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My question for you today is, When was the last time you got a great night’s sleep?
Just think about it. As you woke up, you were in a comfortable position, with a smile on your face as you took a deep breath. Knowing all along it was going to be a great day?
What about when you woke up on the wrong side of the bed – alarm blaring – and all you wanted to do was crawl into the fetal position and shut out the world?
I think we could all agree that waking up after a great rest session is something we all want more of. But how do you do it? Are there things you can do to help?
In this post, I will focus on what I have been doing.
It all starts with comfort. One of the biggest things for me is the pillow I use.
I bring this up because I’ve been searching for the best pillow. If you can think of it, I have probably used it. My latest go-to is the curved pillow made from memory foam.
It works but makes my neck sweat, and being a side sleeper doesn’t offer much support.
Last month, a friend of mine asked what type of pillow I used. This started a long conversation on the topic of pillows, and I will spare you the best part.
Side note: I have some neck issues if you didn’t know this about me. This started back in high school when I was in a vehicle accident.
Since then, I have had muscle spasms that take over every few months or so. Not to mention when I move wrong. Got to love getting older and having old injuries spring up.
All this was to say that having a pillow that offers support is extremely important to me. And my memory foam pillow, while comfortable, was not cutting it.
Thanks to my friend posing this question, I searched for the Sobakwa pillow. And yes, I could find it on Amazon, go figure, right?
I have been sleeping better than I have in years! Not only that, but I’m pleased to report that the Sobakwa is also working for him!
If you need a pillow with amazing support, you should try it! Also, check out my full review here!
Getting Enough Sleep
There are many different numbers and figures out there about this question. But really, how much sleep do you need?
To answer this question, I went to SleepFoundation.org to get the answer. This is what I found:
- Preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, sleep around 10-13 hours.
- Children between 6 to 13 sleep around 9-11 hours.
- Teenagers, ages 14-17, sleep around 8-10 hours.
- Young adults, ages 18-25, sleep around 7-9 hours.
- Adults, the largest age bracket from 26-64, sleep between 7-9 hours.
- Older adults, age 65 and older, sleep around 7-8 hours.
The main takeaway is that I must get between 7-9 hours of shut-eye a night. So, for a month, I estimated how much I was getting, and let’s say it was all over the place.
The biggest takeaway, at least for me, is that I tested sleeping for different periods.
I operate best on eight hours of sleep. That might be too much or too little for you, but the point is to find out what you need. We are all different, and that’s what makes the process fun.
For the last three weeks, I have done everything possible to get eight hours of sleep. And I will say there are days it isn’t easy, but overall I have achieved it. Not only that, but I feel terrific.
Going To Bed
I have done a few things to help me get to bed and sleep.
For one, I have found that I cannot watch any action shows or movies. I generally watch a comedy TV series (currently The Office).
This is also the show I’ve seen many times before. I like it. Easy humor, and is under 30 minutes. Because let’s be real, you will probably fall asleep before it’s over.
I watch The Office because I have seen it and will not miss anything when I do fall asleep. The worst is when you fall asleep to something you haven’t seen before and spend the next day trying to find where you left off.
There will always be those nights when you cannot seem to go to bed. I have a few recommendations for you here as well.
- Drink sleepy tea. My favorite is sleepy-time tea from Trader Joe’s.
- Use at your discretion, but I sometimes take 10 mg of melatonin. Caution: do your research before taking it to find out if it’s okay for you to use it.
- Try doing some light stretching or Yoga.
- Listen to some relaxing music with no lyrics. If you are like me, you will start to sing along with songs, not the best when trying to go to sleep.
Sticking on the music for a minute. My choice is to use Focus@Will. Not only is this something I use daily anyway, but I like that you can set a timer so it won’t be on for a long time.
If music isn’t for you, I would suggest a noise machine. I used one for the last year due to having some really noisy neighbors and working nights.
I have used the Marpac Dohm Classic noise machine for over three years and highly recommend it. Recently, I don’t need to use it that often, but it’s still really nice to use when traveling or if I want to sleep in.
Just because I know, it’s what you are thinking, and I’m sure you can imagine what it is. My mom reads these posts, and I will not share them, sorry folks. I will say that if you are in a healthy relationship … I think you get the gist. Enough said.
Now we have come to the part that we all hope happens is that we wake up!
Most blogs I have read don’t cover the topic of waking up. So let’s talk about it briefly. How do you wake up from your night of shut-eye?
Do you wake up to an alarm clock or music? I did for as long as I could remember. But, for me, music is better than that damn buzzing alarm clock. I don’t think anyone wakes up happy hearing that sound.
Being someone that loves gadgets, I have a smart room device that allows me to turn my room lights on a timer. It’s easy to use; it’s an application on my phone and has been a much nicer way of waking up than a blaring alarm.
As a side note, if you are wondering, I have been using a string of LED Christmas lights. This is because they are not super bright but do the job.
I have a backup plan to ensure I wake up because sometimes the light doesn’t work.
I have scheduled this nice-sounding alarm clock to turn on ten minutes after my lights turn on. Most of the time, I turn the alarm off before it goes off.
The coolest part I have found is that there are days I wake up right when my lights turn on, and other days I wake up a few minutes after they have been on. Also, like this morning, I woke up just before they turned on!
And the best part of getting up and doing some quick light stretching is COFFEE!
I’m not sure about you, but I love a cup of coffee when I get up. Suppose you want the best-tasting cup of coffee, click here.
What Works For You?
The main thing is to try and find what works best for you. There will definitely be some trial and error along the way, but that’s the fun part.
This post was just a few starting points I think you should try, especially if you are having difficulty sleeping.
It also doesn’t hurt to schedule a day every so often that you can sleep in. A few days ago, I did this by turning off my alarm and lights before going to bed. And to make it even better, I actually went to bed when I was tired.
Now it’s your turn.
I want to hear what you do the night before getting awesome shut-eye. Do you have a routine before going to bed or a favorite pillow?
Let me know in the comments below!