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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, a smile on your face as you took in 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 am going to 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 on a quest to find 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 a lot of 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 but the best part.
Side note, if you didn’t know this about me, I have some neck issues. This started back in high school when I was in a vehicle accident. Since then, I have 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 to me, I searched to find the Sobakwa pillow. And yes, I was able to 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 working for him as well! So, if you need a pillow that offers some amazing support, you should give it a try!
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 that I have is that I need to 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.
I think the biggest takeaway, at least for me, is that I tested sleeping for different periods of time. 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 I can to get eight hours of sleep a night. 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 show or movie. I generally stick with watching a comedy TV series (currently The Office). This is also the show I’ve seen many times before, 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 hadn’t seen before and spent 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 Joes.
- Use at your own discretion, but I sometimes resort to taking 10 mg of melatonin. Caution: do your research before taking 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, I like that you can set a timer so it won’t be on for a super 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 real noisy neighbors and working nights. I have been using 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. Well, my mom reads these posts, and I will not share it, 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 my room lights on a timer. It’s easy to use; after all, 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.
To make sure I wake up because sometimes the light doesn’t work, I have a back-up plan. This is a nice-sounding alarm clock that I have scheduled 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, doing some quick light stretching, is COFFEE! Not sure about you, but for me, 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!
6 thoughts on “Get A Good Night Sleep – A Few Things To Try”
Sleep, oh the elusive sleep! I often wonder if this is a “new” thing or have people always had trouble sleeping? I think the lack of exercise is a big part of it, even when I think back to my childhood or my children’s childhood, there was a lot more walking and bike riding than you see today. As far as your suggestions, I would add a few thoughts on that.
I don’t have any trouble falling asleep but I tend to wake up during the night. One thing that has helped me is to not look at the clock when you wake up. Turn it away from you so you can’t see it. If you look at the clock, it tends to stress you out because you think, “I have to be up in xx hours so I have to get back to sleep.” This stress makes it harder to get back to sleep. It’s a hard habit to break but you’ll be glad you did.
I have a “slow rise” alarm on my phone to wake me gently. I hate the blaring alarm clock that startles me awake and the irritating sound puts me in a bad mood right off the bat. Music is good but I tend to fall back asleep listening to it! the slow rise alarm wakes me gently but then I have to actually shut it off (“take action”) and that tends to wake me up even further!
I hope this helps!
Thanks for the comments and insight. I agree that we used to get more exercise, and it’s important to remember to get something every day.
As for the alarm clock, my Mum has said that I try my best not to look at it for years, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I’d be curious if others have tried not looking at the time as well. And if it has helped.
The slow rise alarm is an interesting concept. I like the idea, and thanks for sharing it!
This was a good read. Sleep is important. Not getting enough will impact the rest of your day.
I have found that following a routine is the best way to get to sleep quickly. Whatever works for you, do the same thing every night. Of course it’s some thing you need to work on with the things that you mentioned like having a good pillow, possibly drinking tea or taking melatonin, having your room dark, etc.
As for waking up, the best is when you don’t have to get up early and can wake up on your own. Definitely get rid of a blaring alarm clock!
I couldn’t agree with you more!
This morning I made sure all my alarms were OFF. It was so nice to wake up when my body wanted to. Then to turn on my computer while waiting for my coffee to be ready and getting an amazing comment is the best!
Wow! That is an awesome article there and I love it so much. I am very excited to come across this awesome article because waking up after a great rest session is something I always desire for. But lately I’ve not been having some good sleep like I would want, I would practice the tips mentioned in the article, I hope they help me get a very good sleep like I want.
I hope they do as well. If you try some of the tips, feel free to come back and let me know how it went. I suggest starting with some sleepy time tea. It has always worked for me (to at least get to sleep).