5 tips for a better night sleep in 2022
In 2021 I started to take my sleep habits seriously, I was recovering from major surgery, and needed to create habits that would help me settle in for the night and sleep deeply. Of course, there are always exceptions, like a snoring cat on my head, or an upset sleep schedule because of a routine change.
But these are five things I use every day that help me get a better night's sleep — and some bonus tips as well!
5 tips for a better night sleep
Use a sleep mask
There’s something truly magical about the pressure and relief I feel when I slip on my sleep mask each night. This works well if you have textured or straight hair, and there is a variety of fastening options if the latex in the hairband is going to bother you. I keep a simple silk black eye mask in my bed, and using this to avoid distractions like light, and keeping my eyes closed has prevented many insomnia opportunities.
Pro tip: I keep a running note on my phone because as I’m falling asleep I often remember schedule conflicts, blog post ideas, and more. I just keep an open note on my phone and write these things down so it minimizes the amount of time I’m on my phone. I don’t need to send that email, update that meeting, or start that idea right NOW — but I do want to save it for later. You can keep a notebook or journal or even a sticky note on your bedside table to accomplish the same thing.
Use a sound machine or app
I technically am listening to an air conditioner noise each night, but not too long ago I was using a brown noise sound to fall asleep. It may sound weird, but having a sound to focus on (people talking for sleep meditation does NOT work) helps my brain relax, and I usually think to myself “okay — we’re going to sleep now” and I slip my eye mask over my eyes, and knock tf out. This is also helpful when I’m in bed and reading, sometimes I turn on the noise like background noise, and it slowly relaxes me so when I’m done reading, I’m ready for sleep.
Pro tip: I prefer having an app on my phone BECAUSE I can sleep anywhere now. I just bring my sleep mask and phone to my girlfriend’s place and can pass tf out — instead of being up all night listening to different sounds or getting distracted by headlights passing by windows.
Weighted blanket or cooling blanket
I, like so many folks, know how important temperature is. I personally am a moth. I enjoy a tightly wrapped cocoon with super soft and heavy blankets. My weighted blanket has cooling technology, so I’m not fully insulated, but can still experience the 25lbs of pressure which helps relax my muscles and tension in my body as I fall asleep. This also, truly, helps me to stay put. I’m less likely to toss and turn and get up when under the weighted blanket because I really enjoy the feeling of pressure on my body. My cats love it too.
Pro tip: do things that actually relax you before bed. As someone constantly prone to sensory overload — I’ve had to get pretty strict about what kinds of stuff I do before bedtime. For example, playing Stardew Valley is very relaxing to me — but only if I don’t go into the mines and fight ghosts (lol), animal crossing is another good one. Scrolling on Reddit threads, and reading also slow my heart rate down and help me relax. Completing lessons on Duolingo does NOT help me relax and makes me feel antsy and ambitious.
Have boundaries with pets
Most nights, I close my door to my bedroom and don’t allow my cats to sleep in my bed with me. This has proven to be immensely helpful, because I sleep more deeply, and now that they’ve adjusted — we all have our own nightly routine. If you sleep with a cat or dog every night, they absolutely can learn your schedule and have their own night routine. Sometimes I have the boys in “for a sleepover” on the weekends when I’m less concerned about a full 9 hours of deep rest, so it’s not an always thing— but I do close the door, use the noise app and go to sleep. My cats love me, and I love sleep — so we all win because I’m not grumpy and am well rested for play the next day.
Use a lotion or spray to infuse your space
This one isn’t something I do every day — but I often rotate between a simple perfume spray or eucalyptus stress relief lotion. I’ll spray these on my pillow or rub them into my chest before sleep, and allow myself to breathe it in deeply. These scents often feel like they’re cooling down my skin, and allowing me to breathe deeply. I also sometimes spray my sleep mask so the smell infuses my senses and helps me unwind faster.
Pro tip: most smartphones now have a bedtime setting, where you can set a time you usually wake up and go to sleep on certain days of the week. This is a really helpful tool that not only analyses how long I’m on my phone “past my bedtime” but also prompts me to get ready for bed about a half-hour before I’m trying to fall asleep. This has been helpful in deciding not to start a new chapter or new TV show episode depending on what I’m doing.
If you found these tips helpful -YAY. I hope you’re getting some rest this week.