Get the Best Sleep Your Body Deserves

This post is a continuation to last week's anxiety management post (click!), where I promised a whole another post on habits that could make you sleep better. These are things I try to live by, but I don't stress about them - not only because stress doesn't help you sleep, but also because I have my routine down and do these pretty much automatically. And also since the routine is there, it doesn't hurt me too much if I slip every once in a blue moon.

Since this is health-related yet again, I'm going to have to put up a little disclaimer: While I've noticed these work for me and I get my sleep as well as stay healthy doing these, I'm not a health nor mental health professional. In case you're suffering from severe insomnia, or any other sleeping disorder, please contact your doctor first. That being said, let's get to my tips on better sleep.

sleepy me

How to sleep better than ever

Have a regular schedule 

This is so your body learns to "expect" the sleep at a certain time, and then falling asleep gets so much easier. If you go to bed 10pm one day, 2am the next day, 11pm then and so on, your body doesn't know which time to start producing melatonin (the natural sleeping hormone in your brain), and therefore you may suffer from troubles falling asleep. For me, this is probably the most important point, at least for workdays - but I don't really fall off the schedule even on holidays because I like keeping it easy for my body when possible.

Try to have at least 6 hours of sleep

The individual need for sleep varies quite a bit amongst us humans, but in my understanding, the general consensus is that one should sleep somewhere between 6 to 9 hours per night to stay as healthy as possible. I'm personally good with around 6 to 7 hours but for example, my boyfriend needs closer to 8 hours to be well-rested. Not sleeping enough not only makes you tired and possibly feeling foggy inside your head, but it's also bad for your digestion as well as recovering from whatever the day has brought onto you. So if you feel like the workouts you do don't give the results you want or you don't lose weight despite eating better or whatever, make a note on how much or little you sleep. But also, don't oversleep, that's not good for you either! I get headaches if I sleep over 9 hours, so that's clearly a limit for me. For you, that might be different. Consult your doctor if you are unsure about your sleeping needs.

No caffeine after 6 pm (unless you know it doesn't affect you)

This is another very "personal" one because people are very different about caffeine. I'm somewhat easily affected, so if I notice I have troubles sleeping, I will make sure not to drink caffeine after 6pm (since I aim to be sleeping 11pm the latest) in order to not have any affects left when I want to be ready for sleep. There are many people who sleep better after having a cup of coffee, and if that's you, by all means, drink it before bed. This also goes with any substances that might give you a peak of energy, like sugar. Limit foods that give you an energy boost a few hours before bed and it might help a lot with your sleep.

night products

Have a nighttime routine

This one goes together with the first point. Humans are mostly creatures of habits, and while some are more spontaneous than others, in most cases our bodies prefer routines whenever possible. That's why having a certain routine you go through each night before bed is beneficial for sleeping better. Again, it helps our brain to realize we're getting ready to rest, so the body knows to start relaxing and producing hormones that help us sleep. At least this is what I've understood to be the science behind it. I've shared my nighttime routine last year (click here!), and it's still somewhat same although now there's a cat included too. I might do an updated one at some point in a different format.

Put your phone away 

This should be done about an hour before you want to fall asleep, unless you don't get bothered by it. The reason I stop responding to people sometimes quite abruptly at night is that I simply put my phone away. I have group chats where others start interacting right before I go to bed and I have to be the boring one to step out early because while I love my friends, my health comes first. If people don't have time to interact when I'm actually active, it's not my problem. If someone really wants to get in touch, they will ask or figure out what's a good time to contact me. Social media doesn't go anywhere while you sleep, and while you might not be the first to react to everything, it doesn't matter. Your sleep does. Most devices we use like phones, tablets and so on have "blue light" on their screen, which according to science interferes with the production of melatonin, again making it harder to fall asleep. So in the night time, if you have the setting to filter the blue light, switch it on on your devices, and put them away a little bit before bed. And if you are addicted to checking the phone constantly, switch it off or put it in flight mode in order to not get the messages to come through. This, of course, will also block your calls so keep that in mind if you need to be available for emergencies through the phone.

Don't look at a clock during the night 

This is a tip I tell to everyone who says they have trouble with sleeping. Why? Because I noticed myself that in the back of my head, I really started counting how much or little I slept each night if I had a hard time falling asleep and then checked the time on my phone. Then one day I started to think to myself - why the heck do you need to know? What value does it bring if I know how little I can sleep anymore? And I made a conscious decision to not check the time after putting my phone away. And to this day, I 99% don't. It's one of the best things for my sleep. 


Have a proper bed 

You've most likely heard this before, but since we spend so much time in bed and sleeping - about 1/3 of our day - it makes sense to invest in the environment. Having a suitable bed for your needs helps your back to stay healthy, your posture to stay proper and makes you sleep better overall. And together with the bed, you should make sure your sheets, duvet, and pillow are right for you as well. For example, I need not too high of a pillow, and it's best if it is allergy-friendly. Everything in your bed should not only be cleaned regularly, but also switched to new ones after few years (or more often) because the weight of your body will get the best of everything and we also sweat when we sleep ans those take a toll on our beds and sheets. 

Exercise enough, but not right before sleeping

Another very common advice, exercising especially outdoors makes the body more tired and falling asleep is easier then. However doing that right before bed, especially if you workout very hard, can raise the adrenaline levels and therefore make you more awake. For this, I don't have too much to add. We all know we should exercise at least by walking and doing chores because it's good for us to move a little every day.

Make sure the temperature is right

Have rather a bit cooler than bit hot room. Again, that might be a bit different for each of us, but in general, it's better to have a little cooler temperature in the room where you try to sleep in if that's possible. I personally can't sleep if it's too hot, and I also have more nightmares and breaks in my sleep when the room is too hot. And according to my conversations with people, that's quite common. So if you don't already have a somewhat cool room, 

Shallonxo podcast

Adjust the noise in your room

Find out if you're the person who needs a little noise or complete silence to fall asleep faster. I personally need a little noise, preferably calm music or talking to get my mind to relax. This roots from having anxiety and night terrors when I was younger, I get triggered by noises in the silence of the night so I need to have a constant yet quite silent stream of sounds when falling asleep. If you need sound, find a way to have that without of course bothering anyone else's sleep, and if you need complete silence, try having earplugs or something. Just make sure that you're still able to hear your alarm if you need to have one in the morning.

Have a dark room

Another thing that may seem very obvious, but  in case it isn't to some: Limit away as much of the light as possible. Darkness is another thing helping the brain develop the necessary chemicals for sleeping, and I believe there are several studies that back this claim up. I get some people have night terrors even as adults and may require the tiniest of night light to sleep well, but generally as dark as possible should be the best for you. This is pretty straightforward, so I don't have much else to say about it.

Have a comfy pyjama

Or you know, that huge t-shirt or sleep naked if that's comfiest to you, but make sure nothing scratches, itches, or feels too tight - or anything like that. The way you dress - or don't dress - might make the biggest difference in how you sleep. If you keep thinking how uncomfortable you are, it takes away from your mind relaxing and falling asleep, and on the other hand if you are a light sleeper, you may even wake up to the fact that what you wear is uncomfortable. Also, you should look into the material of your sleepwear, if the fabric is very synthetic, it might not only be itchy, but also make you sweat more than cotton or another natural material might. 


Don't eat heavily right before bed

But don't go bed too hungry either. Another very basic thing, but not necessarily something we always pay attention to. There are claims that late night snacking, especially heavily might make you gain weight, but that may strongly depend on the individual. I try to do intermittend fasting whenever possible and not eat between 8pm and 8am or 9pm and 9am, depending a bit on the day. This makes me sleep better but also be hungry on breakfast time so I can really start my metabolism nice and early-ish. There are guides on what to eat before bed for the best sleep, and if you're interested, you can certainly google that. I try to keep my snacks mostly light, like bit of bread with veggies, just veggies with vegan dip, fruit and dairy-free unsweetened yogurt etc. But of course there are days - mainly on weekends - when I let myself slip from that because life is not about restricting yourself every damn day.

Even if you can't fall asleep, don't stress about it

Focus on at least lying in your bed and resting, it's still better than no rest at all. This is probably my biggest sin, or well, at least it used to be. I got so stressed about not getting enough sleep that it basically kept me up at night. Now, if I don't get sleepy early enough, I may just lay in the dark listening to podcasts or even a movie or something waiting my mind to calm down and get sleepy. A healthy person can function more than well if one night is a little short of sleep, if the general amount of sleep they get is around the normal healthy amount. So literally there should be no reason to stress about one time every once in a while sleeping not that well. So give yourself a break and relax even if you feel like you can't fall asleep. Once you relax, you may actually fall asleep.

Be careful with stimulation

If you're like me, and your mind wanders if you watch something too graphic or stimulating at night, switch to "fluffy" things. I can't watch upsetting, graphic or otherwise super stimulating material at night. I get restless inside my head and there goes the sleep. Some people might be completely unbothered by all the things they see at night, and if you are like that, you can skip this tip. But for me, it's better to watch beauty videos on YouTube, series or movies I've seen before or just listen to a podcast before bed. Those don't get "under my skin" or make me think about anything too deep, and therefore it's easier to fall asleep.

good boi

So that's my list of my most used tips to get the best sleep ever, but of course there might be tons and tons more out there because we are all so different. It takes a little trial and error to figure out what exactly works to you specifically, but it's worth the effort because who doesn't want to sleep well?

Do you have any tips to add to the list? Share them in the comments to help others out!

That's it for today's post, but in the next one we'll have lighter subjects again. I really enjoy doing a mix of lighter and more serious content, and I will start planning the next deeper post as this one goes live. If there are topics you'd like me to talk about, you can suggest them in the comments and I will put them on the list of post ideas. If you want to see more content from me, follow me on Instagram @silvertigo for daily outfits and more. I'll see you in my next post!

Have a lovely day ♥

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