We got rid of the TV in our bedroom about 2 years ago. Although I never watched it, Brent would come to bed and put it on for a bit before turning the lights out. I would inadvertently get into whatever reality show he put on and end up staying up past my bed time regularly. We now only have one TV and it’s in our family room in the basement. Brent still stays up to watch TV, but he does it downstairs and doesn’t disturb me
Use table lamps instead of overhead lights- By using table lamps or dimming overhead lights you greatly reduce the magnitude of artificial light exposure. Also swapping high watt light bulbs for lower watt bulbs will also help. Good news is this should save you some money on your electricity bill each month.
Keep a routine-Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every night to maintain your circadian rhythm. If you want to read more about circadian rhythm the Paleo Mom wrote a great post about it you can read here . Basically going to bed and waking up at extremely different times is confusing to your body and increases stress and makes it harder to fall asleep.
Sleep in a cave-Or at least as dark as a cave. Eliminate all sources of light in your bedroom. I have my students do this as a homework assignment. I tell them to go into their room and pretend they are going to bed. Then I tell them to look for every source of light and find a way to eliminate or reduce it. Things like shutting doors, closing blinds, getting light blocking curtains & shades (I have these ), turning your alarm clock away from you, & covering the face of any LCD screen (like the time on a television) will help you to sleep better so you get more restorative sleep. You could also try wearing an eye mask to bed.
In case you can’t read 7th grade handwriting, “sleeping in dark rooms help A LOT!! Out of the mouths of babes…
Limit alcohol consumption-Drinking alcohol too close to bedtime will decrease the quality of sleep later in night. Avoid drinking alcohol within 2-3 hours of bed. I wrote a post about alcohol and sleep that you can read here .
Limit caffeine & sugar- I think it’s pretty safe to say that consuming sugar and caffeine too close to bedtime isn’t a good idea. But remember that fruit is still sugar so if you are having a hard time falling asleep I would recommend eating fruit before dinner. Also drinking too much of anything right before bed isn’t a good idea because you may wake to use the bathroom thus interrupting your sleep.
Establish a stress-free bedtime routine-Read a book, meditate, stretch, have a cup of herbal tea, or rock out some sun salutations. The most important thing is to avoid stress before bed. The last thing you want is to get fired up with a post, a phone call, or an argument with your family right before heading to bed. ( source 3 )
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I’ve implement all of these tips a while ago and I can honestly say that I sleep better as a result. Going to bed earlier gets me a little extra sleep in quantity, but it’s the quality of my sleep that has improved. I wake up feeling refreshed and usually wake up before my alarm goes off at 4:30. So the next time you find yourself unable to sleep at night, promise me you won’t update your social media status?! Let me know if you try any of these tips and they work for you.
Yours in Health,
Are all lights created equal?