Sleep Secrets That Will Change Your Life

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Maybe you have heard them, but maybe you have not. There are many sleep secrets that will change your life and unfortunately, most of us don’t use them!

The secrets aren’t complicated or anything. It is just hard to implement any new habits!

I promise not to share complex sleep secrets that will change your life. I’ll keep things simple even with all the since behind the tips!

Disclaimer: Although I am a mental health professional, all information and reflections are meant for educational purposes only. If you plan to make changes in your life, it may be worth consulting with loved ones and/or your wellness team. Also, this post may contain affiliate links that will connect you with some pretty cool products and when making a purchase through those links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Intro

How much sleep do we actually need? This is an ongoing debate. Some say 6-8 hours for adults, while others say minimum of 9 hours. When the heck can I fit in 9 hours??

Regardless of the number of hours, quality of sleep is a huge part of the deal.

In the book “Thrive” written by Arianna Huffington, she has an entire section of wellbeing on sleep. In summary, all elements of our physical and mental health are negatively affected by poor sleep.

Mood, work performance, decision-making, stress management… and plenty more. I definitely recommend checking out her book and reading more of the details!

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Sleep Routine

Unfortunately, life can get in the way of the TIME we can go to sleep. It is always ideal if you can go to bed at the same time every night and wake the same time every morning.

But I am a realist, and if you struggle to sleep, this is the most ANNOYING advice out there.

We like to call this “Good Sleep Hygiene” when describing a bedtime routine. If you’ve been a parent, you’ve likely heard to get a child ready for bed the same time every night…

Guess what… the same goes for adults too!

If you can’t sleep at regular hours (I know I can’t as a nurse), I can still do the same routine before I go to bed.

The rest of this post has multiple sleep secrets that will change your life, so keep reading to learn some options to add to your sleep routine.

Sleep Secrets

Stop Snoring

Snoring doesn’t just bug your partner, but also messes with your ability to sleep. If you don’t need your tonsils taken out or have a diagnosis of a sleep apnea, it’s time to address your snoring in a different way!

Did you know there is a mouthpiece for that? Good Morning Snore Solution is an FDA approved, clinically proven and safe to use sleeping aide.

I’ve tried it and I feel my sleep has improved. Yes, it takes a little time to get used to, if anyone knows me, they know I like RESEARCH BASED solutions. Good Morning Snore Solution is clinically tested!

Comfortable and help with snoring without needing to spend massive amounts of money. Plus… There are usually discounts on their website, so always look for discount codes!

Seriously, what do you have to lose? Heck, get one from your partner!

Check Out the Good Morning Snore Solution website!

Write To-Do List

Studies have shown that writing lists prior to sleep helps calm anxiety. It’s a great way to organize the mind right before getting some zzzz’s.

If you are someone who worries about all of the thing that need done tomorrow, give it a shot tonight! You don’t need a fancy journal; my mom always wrote the list on a sticky note! (I like my fancy journal thought!)

Write Gratitudes

End your day on a positive note. Literally. Jot down a few notes of positive things that happened during the day.

On especially horrible days, an exercise like this is important. It helps to consciously focus on something good, even if it is super hard in the moment.

Have a read of my post An Attitude of Gratitude for more information and examples!

Stop snoring
Add Warmth or Cold

Cold temperatures are typically more of an awakening experience, but who am I to judge? You can have a cold shower, bath, compress or get some temperature controlled bedding!

Warmth wise, it’s the same option! If warmth is a comfort, stick your blanket in a dryer, heated blanket, get a heating bag, heated mattress cover,  hot shower or bath, heated socks, etc.

Give it a shot!

No Phone Zone

Even if you put dark mode on your phone, that doesn’t stop scrolling! If you’ve watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix, you would know that our phones are very good at keeping us on them!

How often have you lost track of time? I know I have.

Consider putting your phone out of reach when you lay in bed. Give reading a shot (Try Thrive by Arianna Huffington that I mentioned earlier!) or play soft music on your phone as a pre-sleep distraction. Or… read the next option.

Meditation

I’ve got a lot to say about this, so I recommend reading my post How to Enjoy Meditation: Even if You Hate It.

That’s right, even if you don’t like meditation! The best part about meditation before bed is that it is OKAY if you fall asleep. There are legit sleep related meditations to promote deep sleep or positive thoughts for better dreaming.

Sleepy Video

Okay, so I know I said no phone, but there are some nights I CANNOT sleep without a visual distraction. Two options I go to:

ASMR: A variety of options are available online and made up of combination of sounds/images. I find it super soothing and they have specific ones for sleep! (I love Ting Ting)

Satisfying: This one likely is not everyone’s favorite, but I love pimple popping videos. Satisfying to me, but gross to others! There are also options such as crackling paper or perfectly cut sand.

These sounds strange, but work for me. Maybe give it a shot by doing an online search??

Hydration

Getting ready for bed? Drink water instead of anything with caffeine or sugar. If you aren’t a fan of just water, there are sugar free water enhancer powders and liquids. 

I also have a water bottle that lets me know when I need to drink more water! Technology is pretty sweet, so it’s worth looking into!

Remember not to drink too much water right before bed, though! Just get more hydrated throughout the day for better sleep.

Medication

If you need a prescription, talk to your family doctor. It is best to avoid going to a walk-in clinic, as many places will not prescribe anything they won’t follow up on. This goes for the ER too. Sleep unfortunately is not considered an emergency (I know, I’ve been an ER nurse).

Anything that can be used for sleep such as benzodiazepines or Zopiclone should be used for only a short time, so consider these as a last resort! If you are grieving or have severe stress leading to poor sleep, this could be a helpful short-term solution.

I am NOT promoting long term use of sleep aides. The reality is that most are highly addictive, and you can gain a tolerance quicker than you’d like. What is tolerance? Your body gets used to them, so they don’t work as well.

But there are options. A more natural option is Melatonin, but for me, I get horrible nightmares using it. If you try anything for sleep, make sure you do an online search of any potential side effects!

Brain Teasers

These are simply for distraction. Remember people saying count sheep? That works, too, but try something that might actually make you focus your brain.

Try counting down from 500 by 9. I wouldn’t classify this as “easy,” but definitely doable. (For me… very slowly.)

Another great distraction I use is the picking a topic and going through the alphabet. For example: Two animals that start with A then B then C… etc. I usually don’t make it to the end!

Comfort

Comfortable pjs versus naked.

Warm room versus cold.

Background noise versus quiet.

Easy breathing versus snoring.

Light blanket versus heavy blanket. 

Check your mattress or pillow needs. 

This is just a small list of the things to consider when it comes to comfort. There are so many affordable ways to bring comfort to the bedroom! Experiment to see what works best for you.

Insight

Hopefully you can add one or two of these suggestions to your life.

Maybe a couple things will resonate as sleep secrets that will change your life!

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