My husband and I have major sleep differences. He can fall asleep in one minute, anytime, anywhere. I've had bouts of insomnia my whole life - sometimes I can't fall asleep and sometimes I can't stay asleep. While I toss and turn, it's so hard not to be angry at the man dozing next to me.
So what is the best way to get a full-nights rest? I think I may just have figured out a plan...
What helps you sleep? Tell us and you could win either a Wamsutta® Dream Zone® 1000-Thread-Count PimaCott sheet set (valued at $249!) or a $100 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card!
Of course there are apps to help people sleep. There are apps to help people do everything these days. Sleep apps do everything from guide you on how to relax to play soothing music. The newest ones even track your sleep cycles and wake you up at the optimal time. Heathline recently released a list of their favorites and Emily, who works at SheSpeaks, swears by the Fitbit app. It tells you the quantity and quality of your sleep and then gives tips based on those sleep patterns.
Avoid electronics an hour before bed
Great idea, but when I get into bed I always remember those little things I forgot to do, like asking a friend to drive my kids home from school the next day. Before I know it, I'm on my phone texting. But I do try to wind down on social - because once I've read the news, I have no chance of relaxing.
Props (Body pillow, Sound machine, Make lists)
Turns out, there's lots of simple sleep gadgets that don't need wifi. SheSpeaks staffer Madeleyn can't sleep without her sound machine playing background white noise, while Lori loves her new body pillow since it gives her something to cuddle and balances out her spine. And my friend Andrea sleeps with a notebook on her nightstand to write down all the thoughts that swarm her head.
I'm a stickler for routine so I decided to try keeping to one at night. For the last few weeks, right at about 9:30, I watch a mindless show to clear my mind, get in my pjs, brush my teeth and get in to bed. And guess what: this actually works! That is, when I can have the time to do it. But sometimes, I'm out late and I crawl into bed. Or I'm up past my bedtime doing all the chores I didn't get a chance to do during the day. So yes, routines are great. When you can stick to them.
Exercise regularly. Don't eat close to bedtime.
Yeah, these sound smart. I'll try that tomorrow.
Clear Your Mind
I've tried meditation, which cures insomnia for many people. But I have a hard time stopping my mind from racing. Then someone recently told me to count backwards. I start at 100 and count down by 3s or 4s. It distracts me and is easy enough that I don't need to think too hard. This especially works when I've woken up in the middle of the night - anything to help me relax.
When all else fails, get out of bed and do something productive with your time. Whether it's reading, drawing or binging on Netflix, sometimes the best thing to do is to give yourself a break!
After all these years, I've learned that stressing out about sleep just causes more insomnia. So I'm going to stick with what works for me - turning off the news, keeping a routine, and doing boring math. What works for you? There are certainly enough options to try.
Tell us what helps you sleep for the chance to win your choice of either a Wamsutta® Dream Zone® 1000-Thread-Count PimaCott® sheet set (valued at $249!) or a $100 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card!
There are two ways to enter:
Simply comment below and tell us what you do to fall, and stay, asleep.
Tweet about the giveaway!
Click here to Tweet: "Need more sleep so I entered the @SheSpeaksUp #SleepGiveaway to win a Sheet Set or $100 gc! bit.ly/2qqUrff"
Don't forget to enter our Social Connections Giveaway for your chance to win one of three customizable PopSockets!
*One lucky commenter or Tweeter will be chosen at random to receive the winner's choice of either a Wamsutta® Dream Zone® 1000-Thread-Count PimaCott® King Sheet Set in Taupe or a $100 gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond. Giveaway is open through June 18th, 2017 to U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. Entrants must be a member of SheSpeaks. If you are not a member, click here to join. Winner will be notified by email.
Update: Thanks to everyone who entered. Congrats to the winner, SheSpeaks member Gina679!