better sleep experience. In a poll by the same organization, more than three-quarters of Americans also believe that the comfortable feel of sheets and bedding are important.
When we moved to Florida from Minnesota, our funds were understandably tight. I bought some cheap cotton sheets from one of those big-box stores. Later, we upgraded to organic 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. I can’t tell you how much I loved the feel of these, but they were actually too warm.
This week, we switched out to some sheets made from bamboo. Bamboo is more breathable than cotton and doesn’t trap heat like cotton. Bamboo bedding is actually 3 degrees cooler than cotton and wicks away moisture. We chose some from Cariloha because I like their closed-loop procedures which minimize the manufacturing process on the environment.
We’ve slept with them for a few days now and these are honestly the softest sheets I’ve ever slept on. They did actually keep us cooler and dryer. Since we live in humid, hot sub-tropical Florida weather, I greatly appreciated this added benefit.
Oh – and these bamboo sheets are beautiful to boot! They have this gorgeous sheen and feel like rayon, but aren’t slippery like satin.
So, that’s some of the things I have already implemented – and some of the steps we’ve committed to try. What tips do you have for better sleep?
I received a discount in exchange for an honest review.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.